Tire Vehicle Dynamics is a comprehensive course outlining everything from road interaction and material, to compound and vehicle response. The course is the combined expertise of six professional engineers lives totaling over 100 years of experience packed into a 12 day course full of valuable information.    

The course aims at giving an overview of the tire modeling and vehicle dynamics, specifically for ride and handling. It provides an introduction to tire force and moment generation mechanisms and how they are used for vehicle handling modeling, it details the use of finite element for tire model development, it provides a detailed understanding of tire materials and constitutive models, it provides an overview of rolling resistance, and provides detailed information about footprint mechanics. The course will give a detailed presentation of the theoretical bases, when relevant, and experimentation aspects of the mentioned methods. 

The lectures are given by experts from academia and the industry and are addressed to professionals in the tire and automotive industries, master, doctoral and post-doctoral students, and more generally to all those scientists and engineers ready to learn the basics of tire mechanics and vehicle dynamics.


Dr. Saied Taheri, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, leads the team. He has been the founding director of the NSF I/UCRC Center for Tire Research since 2012. He has 29 years of academic and industrial experience in automotive engineering, dynamics and control, intelligent systems, wavelets, and machine learning with applications in intelligent tires and vehicles, vehicle dynamics and control, automotive and transportation safety, and railroads.

Dr. John B. Ferris established his global reputation for investigating improvements to ground vehicle system performance by studying interactions with terrain surfaces. Specifically, his research focuses on chassis design and development, vehicle dynamics, mobile mapping systems, driver-vehicle interactions, virtual proving ground development, design for reliability, customer usage and correlation, and automated vehicle development.

Dr. Ron Kennedy is currently the Managing Director of the Center for Tire Research, an industry / university consortium involving Virginia Tech, the University of Akron, and tire and tire-related companies. Before joining CenTiRe, he worked for 37 years in the tire industry at Firestone, and Hankook Tire performing tire finite element methods development and software programming, simulation systems development, advanced tire design, and tire factory uniformity studies. His work has covered the range of tire performance areas, manufacturing, and design.

Dr. Joseph D. Walter recently retired from The University of Akron where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses related to tire materials, mechanics and manufacturing as well as vehicle dynamics for 20 years. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Walter last served as President of Bridgestone's Technical Center Europe in Rome, Italy. After more than 50 years of tire and vehicle R&D activity, he remains technically active as an author and consultant.

Dr. Tom Fleischman has worked for 40 years in the Tire & Rubber Industry ... roughly 10 years with Firestone, then five more years with Bridgestone after the acquisition, then 25 years at Goodyear.  Tom has conducted research in experimental material response and theoretical modeling related to a variety of complex rubber compound responses to cyclic deformation. Tom created comprehensive material characterization testing procedures and data management strategies.

Jim McIntyre is a Principal Applied Researcher at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center in Akron, Ohio, where he’s worked since 2018. Prior to Joining Bridgestone, Jim was Vice President and Director of Technology for Camber Ridge, an independent tire test laboratory in Charlotte, North Carolina that he helped to bring into operation. Before that, Jim spent 27 years at Smithers Rapra, as an Engineering Intern, Project Engineer, and Senior Project Engineer. Smithers is an independent tire and automotive test laboratory headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Over the years, Jim has been involved in many phases of tire and automotive testing including force and moment; footprint mechanics; dry, wet, and winter traction; objective and subjective tire and vehicle performance, tire modeling characterization, rolling resistance, regulatory testing, indoor and outdoor treadwear, and tire endurance.

Course Syllabus

The Tire Vehicle Dynamics Course is a 12 day course taught by six lecturers with focus on the following topics:

  • Handling Performance Analysis-4 hours of lectures (Saied Taheri, PhD, Virginia Tech-CenTiRe)
    • Tire and vehicle modeling and force and moment generation mechanisms
    • Tire design variables affecting vehicle handling performance
    • Subjective evaluation of handling
    • Objective evaluation of handling
    • Correlation of subjective and objective handling performance
  • Tire Compound Constitutive and Durability Response-4 hours of lectures (Thomas Fleischman, Goodyear Sr. R&D Associate - Retired)
    • Hyperelastic, Linear, and Nonlinear Viscoelastic Compound Response
    • Compound Property Evolution with Cure and Post-Cure Thermal History
    • Rubber Creep Rupture and Ultimate Properties
    • Rubber Toughness and Fatigue Crack Propagation Resistance
  • Finite Element Tire Models-4 hours of lectures (Ronald Kennedy, PhD, Former Hankook-Currently CenTiRe)
    • Tire model development
    • Material representation
    • Contact, friction, loading specification
    • Model selection and solution methodologies
    • Static, steady-state, transient, modal, thermal
  • Footprint Mechanics-4 hours of lectures (Jim McIntyre, Bridgestone Americas) 
    • Describing the tire footprint 
    • Equipment and methodologies 
    • Footprint Physics
    • Shear energy and uneven wear
  • Tire-Vehicle Ride and Road Profiling-4 hours of lectures (John Ferris, PhD, Virginia Tech)
    • Road Surfaces Measurement
    • Road Surface Modeling and Validation
    • Ride Quality
    • Quarter Car and Pitch Plane Model
  • Tire Rolling Resistance and Vehicle Fuel Economy-4 hours of lectures (Joe Walter, PhD, University of Akron)
    • Rolling Friction Mechanisms
    • Influence of Tire Operating Conditions
    • The So-called "Magic Triangle" and Silica
    • Energy Losses: Gas Tank to Tires