Joshua Nieman



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This project involves a spring-based mechanical regenerative brake and launch assist system to increase vehicle fuel economy. When a vehicle slows, traditional brakes waste the kinetic energy by dissipating it to the environment as heat. Regenerative brakes, by comparison, store this energy for later use. A novel mechanical system has been designed that stores the energy in a spring and then uses that energy to later propel the vehicle. Hybrid electric vehicles have a successful electrical regenerative braking system but it is only beneficial for hybrid and electric vehicles, about 3% of the market. The proposed mechanical system could be incorporated in the design of most conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines. Preliminary estimations predict fuel efficiency improvements between 5-10% in the city. The modeling, mechanism design, optimization, and a dynamic simulation validate further investigation of the concept.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

David Myszka and Andrew Murray

Primary Advisor's Department

Design of Innovative Machines Lab


Stander Symposium project


Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

A Novel, Elastically-Based, Regenerative Break and Launch Assist Mechanism