Faculty Advisor

Cobb, Eben C.


This project's goal was to redesign an existing strut tower brace used as an aftermarket add-on for compact automobiles. The new design improves upon the under hood fit of the device, greatly increases the strength, and reduces the total number of assembled components all with minimal weight increase. The existing device and the redesign were modeled and analyzed using finite element techniques in Pro/Engineer. The finite element analysis estimated the new design to be 245% stiffer than the existing design. A prototype was constructed and both the existing device and the redesign were bench tested under various loading conditions. The results of the bench testing proved the prototype to be 243% stiffer than the existing brace. Additional subjective road testing was conducted with each brace installed in the intended vehicle. This testing demonstrated that the prototype was also noticeably stiffer in actual application as well.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 1999


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering