Engine Valvetrain Design

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Course Overview

Learn the fundamentals of IC engine valvetrain systems and how they are designed to control the Internal Combustion Engine Air System for power, emissions and improve fuel economy. These skills and tools will have immediate and long term benefits to workplace engineering decision-making and problem-solving.

Who Should Attend?

  • Engineers involved in performance, combustion, air handling, and emission control development of diesel or spark-ignition engines
  • Engineers having responsibilities in engine design or mechanical development, whose work includes aspects of camshaft, cam drive, or valvetrain layout and development
  • Engineering managers whose responsibilities include engine design, mechanical development, or engine performance, combustion, and emission control
  • Engineers and managers in supplier companies supporting performance, combustion, and emission control
  • Controls engineers involved in fuel system, aftertreatment and air handling control who would like to gain a greater understanding of the air handling system in spark-ignition or diesel engines
  • Vehicle application engineers whose responsibilities include engine air handling, or aftertreatment systems

Additional Information

Attendees may also be interested in a related Valvetrain Modeling course being held immediately after this course on Thursday and Friday.

Course Outline

Monday: Overview

  • Introduction and Overview of Engines
  • Engine-Valvetrain Performance Considerations
  • Valvetrain System and Sub-System Breakdown
  • Camshafts – Manufacturing, Materials, and Construction
  • Cam Drive Systems
  • Valvetrain Linkage Systems
  • Valve and Spring System
  • Valve Springs and Design Workshop
  • Cam Lobes – Followers

 Tuesday: Component Design 

  • Rockers and Geometry Workshop
  • Variable Valvetrain Systems
  • Camless Valvetrains
  • Lash Compensating Devices
  • Valvetrain Support Structure
  • Valvetrain Analysis Methods
  • Valvetrain Failure Modes
  • Valvetrain Testing Approaches
  • Lubrication and Tribology

Wednesday –System Design and Modeling

  • Valvetrain Kinematic and Dynamic Modeling
  • Valvetrain Dynamic Response Simulation
  • Fundamentals of Cam Profile Design
  • The Acceleration Curve
  • Cam Profile Design Workshop
  • Designing Cam Profiles for Acceptable Valvetrain
  • Dynamic Response
  • Valvetrain Engine Braking System


Bruce Dennert

R. Bruce Dennert is the president and principal engineer of CamCom, Inc., as well as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He previously worked at Harley-Davidson Motor Company for 34 years, holding several powertrain engineering positions. His experience includes working with many engine mechanical systems and many times of valve trains. Dennert holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Carroll College, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and a master of engineering in professional practice from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Michael Andrie

Michael Andrie is a program director and a researcher at the Engine Research Center (ERC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has more than 35 years of experience in engine development. Andrie began his engineering career at John Deere and then spent 17 years at Cummins Engine Company, where he managed and developed engines for the automotive, industrial, and marine markets. He joined the University of Wisconsin in 2007 and is active in research, mentoring, consulting, and continuing engineering education. Andrie holds several patents and is author on numerous publications. He also serves as the program manager for the over 35 members of the “Direct-injection Engine Research Consortium” (DERC) and the Biennial ERC symposium. Andrie holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy is Chief Engineer for Vehicle Technologies and Innovation at Eaton. His previous roles were Engineering Manager for Advanced Valvetrain Actuation for North American and Asian markets located in Marshall, MI and Engineering Manager for Exhaust Aftertreatment Solutions located in Southfield, MI. Prior to joining Eaton, Jim worked on diesel engine technologies at Detroit Diesel.

Jim has focused his engineering career on product innovation and growth to develop and integrate serial production solutions for engine technologies while optimizing power generation to conserve fossil fuels and reduce emissions.

McCarthy received his Ph.D., Masters of Science and Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!