Lightweight Design Fundamentals

Short Course Description

As automotive manufacturers gear up to meet fuel economy targets for 2025, lightweight structures offer the best option to increase fuel efficiency. In this online seminar, engineer Gregg Peterson draws on three decades of aero-thermal experience at automotive companies such as General Motors and Lotus Engineering to provide background on CAFE requirements, along with the tools and technologies available to meet the new standards.

Ten streamed lecture modules provide an overview of areas that can contribute to  increased fuel economy and design approaches that can provide opportunities to reduce fuel consumption.

Working knowledge of thermodynamics and automotive systems is recommended. 


Participants in this seminar will gain knowledge in:

  • Regulatory background and technology overview
  • Effects of mass reduction on performance
  • Materials, manufacturing and joining technologies
  • Lightweight design principles
  • Mass reduction for vehicle body systems
  • Reduction challenges for HEVs
  • Alternative reduction approach for HEVs


gregg peterson
Gregg Peterson is a principle materials engineer at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. With more than 20 years experience in hybrid and electric vehicle engineering, Gregg is an expert in lightweight architectures, transferring emerging technologies into commercial opportunities and program management. He has led numerous light-
weighting programs for automotive and non-automotive applications in aerospace, military, commercial vehicles and agriculture, as well as 
government-funded studies used for developing future US fuel economy standards. Gregg holds 12 patents in multidisciplinary fields and is a 
member of the external advisory board at the Center for Automotive