Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Horstemeyer, Mark F.

Committee Member

Liu, Yucheng

Committee Member

Francis, David

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


This paper describes the design methodology of a cast magnesium subframe of a Subaru BRZ using finite element analysis in which the design objective was light-weighting. A simulation based design using Solidworks and ABAQUS was experimentally validated. The final design was developed by optimizing weight and the geometry through multiple iterations of finite element analysis. The fundamentals of this computational design process were to create a way to develop a working physical prototype. Once the design was completed, it was sand cast using an AZ91 magnesium alloy. Experimental validation was performed to confirm the computational results. Through this simulation based design process, the modified subframe weighed 40% less than the original weight, while remaining as strong as the stock subframe.