Engine Valvetrain Design Series

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Available online anytime


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

This course is an Anytime course which is structured to duplicate the in-person course plus additional learning quizzes. The full course consists of five individual modules in the Engine Valvetrain Design Series. In addition, a full course notebook will be shipped to you after registering. Please see the course outline for additional information.  NOTE: For shipping outside of the USA, the student is responsible for paying the shipping fee of the course material binder.

Course Outline

Overview of IC Engine Valvetrain Systems

  • Module A1: Overview of IC Engines Relative to Valvetrains
  • Module A2: Valvetrain Performance and Sub-System Breakdown
  • Module A3: Overview and Keys to Valvetrain Modeling
  • Module A4: Camshafts, Cam Lobes, and Followers
  • Module A5: Roundtable Review of Valvetrain Hardware and Designs

 Engine Valve Motion Control

  • Module B1: Valvetrain Linkages and Rocker Arms
  • Module B2: Variable Valvetrain Systems – Cam Timing, De-activation, and Engine Braking Systems
  • Module B3: Variable Valvetrain Systems – Profile Switching, Combined Systems, Fully Variable, Passenger Car VVA Options, and Camless
  • Module B4: Roundtable Review of Valvetrain Hardware and Designs

Valvetrain Component Design Considerations

  • Module C1: Cam Drive Systems
  • Module C2: Valve and Spring System
  • Module C3: Lash Compensating Devices
  • Module C4: Valvetrain Support Structure and Analysis Methods
  • Module C5: Roundtable Review of Valvetrain Hardware and Designs

Valvetrain Lubrication, Failures, and Validation

  • Module D1: Valvetrain Failure Modes
  • Module D: Lubrication and Tribology
  • Module D3: Valvetrain Testing and Validation
  • Module D4: Valvetrain Kinematic and Dynamic Modeling
  • Module D5: Roundtable Review of Valvetrain Hardware and Designs

Valvetrain System Design and Modeling

  • Module E1: Fundamentals of Cam Profile Design
  • Module E2: The Acceleration Curve
  • Module E3: Cam Profile Design Workshop
  • Module E4: Roundtable Review of Valvetrain Hardware and Designs


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 types 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 (1)

Program Director

Blake Suhre

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