Date of Award


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering and Computer Sciences

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Yousef Sardahi

Second Advisor

Dr. Gang Chen

Third Advisor

Dr. Asad Salem


This thesis presents a robust multi-objective optimal design of four-degree-of-freedom passive and semi-active suspension systems. The passive suspension system is used in a racing car and the semi-active suspension is implemented on a passenger car. Mathematical models of the commercial and racing vehicle suspension systems are used in the computer simulations. A robust multi-objective design of the suspension systems is carried out by considering the minimization of three objectives: passenger’s head acceleration (HA), suspension deflection (SD), and tire deflection (TD). The first objective is concerned with the passenger’s health and comfort. The suspension stroke is described by SD and the tire holding is characterized by TD. The optimal design of the passive suspension involves tuning the coefficients of the sprung spring and damper, tire stiffness, and inertance of the inerter. Suspension systems’ parametric variations are very common and cannot be avoided in practice. To this end, a robust multi-objective optimization method that takes into consideration small changes in the design parameters should be considered. Unlike traditional multi-objective optimization problems where the focus is placed on finding the global Pareto-optimal solutions which express the optimal trade-offs among design objectives, the robust multi-objective optimization algorithms are concerned with robust solutions that are less sensitive to perturbations of decision variables. As a result, the mean effective values of the fitness functions are used as design objectives. Constraints on the design parameters and goals are applied. Numerical simulations show that the robust multi-objective design (RMOD) is very effective and guarantees a robust behavior as compared to that of the classical multi-objective design (MOD). The results also show that the robust region is inside the feasible search space and avoids all of its boundaries. The decision parameter space of the semi-active suspension includes both passive and active components. The passive components include the stiffness of the sprung spring, damping coefficient of the shock absorber, and stiffness of the tire. The active elements are the design details of the LQR algorithm. During the design, global sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine the elements of the suspension system that have high impact on the design objectives. The mass of the passenger’s head and upper body, the mass of the passenger’s lower body and cushion, passenger and cushion’s elastic properties, and the sprung mass of the vehicle are selected for the sensitivity analysis. Results show that the design goals are more sensitive to the variations in the sprung mass than the other parameters. As a result, parametric variations in the sprung mass of the vehicle and passive elements of the suspension system are considered. Similar to the design of the passive suspension, the mean effective values of SD, TD, and HA are used as design objectives. Also, constraints are applied on the objectives in compliance with the requirements of ISO 2631-1 on the design of car suspension systems. The optimization problem is solved by the NSGA-II (non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm) and robust Pareto front and set are obtained.


Mechatronics -- Research.

Robotics -- Research

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Automobiles -- Design and construction -- Research.