Jonathan Elias

Mentor: Dr. Michael Braddock
College of Engineering
"This research provides an interesting application of material from my classes and is an excellent opportunity to expand my understanding of mathematical modeling, vehicle dynamics, and tire behavior."


Mechanical Engineering



Research Interests

  • Tires
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Suspension Design

Academic Awards

  • Pathfinder's Scholarship for Computer Science - 2012
  • JM Rubin Foundation Scholarship - 2012
  • Lucy and Charles W.E. Clarke Scholarship - 2012
  • Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Scholarship - 2014


  • Gator Motorsports
  • ASME

Hobbies and Interests

  • Programming
  • Game Design

Research Description

Modeling the Performance of a Pneumatic Tire during Steady-State and Transient Conditions
A car can only generate the forces it needs to accelerate through its tires. The performance of a vehicle is, therefore, limited by these four pieces of rubber. However, the way in which tires generate grip is not well understood, even by industry leaders. Instead, engineers settle for developing models to quantify the forces that are expected from a tire under a given set of conditions. The better this model correlates with the actual tire, the better a vehicle can be designed to take advantage of the tire’s unique preferences and behaviors. This can result in improved performance, safety, ride quality, and fuel economy. This project will involve a couple of different modeling approaches and validating them against empirical tire data. As a University of Florida student and a Society of Automotive Engineers member, I have access to professional quality tire data from the Calspan Tire Research Facility. From this data, I will write MATLAB programs to determine the coefficients of the Pacejka Model and to produce the interpolation procedures necessary for an empirical model. A prototype vehicle will then be instrumented in order to measure the reaction forces of a single tire and the conditions under which they occurred. It will then be possible to compare the results of these models with the actual tire and determine their relative accuracies.