Kyle Leblanc

Mentor: Dr. Michael Braddock
College of Engineering
"A project I am working on with the Society of Automotive Engineers captured my interest. The more I pursued different ends of the project, the more I realized that it was turning into a very interesting research project. The project involves many different aspects of mechanical, materials, and manufacturing engineering. The project is also pushing new boundaries within the field of the Formula Student competition and I felt it was worthy of a more professional documentation."


Mechanical Engineering



Research Interests

  • Space Exploration
  • Alternative Energies
  • 3D Printing Technologies


  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • UF Navigators

Hobbies and Interests

  • Sailing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Lindy Hop
  • Surfing

Research Description

Coupled Thermal and Structural Finite-Element Analysis of a Disc Brake Rotor
An integral part of all automobile platforms, the braking system in principal converts a vehicle’s kinetic energy into thermal energy. This thermal energy is in turn stored largely in the vehicle’s brake rotors (analogous to a “disc”), and to a lesser degree in the vehicle’s brake pads, calipers, hub, brake fluid, wheel, and tire. As is often the case in engineering, there exists a balance between performance and safety when designing an effective brake system. This has led to a tendency to “overbuild” the braking system on most vehicles. A focus on designing properly sized brake rotors can reduce the mass of a vehicle, improving vehicle efficiency, acceleration, and handling. This is especially noticeable on performance vehicles, where a reduction in translational, rotational, and un-sprung mass can net large improvements in overall vehicle performance.