Mathias Cross ’22

Headshot of Mathias Cross

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project Title

Optimization of Vehicle Interior Structure for Drag Reduction

Certificate(s): Architecture and Engineering

I conducted research related to increasing the aerodynamics of cars. Reducing drag would increase fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. Our research focused on designing car models that allow airflow to pass through the interior of the vehicle. I first conducted a literature review of drag-reducing accessories or inventions to see which properties were most effective. Then, my project group and I began an iterative design process in which we used computer-aided design (CAD) software to model modified car interiors and structures. We then conducted wind-tunnel simulations to identify the drag properties of these models. I designed an effective model that used tubes to allow airflow to pass through the car and could reduce drag by 7-10%. My work during this internship improved my CAD skills, simulations knowledge and analysis skills. I now know that I want to continue to focus on sustainability-oriented projects during my career, and I am excited to continue practicing engineering toward that goal.

Internship Year


Project Category

Innovation and a New Energy Future


Smits Fluid Mechanics Lab, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University


Alexander Smits, Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Emeritus; Liuyang Ding, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering