Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) with lightweight matrices such as aluminum casting reinforced with carbon fibers or alumina fibers are innovative materials which show a great potential for applications in the aereospace and automative industries. This joint project focusses attention on the reciprocating engine connecting rod, which is one of the most stressed components in an engine, in order to reduce the high inertial forces generated by the moving parts. A simulation study was started to predict the structural behaviour of connecting rod by finite element models. Proto-typical connecting rods were fabricated by pressure aided infiltration technique. In the second part of the work, the final three-dimensional geometry of the component will be optimized by iterative interaction between numerical simulation and fabrication processes. Tests under simulated and real operating conditions will qualify the final proto-typical connecting rod.