Using cutting-edge research in the application of computational methods for solving real-world problems, the Computational Design and Optimization focus area concentrates on the continuous design improvement of aircraft and automotive components for strength, performance and reliability.

It also investigates and applies multidisciplinary design methodologies to solve problems, along with automated computer modeling and "what-if" design scenarios for cost analysis of complex new systems with ambitious performance requirements. Recent developments in this focus area include improved computer interfaces and manufacturing methods, along with automated tool design. Current research efforts include:

  • design and optimization of high temperature processes
  • computational fluid dynamics for simultaneous design of steady aerodynamic, aeroacoustic, and aeroelastic performance
  • multidisciplinary optimization of aerospace structures

Focus Area Chair: Dr. James Menart, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering