UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York UB Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Design and Optimization image

Design and Optimization

Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

  • English, K.
  • Kasprzak, E.
  • Olewnik, A.

Laboratories

Research Summaries

Multiattribute Decision Making in Centralized and Decentralized Design

 

In this project, the focus is on multiattribute decision making, where the decision is being made by a single centralized decision maker or a decentralized set of decision makers each responsible for a single attribute. We are extending current approaches to multiattribute decision making to include various conditions of uncertainty in external factors. We are also using these conditions, to study the interaction and balance between individual and group rationality in decentralized design processes.

K. LEWIS, T. SINGH

 

Complex Systems Modeling and Realization

 

The design and realization of complex systems requires continuous interaction of multiple designers, design teams, companies, and their associated computer-based decision support tools. In this work, different game theoretical constructs are developed to model these interactions based on the level of cooperation among the decision-making entities and inherent organizational structure. The effect of various process structures on final product structure are studied and compared across convergence, stability, and performance factors.

K. LEWIS

 

Reconfigurable Systems

 

The design of reconfigurable systems involves designing systems that are able to adapt to their surroundings based on new requirements or a change in operating conditions. These flexible systems allow for one system to perform multiple functions in an optimal sense. Designing flexible systems requires measures of flexible, integrating profit benefit and demand theory with engineering decisions, and developing evolutionary computing techniques to embody the systems in an optimization-driven design process.

K. LEWIS

 

 

Decision Support and Visualization Tool Development

 

This project develops visualization techniques that can be effectively used in collaborative design environments to make multiobjective decisions under uncertainty and to enable rapid trade-off decisions by geographically distributed participants in the context of Rapid Virtual Prototyping. Design decision-making is largely multiobjective in nature and characterized by various forms of uncertainty. Developing decision support tools, to support the tradeoffs inherent in these types of design environments is the focus of this work.

K. LEWIS

 

Smart, Adaptive, and Real-Time  Decisions in Developing and Optimizing NetZero Building Clusters

 

Despite the current emphasis on developing green buildings and smart grid technologies, global energy consumption issues are still not being adequately addressed. In this project, we propose a new perspective on the systems of smart buildings: NetZero energy building clusters. The objective is to develop a synergistic decision framework to enable next-generation building clusters to work as an adaptive and robust system within a smart grid, reducing overall energy consumption and allowing for optimal operation decisions enabled by cyber support tools.

K. LEWIS

 

A Decision Support e-Design Framework for Sustainable Product Design

 

Sustainable product design and development requires simultaneous and comprehensive examination of economic, environmental, ethical and social issues in product design and development. As such, more effective methods are needed to improve product design processes to handle material and energy data and the corresponding environmental impact at different stages of the product’s life cycle. The development of a solution requires a rational multi-criteria decision making method for sustainable design and a knowledge management approach that takes advantage of emerging semantic-web technologies.

K. LEWIS

 

Teaching the Global, Economic, Environmental, and Societal Foundations of Engineering Design through Product Archaeology

 

By considering products as designed artifacts with a history rooted in their development, our product archaeology framework combines concepts from archaeology with advances in cyber-enhanced product dissection to implement pedagogical innovations that address significant educational gaps.  This multi-university project develops a sustainable and scalable foundation to support novel approaches aimed at educating engineering students to understand the global, economic, environmental, and societal context and impact of engineering solutions.

K. LEWIS

 

Design Analytics

 

Increased reliance on digital design tools and improving cyberinfrastructure continues to expand the types and quantity of design-relevant data available. Despite the overabundance of digital design data, and emphasis on information capture and knowledge representation throughout the development process, designers still face tremendous challenges in transforming data into knowledge. Design Analytics represents an emerging research area that aims to develop design tools and methods capable of discovering hidden, previously unknown patterns (knowledge) from design data to transform the way products and systems are designed and delivered.

K. Lewis, R. Rai, A. Olewnik, K. English

 

Understanding and Development of Effective Design Tools and Environments

 

Increasingly, companies are adopting formalized design processes to meet well defined objectives like "reliability" and "faster time-to-market", as well as more subjective goals like "innovativeness". Despite increased prevalence and development of advanced design techniques in support of such formalization, the efficacy of individual design tools across design scenarios is not well understood. The goal of this research area is to study the effectiveness of various design techniques that lead to the development of optimal design-knowledge support tools (i.e., application form and deployment) and engineering education modules for both academic and industrial settings.

A. Olewnik (NYSCEDII)

 

Cost-Effective STEM-based Education using Motion Simulation

 

We are constructing a driver education training suite intended for high school students. As simulation-based approaches are slowly but increasingly being adopted in driver education settings, likewise our program is intended to supplement, and not replace, existing protocols for driver training/education.  One of the modern-day restrictions of using motion simulation in teen driver education can be the overall expense of the simulator. This overall cost could include: the motion hardware, the passenger cabin, and the visual system. One of the major objectives of this project is to examine the trade-off between simulation authenticity and overall simulator cost. Specifically, we seek to determine what level of fidelity of motion, if any, is required for sufficiently authentic simulation-based driver training.

K. Hulme (NYSCEDII)

 

 

An integrated Traffic and Driving Simulation environment

 

The transportation community has long used two distinct simulator types without any formal integration between them.  First, are microscopic Traffic Simulation (TS) models, which simulate the movement of individual vehicles based on car-following and lane-changing models, and which have been used to evaluate the operational efficiency of transportation networks.  Second, are Driving Simulators (DS), which have been used to examine individual human subjects within a virtual environment.  The current research sees the development of a prototype human-in-the-loop transportation simulation modeling framework by integrating these heterogeneous simulation platforms, whose specifications are often in direct opposition.  The emphasis for this project will be with the DS, and development of computer tools required to communicate with the TS.

K. Hulme (NYSCEDII)

 

Continued development of a virtual environment for clinical driving simulation studies

 

Continued development is underway for a five square mile driving simulation virtual environment, inspired by regional roads and landmarks that is used for a variety of clinical and rehabilitation applications.  An expansion of this environment is ongoing, and involves modeling various buildings, structures, and landmarks in the vicinity of the UB North campus, as well as the accompanying transportation infrastructure (e.g. roadway signs, signalized intersections).  Part of this expansion includes the enhancement of our existing Artificial Intelligence (AI) logic for our accompanying traffic vehicles.  Graphics performance is pivotal, perhaps even more so than the level-of-detail of the environment, so environment objects will need to be created realistically, yet also efficiently.

K. Hulme (NYSCEDII)

 

 

Mechanical Design tasks associated with the UB Motion Simulator and Passenger Cabin

 

The UB 6 D.O.F. motion simulator is in a constant state of enhancement involving a variety of tasks involving: vehicle modeling (software) mechanical design (hardware) and cabin panel instrumentation.  For instance, our Automated Instrument Cluster (AIC) inside the cabin allows the driver to monitor speed, RPM’s, fuel level, and vehicle temperature, and signal turns in real-time.  Future improvements of the simulator will include: improved feel/response of the brake pedal, rearward motion capability (e.g., for three-point turns, parallel parking), improvements to the automatic/manual transmission models, operational vehicle headlights, and an operational interior cabin fan.

K. Hulme, E. Kasprzak (NYSCEDII)

 

Concept Generation and Digital Design Repositories

 

Concept generators can create thousands of potential design options, and it can be overwhelming for a designer to try to sift through the data in a meaningful way as they search for a novel design. This research thrust is in the development of methods that leverage recent advances in cyberinfrastructure to enable the rapid assessment of multiple concepts generated from a digital design repository. Visualization techniques can be used to assist engineers in this process by condensing design information into a more manageable format than part lists and data tables, but advances in performance prediction approaches (e.g., composable simulation models) are necessary to provide designers with usable information.

K. English, K. Lewis (NYSCEDII)

 

Visualization and Decision-Making in Engineering Design

 

A growing segment of researchers in engineering design view the role of the designer in the design process as a decision maker. As more information becomes available to engineers earlier in the design process, some means of intuitive interaction must be developed to maintain the role of engineer as decision-maker. This thrust area applies recent developments in high end visualization to help engineers to be more effective decision-makers.

K. English, K. Lewis (NYSCEDII)

 

 

Engineering Design using Commodity Systems

 

As computational resources become more available to engineers, the opportunity to incorporate them into engineering design also grows. This research thrust focises on the use of commodity systems to perform advanced engineering design. One example is tapping the unrealized computing power available in any small workgroup to perform multidisciplinary design optimization, generate pareto frontiers, and create response surfaces to help speed the analysis of complex products.

K. English (NYSCEDII)

Multidisciplinary Design Optimization

 

Multidisciplinary design optimization investigates the synergistic effects of using system level (rather than disciplinary level) evaluation in an optimization process. A specific area of interest in MDO is quantifying system-level effects of suspending communication between individual disciplinary analyses and the effective use of information in the design process. A natural assumption in design is that the most effective optimization process would use as much information as possible in evaluating each design point. This assumption can result in iteration that does not result in substantial changes in system level metrics. Additional areas of interest include the impact of changing the fidelity of specific analysis models in multidisciplinary problem. This will allow an engineer to strategically target some disciplines for more detailed analysis while working within a restricted timeline.

K. English (NYSCEDII)

 

 

Leveraging Cyberinfrastructure in Engineering Education

 

At all levels, students are increasingly comfortable with the integration of information technology into our lives. This research focuses on leveraging this familiarity as an opportunity to improve engineering education. Previous examples of the work include the development of a set of analysis routines that are coupled with visualization to teach sustainable building design.
K. English (NYSCEDII)

 

 

 

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