The Role of Design Optimization in Systems Engineering

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Design optimization is an important component of modem systems engineering, yet one that is often overlooked in many systems engineering classes. We propose to develop three modules that provide systems engineering based introductions to important aspects of design optimization - 1) Classical Design Optimization, 2) Modem Optimization via Genetic Algorithms and Monte Carlo Methods anJ 3) Heuristic Optimization. The proposed modules will be unique presentations that can be used separately, but together form a sequenced development of optimization ideas and their relation to systems engineeling principles and practice. The modules, along with their supplemental readings, case studies and homework will provide both a broad overview of the mathematical underpinnings of design optimization and systems engineering, as well as an introduction to specific optimization methods that form the basis of many design software tools used for executing trade studies in the aerospace industry. For classical optimization, introductory content on modeling and design constraints will form the foundation and provide real-world examples seen as part of the SE process. From this foundation, the first module is an introduction to classical numerical optimization, emphasizing its use in trade study software tools. Motivating examples showcasing the benefits of multi-disciplinary optimization will be presented as the foundation for the second module on modem design optimization, followed by a working introduction to genetic algorithms and Monte Carlo methods. The relationship of both classical and modem optimization topics to SE is well known and optimization is becoming commonplace in modem trade studies, so the need increases for students of SE to be able understand and to incorporate optimization techniques. Finally, the third module will link ideas of system architecting to optimization, focusing on optimization techniques and decision making when minimal information is available. In all modules, examples will include both fundamental and applied topics, with the latter from aircraft, spacecraft and automotive applications. MAlLAB and Excel programs will be provided. UK/OSU experience with SE education including these topics has been developed in both dedicated SE courses and other design courses. Page 8 of 16
Effective start/end date6/1/096/30/10


  • National Space Grant Foundation: $17,000.00


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