Thrust Areas

New Design Paradigms & Processes

The objective of the New Design Paradigms and Processes research thrust is to develop a design paradigm to support functionality-based design and reasoning in the conceptual design phase of product development. Discovering, understanding, and standardizing a design methodology is fundamental to this research thrust. Research in this area addresses the following challenges in developing a new design system:

  • Direct participation of customers
  • Automatic accommodation of preferences
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Efficient collaboration
  • Multidisciplinary product design evolution

Visualization & Virtual Prototyping

The objective of the Visualizing and Virtual Prototyping research thrust is to develop product realization tools that will optimize time-to-market of new products and support overall cost-effective product design. Research in this area focuses on the development of tools to support the realization, testing, and manufacturing of products in a rapid mode compatible with advancement in design tools. Fundamental research topics include:

  • Virtual prototyping of complex parts
  • Product behavior models
  • Computer visualization
  • Human/computer interaction

Enabling Information Infrastructure

The objective of the Enabling Information Infrastructure research thrust is to develop an e-design platform that will seamlessly and dynamically integrate distributed design objects and engineering tools over the Internet. Research to establish protocols, methods, best practices, and guidelines for effective communication is fundamental to this research thrust. Development of an e-design platform will ensure:

  • Collaboration among design stakeholders
  • Interoperability of remote and heterogeneous systems
  • Scalability, extensibility, and portability of engineered tools

Design Optimization

The objective of the Design Optimization research thrust is to develop a system that would assist in the generation and optimal evaluation of design alternatives, design process structures, and design configurations. Design Optimization is fundamental to all research areas of the Center. Research in this area focuses on:

  • Material selection
  • Multiattribute tradeoffs
  • Conflict modeling and resolution
  • Complex system-level optimization management
  • Preference modeling
  • Uncertainty incorporation

Design Education

The objective of the Design Education research thrust is to prepare students to take on current and future challenges of engineering design. Research in this area focuses on methods and tools that improve design pedagogy and systems to support students’ skills and knowledge in design methods, both locally and in distant and distributed design educational environments. The development of well-prepared engineers for careers in the area of intelligent product and system design, development, and realization is fundamental to the Design Education research thrust.