Improving complex engineered systems through improved approaches to design

Our research objective is to discover new principles, methods, and tools for the design of engineered systems. Trends are toward systems with increased functionality, more components, and a tighter integration of physical and computer-based elements. Designers are under great pressure to design systems in minimal time despite rapidly rising design complexity. Advances in systems design can have a broad impact on society by helping designers find better solutions to their problems. This will lead to systems having enhanced performance, higher efficiency, lower environmental impact, etc. In essence, we aim to bring about better-engineered systems through improved systems design methodology.

Our lab focuses on quantitative methods for systems design, with an emphasis on rigorous foundations and unlocking value through the formalization of reusable design knowledge. Current and recent projects include:

  • Oirgami engineering using reprogrammable self-folding sheets (project website:
  • Design optimization of structures involving active material elements
  • Foundations for developing robust engineered systems
  • Game-based techniques for evaluating systems engineering methods
  • Design informatics for modeling risk in large engineering organizations
  • Methods for characterizing new and risky technologies to promote design innovation
  • A novel genetic algorithm for generating technology characterization models
  • Using stochastic dominance methods and parameterization techniques to generate composable tradeoff study information under uncertainty
  • Modeling the uncertain evolution of component technologies to support system-level decision making
  • Model-based techniques for validating engineering test equipment

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