Ph.D. Dissertation Defense by Jitesh H. Panchal
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

(Dr. Farrokh Mistree , Chair)

" A Framework for Simulation-Based Integrated Design of Multiscale Products and Design Processes "


Problem: The complexity in multiscale systems design is significantly greater than in conventional systems because in addition to interactions between components, couplings between physical phenomena and scales are also important. This complexity amplifies two design challenges: a) complexity of coupled simulation models prohibits design space exploration, and b) unavailability of complete simulation models that capture all the interactions. Hence, the challenge in design of multiscale systems lies in managing this complexity and utilizing the available simulation models and information in an efficient manner to support effective decision-making.

Approach: In order to address this challenge, our primary hypothesis is that the information and computational resources can be utilized in an efficient manner by designing design-processes (meta-design) along with the products. The primary hypothesis is embodied in this dissertation as a framework for integrated design of products and design processes. The framework consists of three components 1) a Robust Multiscale Design Exploration Method (RMS-DEM), 2) information-economics based metrics and methods for simplification of complex design processes and refinement of simulation models, and 3) an information modeling strategy for implementation of the theoretical framework into a computational environment.

Validation: The framework is validated using the validation-square approach that consists of theoretical and empirical validation. Empirical validation of the framework is carried out using various examples including: pressure vessel design, datacenter cooling system design, linear cellular alloy design, and multifunctional energetic structural materials design.

Contributions: The contributions from this dissertation are categorized in three research domains: a) multiscale design methodology, b) materials design, and c) computer-based support for collaborative, simulation-based multiscale design. In the domain of design methodology, new methods and metrics are developed for integrating the design of products and design processes. The methods and metrics are applied in the field of materials design to develop design-processes and specifications for Multifunctional Energetic Structural Materials. In the domain of computer-based support for design, an information modeling strategy is developed to provide computational support for meta-design. Although the framework is developed in the context of multiscale systems it is equally applicable to design of any other complex system.