The Marine Structures Design Lab conducts research in the marine design domain, with an emphasis on structural response and stochastic methods. The group members have performed research for many different organizations, including several multi-year Office of Naval Research funded efforts, two Ship Structure Committee projects as well as work for NAVSEA. Our current research is focused in three main areas:
Lifecycle Structural Support
Advanced Design Optimization
Genetic algorithm optimization approaches have grown in popularity over the last decade because of their robustness in handling difficult optimization problems and their ability to develop complete Pareto fronts in a single execution of the optimizer. Unfortunately, this robustness comes with a price; genetic algorithms often require numerous objective function evaluations in the process of solving the optimization problem. This makes it difficult to maintain practical turn-around times when coupling genetic algorithms with computationally - expensive high-fidelity objective functions such as non-linear finite element analysis for structural design. The MSDL is working on several potential methods to increase the performance of such methods. These include a variable-fidelity optimization scheme using a Kriging model constructed on-line to scale the results of rapid but lower-fidelity strength methods to that of a smaller number of high-fidelity finite element simulations, and more advanced evolutionary optimization approaches including estimation of distribution algorithms.