Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Materials by Design for Impact in Aerospace Engineering

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Policy makers and regulatory bodies are demanding the aerospace industry reduces CO2 emission by 50% and NOx emission by 80% by 2020. In order to meet these drastic demands and ensure affordable air travel in the future, it is essential to make lighter aircraft which will use minimum fuel. The aerospace research community recognises the need to make a dramatic performance improvement and is considering several new aircraft concepts that move away from the conventional two-wing-one-fuselage configuration. This brings new challenges to aircraft design. A wing is a highly complex structure to design as it needs to consider the complex interaction between aerodynamics and structural behaviour. The current design practice is therefore very much based on using the previous successful design data. The challenge of departing from the conventional aircraft is that there are limited successful historical design data that is applicable to new concept aircraft. Once we have a wing design, however, there are sophisticated computational methods that analyse how the wing behaves under external flight conditions.

In fact, there has been a significant level of development in computational analysis methods taking advantage of growing computational power. A prime example of this is the recent development in the computational modelling of materials. Using this technology, new advanced materials can be created in half the time that traditional material development takes and the return on investment in computational materials research has been estimated at between 300 - 900%.

This fellowship is at the heart of developing sophisticated computational methods to design aircraft configurations that have not been considered before. The majority of the current methods analyse how a given material or structure responds to the external environment such as in flight at speed Mach 0.8, 38000 ft. What is different about the methods in this research is that they are inverse of the analysis methods: They will determine the best combination of advanced material and structural configuration based on the external environment and hence design the optimum wing for the given flight conditions.

My research approach is to represent the design problem as a set of mathematical functions and develop computational methods to find the optimum solution. The methods will therefore, find the optimum design for both materials and structural configuration at the same time. The outcome of this fellowship will provide engineers with a sophisticated tool to design complex aircraft structures. The tools will be developed and disseminated in a way that they can be used on a range of other complex engineering problems.

The UK has 17% of the global aerospace market share with revenue of £24 billion and is responsible for 3.6% national employment. With the international civil aerospace market forecast to grow to $4 trillion by 2030, the UK market has the opportunity to grow to $352 billion by 2030. It is critical that the UK develops this unique capability to ensure we maintain the market share of these high value products and processes and its economy has the opportunity for growth. Furthermore, the weight savings which will be made from optimum use of materials lead to meeting the emission targets, thus ensuring sustainable environment for the future generations.

Planned Impact

(1) Industry and Economy
This research has a significant societal and economic impact for growth. The material industry in the UK has an annual turnover of around £197 billion and export values at £50 billion. Tailoring advanced materials for specific applications will lead to more high value products and processes which have strong potential to bring sustainable growth and high economic value to the UK. A variety of case studies have shown that the use of computational modelling and optimisation in materials and structural design reduced lead time to product by 50-80%. Taking this a step further to develop computational methods of simultaneously optimising both materials and structures will strengthen the UK as a global leader and enhance the national economy. Material innovation has been identified as particularly critical to the aerospace sector. The aerospace industry employs over 84100 (3.6% of national employment) with the revenue of £24 billion, 17% of the global market share, second only to the USA. The international civil aerospace industry is forecast to grow and to be worth approximately $4 trillion by 2030 and the UK has the opportunity to grow its market to $352 billion by 2030. The aerospace industry in the UK therefore, is said to have a "tremendous opportunities for growth" and is considered to be of strategic importance for the future of the UK economy. The unique capability to design revolutionary aircraft concepts will grow the national economy by creating jobs and ensuring a globally leading market position for the UK. In addition, the use of engineering optimisation to produce the lightest and the most efficient aircraft provides a route to minimise the overall fuel burn and contribute to the sustainable future.

(2) People and Society
Maintaining global leadership in high value products and process through materials and aerospace structures will attract manufacturing industry and increase the global market share, thus growing the UK economyhis will create more jobs and wealth which will ultimately benefit people and the society. In addition, the advanced materials and optimisation methods developed within this research will lead to the lightest aircraft and to low operating and through-life costs. With the increasing risks and uncertainties of fuel prices, this effort is critical in ensuring that future air travel remains affordable. The research also addresses the sustainability of air travel via low emissions through low fuel burn and optimising existing aircraft for re-use. This work will therefore benefit the environment and the future generations.

(3) Investigator and researchers
The potential of high impact scientific research in this fellowship provides an opportunity for myself and my researchers to become world leaders at the interface of materials and structures. This research integrates materials and structures which have traditionally been considered two distinct disciplines. Therefore the integrated expertise of materials and structures from a design perspective is rare and this unique expertise will firmly place me at the forefront of the state of the art and make my researchers distinctive and highly employable. The fellowship will lead to the identification of new research challenges and open up new opportunities to secure future funding from industry and funding bodies. Working closely with industrial partners provides a route for the researchers to make a direct impact in engineering industry and society.

Publications

10 25 50
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Brampton C (2015) New optimization method for steered fiber composites using the level set method in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

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Chung H (2020) Level-set topology optimization considering nonlinear thermoelasticity in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering

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Dunning P (2014) Aeroelastic tailoring of a plate wing with functionally graded materials in Journal of Fluids and Structures

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Dunning P (2014) Coupled aerostructural topology optimization using a level set method for 3D aircraft wings in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

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Dunning P (2014) Introducing the sequential linear programming level-set method for topology optimization in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

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Kambampati S (2019) Large-scale level set topology optimization for elasticity and heat conduction in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

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Kambampati S (2020) Level set topology optimization of cooling channels using the Darcy flow model in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/M002322/1 19/06/2014 01/10/2015 £1,236,949
EP/M002322/2 Transfer EP/M002322/1 02/10/2015 01/07/2020 £946,062
 
Description We have created and verified a generalised formulation for multiscale optimisation that simultaneously design a microscopic structure and architected material. It has been discovered that for a simple load carrying functionality, multiscale structures are not beneficial and solid materials are optimum. There are classes of problems that multisale optima are beneficial (e.g. compliant mechanism) and the true multiscale optimum solution can be missed if optimization takes place in two levels (e.g. macroscopic topology optimization then material optimization). Therefore, tight coupling is important to determine the true optimum in multiscale optimization.
Exploitation Route The multiscale design framework can be used to design other types of materials.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Transport

URL http://m2do.ucsd.edu
 
Description The research is beginning to have impact already in inspiring new research ideas and directions. I have been invited to present the research at the major national laboratories (Sandia and Lawrence Livermore) and I have also been invited to several ICME events aiming to shape and direct future research (e.g. AIAA ICME panelist, new AIAA ICME program committee and NASA 2040 ICME vision and road-mapping). I have been approached by NASA Glenn to initiate a discussion group (international) to collect the experts views from the optimization perspective. I have also started teaching multiscale topology optimization at the University.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
 
Description Founding chair, Female Researchers Chapter, International Association of Computational Mechanics
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Visibility of women in the research community is increasing.
 
Description NASA 2040 vision for ICME
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description NSF workshop
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Secretary General, ISSMO Executive Committee
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Young researchers are actively engaging with the research community activities.
 
Description EOARD research
Amount $73,500 (USD)
Organisation European Office of Aerospace Research & Development (EOARD) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2015 
End 08/2016
 
Description GW4 accelerator
Amount £68,000 (GBP)
Organisation GW4 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2014 
End 04/2015
 
Description GW4 initiator
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation GW4 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 08/2014
 
Description Seed funding
Amount £52,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Department Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description AIRBUS OPERATIONS LIMITED 
Organisation Airbus Group
Department Airbus Operations
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution development of topology optimisation for aircraft design
Collaborator Contribution expertise in aircraft design and requirements
Impact Industrial CASE award, further research collaborations in composites and optimisation
Start Year 2008
 
Description Additive flow 
Organisation Additive flow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Level set topology optimization for buckling and stiffened panels.
Collaborator Contribution Advanced design and production software for materials and geometry.
Impact Commercialization of the optimization software.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Cardiff GW4 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discrete optimization extending the concept of topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution Sensor and energy harvesting network design problem
Impact GW4 proposals
Start Year 2015
 
Description Cardiff GW4 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discrete optimization extending the concept of topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution Sensor and energy harvesting network design problem
Impact GW4 proposals
Start Year 2015
 
Description Cardiff GW4 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discrete optimization extending the concept of topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution Sensor and energy harvesting network design problem
Impact GW4 proposals
Start Year 2015
 
Description Karen Willcox (UT Austin) 
Organisation University of Texas at Austin
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution Reduced order modeling
Impact Proposal
Start Year 2019
 
Description LANL Antenna 
Organisation US National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Developing a topology optimisation methodology to realise the full potential of superluminal, accelerated, polarisation currents in dielectrics antenna
Collaborator Contribution invention of superluminal, accelerated, polarisation currents in dielectrics antenna
Impact Multi-disciplinary: Physics
Start Year 2015
 
Description NASA Composites 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department NASA Langley Research Centre
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Level set composite fibre path optimization
Collaborator Contribution tow steered fibre composite manufacturing expertise
Impact fibre path optimization, journal and conference papers, best paper award
Start Year 2015
 
Description NASA aeroelasticity 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department NASA Langley Research Centre
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Topology optimisation for aeroelassticity
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in aeroelasticity and the research application, common research model
Impact Further collaboration in advanced fibre composites
Start Year 2015
 
Description Norato 
Organisation University of Connecticut
Department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Level set topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution stress sensitivity analysis
Impact Conference paper.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Nottingham 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Department Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution topology optimization method
Collaborator Contribution additive manufacturing expertise
Impact topology optimization for additive manufacturing
Start Year 2015
 
Description RAL 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department Numerical Analysis Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Topology optimization for buckling
Collaborator Contribution Eigenvalue analysis solver
Impact Topology optimization for buckling, journal paper
Start Year 2015
 
Description Richard Malak (Texas A&M University) 
Organisation Texas A&M University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Topology optimization with multiple material.
Collaborator Contribution Metal alloy phase stability behaviour.
Impact Student training.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Stanford 
Organisation Stanford University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Topology optimization method
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in opensource software
Impact Currently working on developing the code towards open source publication
Start Year 2015
 
Description Stirling 
Organisation Stirling Dynamics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Aeroelastic topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in loads for aircraft design
Impact Aeroelastic wing optimization
Start Year 2015
 
Description UCSD 
Organisation University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Department Department of Structural Engineering
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Level set topology optimization
Collaborator Contribution meshfree and isogeometric analysis
Impact Working on developing new topology optimization methods
Start Year 2016
 
Description Topology Optimization Roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk entitled "Multiscale Multiphysics Topology Optimization (M2DO)" for Topology Optimization Roundtable. The annual Topology Optimization Roundtable was initiated by Sandia National Laboratories in 2016 to bring together researchers and practicing engineers working in the area of topology optimization.

Most significant outcome/impact: Raising aware of our research to a wider community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description AFRL 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Raising awareness of the latest capabilities, and has led to two collaboration areas with potential funding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description CEER INTENSE Short Course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Center for Extreme Events Research (CEER) at UCSD will offer Interdisciplinary Training and Networking in Engineering and Next Generation in Simulation and Experimentation (INTENSE) short course on "Topology optimization for additive manufacturing"

Most significant outcome/impact: Topology optimization is better understood and used more correctly in practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description CIRA Ansys workshop 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The follow-up discussions revealed that the presented material was new to them and I raised awareness of this new area that made them think about the future in a new way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Distinguished Seminar Series Talk at the University of Utah 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Talk entitled "Multiscale Multiphysics Design Optimization (M2DO) via Level Set Topology Optimization" at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah

Most significant outcome/Impact: Raising aware of our research to a wider community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ICME panel, Scitech 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact It inspired many interesting questions and discussions for the future research and development directions for ICME
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited presentation at Isaac Newton Institute Workshop on New trends and challenges in the mathematics of optimal design 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on the state of the art topology optimization and their implications to mathematics community.

Most significant outcome/impact: Research dissemination to a wider scientific community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited presentation in Mini-symposium on Topology Optimization at SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on the state of the art topology optimization and their implications to mathematics community.

Most significant outcome/impact: Research dissemination to a wider scientific community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote, Design with Topology Optimization, ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems (SMASIS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation on the state of the art topology optimization and their implications to design of smart and adaptive material and structural design.

Most significant outcome/impact: Research dissemination to a wider scientific community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Lindbergh Lecture Series Talk at the UW-Madison 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Lindbergh Lecture Series Talk entitled "Topology Optimization for Additive Manufacturing: Multiscale and Multiphysics Design Optimization (M2DO)" at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UW-madison.

Most significant outcome/impact: Raising aware of our research to a wider community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description MEM Winter Seminar Series at the Drexel University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Seminar talk entitled "Multiscale Multiphysics Topology Optimization (M2DO)" for MEM Winter Seminar Series in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at the Drexel University.

Most significant outcome/impact: Raising aware of our research to a wider community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Plenary MEET paris 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact It raised several questions and discussions about how they might be able to use in their future research and design projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Plenary RR ADOS 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact It inspired new future research directions which led to specific discussions for research collaboration and also my presentation was requested by several industrialists for their internal communications. This subsequently led to an ATI proposal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SIAM plenary, Salt Lake City 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact It inspired new research interests in the SIAM geometric modeling community. DARPA program manager is formulating a new program inspired by the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Sandia National Lab visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Following the seminar, it was a full day of discussion with several researchers on what would be possible to achieve in their research and how optimization research can influence their research and potential collaborations. It raised awareness of the capabilities that influenced their future research and development policy. This led to plans for collaboration and an invite to a focused roundtable workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Seminars at Australian Defense Science and Technology and Boeing Australia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminars entitled "Multiscale and Multiphysics Topology Optimization for Aerospace Engineering" at Australian Defense Science and Technology and Boeing Australia in Melbourne

Most significant outcome/impact: Dissemination of state of the art topology optimization capabilitiies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Seminars at universities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Seminars given to raise awareness of the latest state of the art. Some subsequently led to collaborative proposals and research. They are given at the following universities: Hanyang University, Korea; Bringham Young University, USA; University of Colorado, Boulder, USA; Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy; University of West England, Bristol, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Short Course, Scitech: Additive Manufacturing: Structural and Material Optimization, 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training for professionals and practitioners on the basics as well as the state of the art in topology optimization and additive manufacturing; Training in our open source software for wider dissemination of the research outcome.

Topology optimization is better understood and used more correctly in practice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Short Course, Scitech: Additive Manufacturing: Structural and Material Optimization, 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training for professionals and practitioners on the basics as well as the state of the art in topology optimization and additive manufacturing. Training in our open source software for wider dissemination of the research outcome.

Most significant outcome/impact: Topology optimization is better understood and used more correctly in practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description UCSD Structural Engineering Research Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Department of Structural Engineering (SE) Research Showcase Day was successfully held on February 15, 2019, in the Ida & Cecil Green Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion at UC San Diego. The M2DO lab has presented on three topics in this event:
-Large scale level set topology optimization using OpenVDB and PETSc.
-Optimization of thermal structures: linear and nonlinear
-Design of the optimum structures with tailored material for additive manufacturing

Most significant outcome: A wider community of engineers and professionals became more aware of the new research state of the art.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019