Robust Design of Multilevel Systems Using Design Templates

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Muchnick, Hannah
Allen, Janet K.
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Traditional methods in engineering design involve producing solutions at a single level. However, in complex engineering design problems, such as concurrent product and materials design, various levels of model complexity are considered. A design process in which design problems are defined and analyzed at various levels of design complexity is referred to as multilevel design. One example of multilevel design is the design of a material, product, assembly, and system. Dividing a design problem into multiple levels increases the possibility for introducing and propagating uncertainty. Design solutions that perform predictably in the presence of uncertainty are robust designs. Robust design concepts that were originally developed for designs at a single level can be applied to a multilevel design process. The Inductive Design Exploration Method (IDEM) is an existing design method used to produce robust multilevel design solutions. In this thesis, the strategy presented in IDEM is incorporated into design templates in order to extend its overall usefulness. Design templates are generic, reusable, modules that provide the theoretical and computational framework for solving design problems. Information collected, stored, and analyzed from design templates is leveraged for a variety of design problems. In this thesis, the possibilities of a template-based approach to multilevel design are explored. Two example problems, which employ the developed multilevel robust design template, are considered. Multilevel design templates are created for the design of a cantilever beam and its associated material and the design of a blast resistant panel. The design templates developed for example problems can be extended to facilitate a generic, modular, template-based approach to multilevel robust design.
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