Introduction to Structural Optimization (3 Days) - Technology Course


Designing products today poses many challenges and often conflicting requirements need to be satisfied: they must be stronger, lighter, safer, quieter.

This three-day course provides an overview of the theoretical concepts behind general constrained nonlinear optimization. Emphasis will be on applications in structural optimization using finite element models such as size, shape, topology and topometry optimization. Methods are outlined with minimum mathematics and are illustrated by practical software implementations and applications.

The FEMtools Optimization software will be used for hands-on exercises during approximately half of the time. Participants are invited to bring a portable computer to use during the hands-on exercises.

Date and Location

No course scheduled at this time.

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for anyone interested in learning the state-of-the-art in simulation-based optimization techniques. Participants typically have a background in structural analysis and finite element analysis. The methods shown can be applied to a wide range of industrial applications.

Course Contents

Day 1:

  • Formulation of a general nonlinear optimization problem (design variables, objectives, constraints)
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Viewing and interpretation of optimization results
  • Database management, interfacing with FE solvers and using internal and external finite element solvers for re-analysis (ABAQUS, NASTRAN, ANSYS, I-DEAS, and others)
  • Using scripting for database management, analysis integration, process automation and reporting
  • Using internal and external finite element solvers for re-analysis
  • Sensitivity analysis

Day 2:

  • Size optimization
  • Shape optimization
  • Topology optimization
  • Optimization using manufacturing constraints
  • Topometry optimization
  • Topography optimization (beads)

Day 3:

  • Composites materials optimization
  • Design of Experiments (DOE) and Response Surface Method (RSM)
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Probabilistic design optimization
  • Optimization in structural dynamics
  • Using approximations for fast re-analysis in structural dynamics
  • Industrial examples
  • Review and closure

Course Language

The course language is English.