Published: March 29, 2022

Kurt MauteKurt Maute
Professor and Palmer Engineering Chair, Smead Aerospace
Wednesday, April 6 | 3:30 P.M. | Hybrid: AERO 114 and Zoom Webinar

Abstract: Topology optimization has emerged as a promising and powerful approach to design engineered materials and components that utilize the ability of advanced manufacturing methods to realize complex geometries at various scales. This talk provides first an overview of topology optimization methods and then focuses on a modular level set topology optimization framework for coupled multi-physics problems in solid and fluid mechanics and heat transfer. These problems are typically nonlinear and characterized by either weak or strong coupling.

In the proposed level set optimization framework, the geometry of the body is described by one or multiple level set functions, and the physical response is predicted by an immersed finite element method, namely the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM). To improve the accuracy and efficiency of this approach, the level set and state variables fields are discretized on adaptively refined meshes, using truncated hierarchical B-splines. The key components of this framework include (a) a geometry engine that supports multi-material shape and topology optimization, (b) meshing algorithms for hierarchically refined B-spline interpolations, (c) an XFEM model generator that immerses the body’s geometry into a background mesh, and (d) analysis and sensitivity analysis modules for coupled multi-physics/multi-scale problems. The underlying theory and the key features of these components will be briefly discussed.

The promising characteristics of the overall framework will be illustrated with 2D and 3D problems in solid and fluid mechanics and heat transfer, including thermo-fluid coupled problems and problems with dynamically evolving interfaces.

Bio: Dr. Maute is a professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and the Palmer Endowed Chair at CU Boulder. He received his Bs/Ms degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1992 and his PhD in Civil Engineering in 1998, both from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. After working as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Aerospace Structures, he started his faculty position at CU in 2000. His research is concerned with computational mechanics and design optimization methods. He focuses on fundamental problems in solid and fluid mechanics and heat transfer with applications to aerospace, civil, mechanical engineering problems. For the past 25 years, Dr. Maute has worked on topology and shape optimization methods for a broad range of problems, in particular coupled multi-physics and multi-scale problems. Dr. Maute has published his work in over 200 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He is a senior adviser of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization and member of the editorial boards for several journals.