With the rise of advanced additive manufacturing, it has become possible to make engineering components with an unprecedented level of complexity across the range of length scales that have not been possible before. This means it has now become possible to tailor material properties and optimize across multiple scales. Professor H Alicia Kim and her researchers are developing a design optimization method that accounts for complex relationship between the microstructures of structured materials and the macroscopic structural topology. The fundamental basis of the method is topology optimization which has demonstrated at single scale its capability to produce revolutionary designs. The multiscale topology optimization method provides the optimum solutions both at materials and structural scales simultaneously. Design of such complex material systems would be considered beyond the capability of the standard design methods. The use of the level set method during optimization enables the direct integration of design and manufacture without the need for further post processing. The full potential of exploiting the materials-structural systems are investigated for a variety of design problems.
Assoc. Professor Alicia Kim