Status and Prospects
N. (Gary) Vanderplaats, PhD, PE
Colorado Springs, CO
The general state of the art in optimization
will be briefly reviewed. This will focus on optimization algorithm
development since the 1950s. The technology has progressed from
the point where we can solve problems of only a few variables to
being able to deal with many thousands of variables. Additionally,
specific methods that make structural optimization particularly
efficient will be outlined. In this case, we can optimize very large
and complex structures with tens of thousands of design variables
and constraints for the cost of about a dozen finite element analyses.
This is followed by a discussion of current commercial software
for design optimization. Examples will be offered to demonstrate
the state of the art in applications. These include examples in
structures, computational fluid mechanics, thermal cooling and others.
Finally, future prospects for making optimization a mainstream design
tool will be discussed.