17–21 June 2019
Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas

Optimal Design in Multidisciplinary Systems: State of the Art Methods, Practical Applications, and Emerging Trends

23–24 June 2018 
0800-1700 hrs

Member - Early (until 4 June) $500
Member - Standard   $600
Conference Rate  $700

Register Here


When you are designing or evaluating a complicated engineering system such as an aircraft or a launch vehicle, can you effectively reconcile the multitude of conflicting requirements, interactions, and objectives? This course discusses the underlying challenges in such an environment, and introduces you to methods and tools that have been developed over the years. 

You will be presented with a review of the state-of-the-art methods for design optimization. You will learn about a variety of numerical optimization algorithms and about their respective advantages and disadvantages so that you can decide on the most effective approach for a given design optimization problem. You will learn the details of selected optimization algorithms so that you can better utilize them in practice. We will also review methods for sensitivity analysis, which is crucial for leveraging the efficiency of gradient-based algorithms, including the adjoint method. 

We will discuss problem formulation, for both single discipline and multidisciplinary problems. You will learn about the various multidisciplinary design optimization architectures. The course will take you to system-level applications where performance of the system depends on the interactions and synergy of all its parts. In addition to imparting skills immediately applicable, the course will give you a perspective on emerging trends.

Key Topics

  • Multidisciplinary design-components, challenges, and opportunities
  • Gradient-based optimization
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Gradient-free optimization
  • System data organization and representation
  • Decomposition architectures in multidisciplinary design
  • Surrogate modeling in design
  • Uncertainty in multidisciplinary design
  • Practical issues in design optimization

Who Should Attend

Design engineers and technical managers involved with preliminary or detailed design of aerospace, mechanical, and other multidisciplinary engineering systems will find this material applicable in their work environment. Advanced research students and research scholars in academia and in research laboratories will also benefit from the topics covered in this course. They would use this material as an entry point into possible areas of further research.   

Course Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Line Search Techniques
  3. Gradient-Based Optimization
  4. Constrained Optimization
  5. Sensitivity Analysis
  6. Gradient-Free Optimization
  7. Decomposition Methods
  8. Multiprocessing in Engineering Computing
  9. Practical issues in MDO
  10. Optimization Under Uncertainty 


Joaquim R. R. A. Martins is a Professor at the University of Michigan, where he heads the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Laboratory (MDO Lab) in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. His research involves the development and application of MDO methodologies to the design of aircraft configurations, with a focus on high-fidelity simulations that take advantage of high-performance parallel computing. Before joining the University of Michigan faculty in September 2009, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, where from 2002 he held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Multidisciplinary Optimization. Prof. Martins received his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College, London, with a British Aerospace Award. He obtained both his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, where he was awarded the Ballhaus prize for best thesis in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a keynote speaker at the International Forum on Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics (2007), the Aircraft Structural Design Conference (2010), the SIAM Conference on Optimization (2014), and the Congress on Numerical Methods in Engineering (2015). He has received the Best Paper Award in the AIAA Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference four times (2002, 2006, 2012, and 2014). He is a member of the AIAA MDO Technical Committee and was the technical co-chair for the 2008 AIAA Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference. He has served as Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal, and Optimization and Engineering. He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Aircraft, and Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization.  More Information

Jaroslaw Sobieski holds three degrees: a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Technical University of Warsaw. He joined the staff of NASA Langley Research Center in 1970 where he subsequently held several research and leadership positions. Concurrently he taught, at St. Louis University, George Washington University, Virginia Technical University, and University of Virginia. Dr. Sobieski is currently a Distinguished Research Associate at NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Sobieski received the AIAA MDO Award in 1996, the SAE Wright Brothers Medal in 2000, and NASA Medals for Exceptional Engineering Achievement in 1988 and for Exceptional Service in 2005. Dr. Sobieski is a Fellow of AIAA where he initiated the Technical Committee for MDO in 1989 and started a series of international Conferences on MDO. He lectured on MDO worldwide and his publication record consists of over 200 technical articles and a book on the topics covered in this course.

Course Materials

Course notes will be made available about one week prior to the course event. You will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your course notes. Since course notes will not be distributed on site, AIAA and your course instructor highly recommend that you bring your computer with the course notes already downloaded to the course. 

Course Registration

Pricing and registration information can be found  here.  

AIAA CEUs are available for this course.


Please contact  Jason Cole if you have any questions about courses and workshops at AIAA forums.

Dates to Remember

  • Manuscript Deadline: 14 May 2019
  • Early Mem Reg Deadline: 27 May 2019
  • Cancellation Deadline: 03 Jun 2019

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