Giraldo-Londoño stresses importance of emerging design tools during keynote

April 07, 2023

Two men holding award
Oliver Giraldo-Londoño, right, receives a plaque for giving a keynote at the International Model Analysis Conference and Exposition

We are in a digital era where simulation-driven technologies enable us to design structures faster, better and more economically. A Mizzou Engineer is now demonstrating that those technologies can be used to design efficient structures that can withstand variable loads.

That’s what Oliver Giraldo-Londoño hopes attendees took away from his keynote address during a conference in Austin earlier this year. Giraldo-Londoño — assistant professor of civil engineering — was invited to present the sole keynote at the Society for Experimental Mechanics’ 41st International Model Analysis Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics.

“It is important that we appreciate the value of simulation to obtain designs that are non-intuitive,” Giraldo-Londoño said. “Computers can crunch numbers much faster than humans and obtain much better designs faster and more efficiently. We have to learn new techniques to develop designs of the future.”

In his remarks, Giraldo-Londoño outlined a numerical scheme his team developed to build upon an established programming technique known as the augmented Lagrangian method. The novel technique solves dynamic problems by factoring in millions of variables. Unlike traditional formulations around topology optimization, the process provides an effective way to account for local material failure — or exact points at which material experiences more stretching and distress.

Currently, Giraldo-Londoño’s methods are being used at Sandia National Laboratories, which is developing software that can guide optimization to better meet functional requirements.

However, the technique can apply to any load-bearing structure.

“One example of application is the design of an airless tire,” he said. “You have to design the material of the tire to distribute the load more evenly to reduce stress on the tire and handle the weight of the car.”

Another application is in the aerospace industry where companies aim to make aircraft as lightweight as possible to save fuel. Aircraft material, however, has to be able to withstand varying forces, such as gravitational pull and aerodynamic loads.

“This has tremendous potential applications,” said Giraldo-Londoño, who is also the James W. and Joan M. O’Neill Faculty Scholar in Engineering. “As far as I know, it is still the first and only work in the literature that can handle material failure for dynamic problems. This method is going to lead to very good tools for us to obtain designs much faster and more efficiently.”

Learn more about Giraldo-Londoño’s research here.