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Colin Britcher, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Education

Mary Catherine Bunde, M.Ed.
Senior Education Administrator

8.27.14 Kennedy

52nd NIA CFD Seminar Series:

Graeme Kennedy, Georgia Tech
August 27, 2014, 11:00 am, NIA, Rm 101
Hosts: Mujeeb Malik (NASA Langley), Boris Diskin (NIA), and Hiro Nishikawa (NIA)

The use of advanced lightweight structures has enabled significant performance improvements for the present generation of transport aircraft. New structural materials, manufacturing techniques and multi-functional structural technologies will lead to even greater improvements for future aircraft. These new technologies give engineers greater flexibility to tailor aircraft structures to meet stringent design requirements. However, the large design space associated with this flexibility can be difficult to navigate since there is a limited knowledge base to help guide design decisions. Advanced computational design methods that employ high-fidelity structural and multidisciplinary analysis are key tools to help engineers understand the complex trade-offs inherent in aircraft design, especially in the context of advanced structural technologies. In this seminar, I will present our work on structural and aerostructural optimization that begins to address these challenges. To meet the computational demands of high-fidelity simulation and design, we use gradient-based design optimization techniques in conjunction with parallel computational methods and efficient adjoint-based derivative evaluation. To illustrate our efforts in these areas, I will describe the development of our in-house parallel finite-element code designed for multidisciplinary analysis and gradient-based optimization of composite structures called the Toolkit for the Analysis of Composite Structures (TACS). To demonstrate the capabilities of our structural and aerostructural design optimization framework, I will present the results of a study comparing the design of metallic and composite wings for a large transport aircraft. These results will show the benefits of using an integrated, gradient-based aerostructural analysis and design optimization framework.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Graeme Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he leads his research group focused on developing novel design optimization methods for structural and multidisciplinary aerospace systems. Before joining the Georgia Tech faculty, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan in the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization lab. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) under the supervision of Prof. Joaquim R.R.A. Martins in 2012 and hisM.A.Sc. from UTIAS under the supervision of Prof. Jorn Hansen in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2005. A complete list of papers and ongoing projects is available on Dr. Kennedy’s website:

Additional information, including the webcast link, can be found at the NIA CFD Seminar website, which is temporarily located at



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