The Future of Multidisciplinary Design Optimization:

Advancing the Design of Complex Systems

National Science Foundation Workshop on

September 16, 2010

Worthington Renaissance Hotel

Fort Worth, TX



  1. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) is at a cross-roads; its future is bright but uncertain. While many of MDO’s founders are still active and engaged in the community, the focus of MDO has shifted dramatically in the past decade as new faculty and researchers are finding new and novel ways to use and deploy MDO methods and tools to a wide array of problems. At the same time, some question the impact of MDO on industry – to what extent have MDO tools and methods transformed industry practices in the past 15-20 years?

  2. Government agencies are now emphasizing research in complex systems and their design, in which MDO can play an important role. Now is the time for the MDO community to examine its current practices and establish directions for future work in MDO and related areas.


  1. 1.Identify and document promising future directions for MDO and related research,    

  2. 2.Articulate successful industrial implementations of MDO and identify the challenges with practical implementation of MDO methods and tools,

  3. 3.Explore relationships between complex systems design initiatives and MDO, and

  4. 4.Define affinity groups and target specific proposal solicitations and RFPs.

Workshop Report [pdf]


  1. West Fork room in the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, TX.


  1. 7:30 am – 8:30 am        Breakfast (provided on-site)

  2. 8:30 am – 8:45 am        Welcome and introductions

  3. 8:45 am – 10:15 am      Invited talks

  4. Christina Bloebaum, National Science Foundation [pdf]

  5. Jarek Sobieski, NASA Langley Research Center (Retired) [pdf]

  6. Tolga Kurtoglu, Palo Alto Research Center [pdf]

  7. Paul Collopy, Value-Driven Design Institute [pdf]

  8. Soundar Kumara, Penn State University [pdf]

  9. 10:15 am – 10:30 am    Coffee break

  10. 10:30 am – 12:00 pm    Industry Panel

  11. Evin Cramer, The Boeing Company [pdf]

  12. Julian Norato, Caterpillar Inc. [pdf]

  13. Ren-Jye Yang, Ford Motor Company [pdf]

  14. Ruben Del Rosario, NASA Glenn Research Center [pdf]

  15. Ritesh Khire, United Technologies Research Center [pdf]

  16. 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm    Break into working groups

  17. 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm      Working group lunches

  18. 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm        Working group discussions

  19. 2:15 pm – 2:30 pm        Coffee and refreshment break

  20. 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm        Report out from working groups

  21. Handling the Interfaces [pdf]

  22. Metrics, Requirements and Objectives [pdf]

  23. Modeling [pdf]

  24. People, IT and Workflow [pdf]

  25. Uncertainty Quantification [pdf]

  26. 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm        Summary and wrap up


  1. Timothy W. Simpson, Professor

  2. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Engineering Design

  3. The Pennsylvania State University

  4. tws8 atsymbol psu dot edu

  5. Joaquim R. R. A. Martins, Associate Professor

  6. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Laboratory

  7. Department of Aerospace Engineering

  8. University of Michigan

  9. jrram atsymbol umich dot edu

Steering Committee

  1. Paul Collopy, Value Driven Design Institute

  2. Olivier de Weck, MIT

  3. Raphael Haftka, University of Florida

  4. Christopher Mattson, Brigham Young University

  5. Achille Messac, RPI

  6. Jaroslaw Sobieski, NASA Langley Research Center

  7. Irem Tumer, Oregon State University

  8. Karen Willcox, MIT

List of Participants [pdf]


  1. This workshop is supported by a collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation, NSF Grants CMMI-1042397 and CMMI-1042740.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations from this workshop are those of the organizers and participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Website hosted by MDO Lab © 2011 Joaquim R. R. A. Martins