Journal Article

Enabling Large-scale Multidisciplinary Design Optimization through Adjoint Sensitivity Analysis


J. R. R. A. Martins, and G. J. Kennedy


Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 642959–2974, 2021



This paper is written to honor Raphael T. Haftka’s seminal contributions to multidisciplinary design optimization. We focus on those contributions that directly impacted our research, namely: the adjoint method for computing derivatives, wing aerostructural design optimization, and architectures for multidisciplinary design optimization. For each of these topics, we describe Haftka’s contributions, how they impacted our research, and examples of what they enabled us to do. The overarching theme of the contributions and developments described in this paper is the efficient computation of derivatives, which, together with gradient-based optimizers, enables the optimization with respect to large numbers of design variables, even when using costly high-fidelity models.