Agile MDAO Systems: A Graph-based Methodology to Enhance Collaborative Multidisciplinary Design

Imco van Gent

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

875 Downloads (Pure)


The need to continuously design better aircraft is challenging on multiple fronts: the existing tube-and-wing aircraft are difficult to improve further, while more creative configurations prove more cumbersome to design due to the lack of empirical knowledge and the (usually) more highly integrated components. Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) can offer major benefits to tackle these issues. However, MDAO is not yet widely applied in the industrial context due to two major hurdles: configuration hurdle the set-up of the first executable MDAO workflow takes too long —namely 60-80%of the available project time—in collaborative projects in which a large team of heterogeneous experts needs to operate a large, complex MDAO system; reconfiguration hurdle once the executable system has been established, it lacks agility and cannot be reconfigured easily to address ‘what if scenarios’ or answer new questions arising from the insights obtained from previously configured systems. Typical reconfigurations include the removal, addition, or modification of disciplinary tools, adjustment of the MDAO problem to be solved (e.g. new design variables, different objective, additional constraints), or the alternation of the underlying strategy (i.e. design convergence, design of experiments, optimization) that needs to be implemented as an executable workflow.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Veldhuis, L.L.M., Supervisor
  • la Rocca, G., Advisor
Award date3 Oct 2019
Print ISBNs978-94-6384-067-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • MDAO
  • MDO
  • Collaborative design


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