Skip to main content

Unit information: Advanced Techniques in Multi-Disciplinary Design in 2020/21

Unit name Advanced Techniques in Multi-Disciplinary Design
Unit code AENGM2005
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Poole
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This Unit instructs students in numerical optimisation methods and architectures for executing automated multi-disciplinary sizing of aerospace vehicles. The unit is segmented into four areas of instruction:

1. The design process and requirements for numerical synthesis;

2. Design search and optimisation methods;

3. Advanced multi-disciplinary sub-space simulation and architectures;

4. Design space sensitivities and synthesised solution robustness.

A series of practical examples in conjunction with well-documented case studies will complement the presented material. The coursework emphasises a hands-on approach comprising assignments and a group project.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Unit the student will:

  • summarise optimisation methods, including single and multi-objective methods, gradient-based, constraint handling and global methods, and explain the implications of different approaches
  • recall definitions of optimisation terminology and explain the conditions for optimality
  • select different optimisation approaches for specific problems and defend those choices through appropriate presentation of arguments and data
  • develop judicious multi-disciplinary optimisation architectures for solving complex engineering optimisation problems and interpret results through analysis
  • present technical data and arguments effectively

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

100% coursework

Reading and References

  • Keane, A.J. & Nair, P.B., Computational Approaches for Aerospace Design: The Pursuit of Excellence. 2005,1st ed., Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 0470855401
  • Papalambros, P.Y. & Wilde, D.J., Principles of Optimal Design: 'Modeling' & Computation. 2000, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521622158
  • Vanderplaats, G.N., Numerical Optimization Techniques for Engineering Design. 1984, McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0944956033