How can engineering teams work better together?

(28-05-2021) In his doctorate, Michiel Haemers investigates whether the cooperation of different engineering teams in designing machines can be optimised.

The design of today's complex machines is often carried out by several engineering teams, each taking on a different aspect of this multidisciplinary system design. The problem with this approach is that these different engineers view the design problem from a different angle and also have different objectives in mind, while their individual choices can have a major impact on the system performance to be achieved.

This PhD ‘Optimal Co-Design of Hardware Architecture and Control Configuration for Interacting Systems’ proposes a method to perform the simultaneous optimization of the mechanical design and the control engineering design of systems consisting of multiple interacting subsystems. Using this method, the co-design can be formulated as a mathematically optimizable problem, in which some extensions are also considered to efficiently perform this optimization.

The flexibility and effectiveness of the developed method are demonstrated by applying it to different types of models and setups. The results show that with the proposed method, a design engineer is able to successfully perform the hardware and control co-design. In addition, the resulting Pareto analysis provides a very valuable insight into how the maximum achievable system performance relates to the total implementation cost to obtain an optimal system design.

This project was made possible by Flanders Make, the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry.


Contact: Michiel Haemers


Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Final editing: Ilse Vercruysse - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke