Biomimicry in Engineering Design - Design Inspired by Nature
Design for Sustainable Development and Extreme Affordability
Current Funding from NCIIA (Learn, Serve and Prosper - Implementing Socially Responsible Entrepreneurial Projects)
Design Theory and Methodology - Concept Design Evaluation
Concept Design is a Stage is a crucial step in which the most suitable concept is selected. One popular method for concept evaluation was developed by Pugh. This is a non-numeric approach based on the development of an evaluation matrix. Other approaches, such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and objectives tree are very useful in developing engineering specifications and can serve as a basis for concept evaluation. My current research explores the use of payoff table in evaluating engineering concepts. The field of decision analysis provides framework for making important decisions using the concepts from game and utility theory. The theory of decision analysis has been applied extensively by several researchers in the context of engineering design and decision making with probabilities. However, conventional decision analysis does not consider the actions of other players. Formulating the engineering concept alternatives using game theory involving several players enables to look at various concepts from a different perspective where every player is adjusting their strategies. Using the concepts developed by Van Neumann and Morgenstern, my research is developing influence diagrams showing the relationship among potential decisions, and consequences resulting from the selection of a strategy based on the combination of decisions leading to the development of payoff table. Using payoff table for evaluating concepts and selecting the best alternative will provide insight into dominant strategy and identifying optimal strategy.
Software Design for Developing Interactive E-Learning Simulations
Scenario Based Learning or Simulation Based Learning is an effective approach that provides an excellent framework for learn-by-doing. However developing SBL modules is very difficult process involving script writing, instructional design, graphics design, audio/video/animation, and programming. Thus it is almost impossible for an educator, or an instructional designer, or a trainer to develop effective e-learning modules. My research focuses on the development of a software tool that would allow an individual to easily develop scenario-based e-learning modules quickly without any knowledge of programming. With this software tool, corporate trainers and educators can develop scenario based e-learning modules easily like creating Power Point presentations. Use of this tool significantly reduces the development costs. With a well-developed process and a user-friendly tool, instructors, subject matter experts and instructional designers could convert existing cases, or fashion altogether new scenarios to a web-based approach.
Mechancial Design Optimization
A unified exact gradient approach for mechanical design optimization has been developed. In this approach exact values of gradients are determined systematically using a novel approach and are subsequently used for optimization. This approach has tremendous potential in the area of sensitivity analysis as well in the synthesis of spatial mechanisms and robotic applications.