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AIAA-98-4963 PAPER HELICOPTER - EXPERIMENTAL OPTIMUM ENGINEERING DESIGN CLASSROOM PROB- LEM Terry L. Siorek ([email protected]), 5201 SW 18th Street Plantation, FL 33317 Raphael T. Haftka ([email protected]) * University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. ** * Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science, Fellow. ** Copyright © 1998 by Terry Siorek. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. with permission. ABSTRACT Experimental Optimum Engineering Design is a new undergraduate/graduate course developed at the University of Florida for combining analytical optimization techniques and design of experiments methods in product design. The paper describes a design project - the design of a paper helicopter for minimum autorotation speed - and its usage in the course. This project, originally developed for in- troducing students to basic experimental statistics concepts, turned out to be well suited for combin- ing analytical and experimental design techniques. INTRODUCTION The past few years have seen increasing emphasis on strengthening the design content of engineering curricula (e.g., Mason et al., 1995). The increasing availability of spreadsheet programs, such as Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel, as well as mathematical computa- tion packages, such as Mathematica and Matlab, allows us to introduce design optimization con- cepts early in the curriculum. These packages al- low students to perform design optimization in low-dimensional design spaces graphically, by exhaustive searches or by formal optimization. However, the increasing power of computational tools available to students accentuates an existing bias in favor of analytical design exercises as com- pared to design based on building and testing pro- totypes. In real life the design process rarely ends with an analytical design study, or even with the building of a single prototype. Rather, often exten- sive tests are conducted to explore the performance of prototypes. Several modifications are often built and tested, so that the design process which begins analytically is refined through experiments. There is a need for courses that teach students design techniques that combine analytical models with experimental refinement of the design. One of us (Haftka), has recently developed an un- dergraduate/graduate course, Experimental Opti- mum Engineering Design , to address this need. The course begins with optimization formulation, optimality criteria and a short survey of optimiza- tion techniques, and continues with design of ex- periments (DOE) techniques for constructing re- sponse surface approximations. The course is fo- cused around a project. Students first design based on analysis, continue to build and test the analyti- cal optimum, and finally refine the design experi- mentally by building and testing a number of de- signs in the neighborhood of the analytical opti- mum.
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This note was uploaded on 06/06/2011 for the course EAS 4240 taught by Professor Peterifju during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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