Asee peer logo

Topology Optimization: The Use of Cutting Edge Numerical Methods in Teaching Structures to Architects.

Download Paper |

Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovative Teaching in Architectural Engineering

Tagged Division

Architectural

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

25.1363.1 - 25.1363.12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22120

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22120

Download Count

307

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Sinead C. Mac Namara Syracuse University

biography

James K. Guest Johns Hopkins University

visit author page

Jamie Guest is an Assistant Professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research and teaching interests focus on topology optimization and structural engineering. He received his M.S.E. and Ph.D. from Princeton University and B.S.E. from University of Pennsylvania, all in civil engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Topology Optimization: The Use of Cutting Edge Numerical Methods in Teaching Structures to Architects.This paper describes an example of design education in architectural structures at ______University.Topology Optimization is one kind of structural optimization aimed at finding the bestsolution to a structural design problem. In this case “best” can be defined lightest, safest,most economical, or as most visually striking or having the most desirable spatialcharacteristics. As opposed to sizing optimization (which finds the optimally membersize for a given structural configuration) or shape optimization (which shapes structuralmembers for optimum material use for a given structural configuration), topologyoptimization is a generator of structural form. It is a more general approach that isparticularly useful for solving new problems, for find true optimum forms.This study examines a design assignment using topology optimization algorithms(proprietor software provided by a researcher in the field of numerical methods inengineering) undertaken by Masters of Architecture students in their first semester ofstructures education. The assignment required the students to propose a design problemdefined only in terms of a rectangular 2D design space, the location of load, and thelocation and nature of boundary conditions. No presumption of form could be made.They also had control over the fineness of the mesh in which the solution was formed.The students made multiple iterations of their designs before selected the one with themost visual appeal, or best fit for the materials and program. The designs ranged in scalefrom furniture to highway overpass supports. Once a structural form had been made, thestudents undertook a Finite Element Analysis of the design under real load conditions andestimated structural member size.This paper presents the results of the assignment and the student evaluation data for thecourse as whole and this assignment as part of an overall effort to understand the value ofstructural engineering in the architectural design process.
 1


Mac Namara, S. C., & Guest, J. K. (2012, June), Topology Optimization: The Use of Cutting Edge Numerical Methods in Teaching Structures to Architects. Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22120

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015