Research News

Michael Alexander-Ramos | Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

 

Dr. Michael Alexander-Ramos is a newly appointed assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and is the director of the Integrated Vehicle Design Laboratory, where his general research emphasis is on the systematic, holistic design of automotive vehicles.  Currently, the main research thrust areas address the following:

 

  1. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) of Automotive Vehicles. Automotive vehicles are large-scale systems consisting of multiple subsystems and components that require design knowledge spanning several engineering disciplines and sub-disciplines.  While it is intuitive to think that the optimal design of these interacting subsystems and components translates into optimal system design, this is not always true.  Integrated engineering design using MDO theory can enable vehicles to be developed such that their system-level performance is optimal, even if their subsystem or component-level performance is not.  We investigate highly-relevant problem applications such as hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV), electric vehicle (EV), and fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powertrain design.
  2. Combined Multidisciplinary Design and Control Optimization of Automotive Vehicles. Although traditional MDO theory and optimal control theory have been applied to the physical system and control system design of automotive vehicles respectively, there have been limited studies that integrate these two design problems for vehicles in a balanced manner.  This is problematic as physical system and control system design are generally dependent on one another.  Therefore, combined physical system and control system design, or co-design, becomes necessary.  An emerging subfield of MDO research known as multidisciplinary dynamic system design optimization (MDSDO) addresses the co-design problem from a more balanced and multidisciplinary perspective than existing design approaches.  We intend to develop, enhance, and apply MDSDO theory in the co-design of HEV, EV, and FCEV powertrains as well as autonomous driving and active safety systems for automotive vehicles.
Alexander-Ramos research