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Release: Immediate

UI multidisciplinary research team wins $1.57 million project

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa multidisciplinary research team has been awarded a three-year, $1.57 million contract for a project that may save industry time and money in the development of new products.

The project, titled "Optimized Algorithm For Meshless Based Integration of CAD, Simulation, and Design," is aimed at simulating complex manufacturing processes.

Coordinated by the UI's Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD), the project is funded under the federal Optimized Portable Algorithms and Applications Libraries (OPAAL) initiative for complex simulation which, in turn, is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The UI research team is composed of faculty members from the departments of mechanical engineering, mathematics, and computer science.

"This is a very challenging, real manufacturing problem that will reduce product development time significantly in industry if we are successful. To attack this challenging engineering problem, we need engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists working closely together. I hope this will be a major starting point for future multidisciplinary research that finds mathematicians and engineers working together at Iowa," said K.K. Choi, CCAD director.

He added that numerical methods developed under this research will be tested in an engineering design process at Ford Motor Company. Later, an internship program with Ford will be developed, and a workshop will be held to disseminate the results.

The grant total of $1,569,547 includes a two-year grant of $1,081,304 from the NSF with $400,043 to be received from DARPA in the project's third year, and $88,200 from CCAD, home of the Iowa Driving Simulator. In addition to the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne and the California Institute of Technology are the only other universities funded under the prestigious OPAAL program.

Project team members include: Weimin Han -- principal investigator -- and David Stewart, department of mathematics; Suely Oliveira, joint appointment in the departments of mathematics and computer science; and J. S. Chen and K.K. Choi, department of mechanical engineering.

"This is the first major interdisciplinary grant for the department, and I hope that it is just a beginning of interdisciplinary grants that the mathematics department will be awarded," said Borluh Lin, chair of mathematics.