About this book
Mechanical and structural engineers have always strived to make as efficient use of material as possible, e.g. by making structures as light as possible yet able to carry the loads subjected to them. In the past, the search for more efficient structures was a trial-and-error process. However, in the last two decades computational tools based on optimization theory have been developed that make it possible to find optimal structures more or less automatically. Due to the high cost savings and performance gains that may be achieved, such tools are finding increasing industrial use.
This textbook gives an introduction to all three classes of geometry optimization problems of mechanical structures: sizing, shape and topology optimization. The style is explicit and concrete, focusing on problem formulations and numerical solution methods. The treatment is detailed enough to enable readers to write their own implementations. On the book's homepage, programs may be downloaded that further facilitate the learning of the material covered.
The mathematical prerequisites are kept to a bare minimum, making the book suitable for undergraduate, or beginning graduate, students of mechanical or structural engineering. Practicing engineers working with structural optimization software would also benefit from reading this book.