Idaho Design Engineering Analysis Works (IDEAWorks): Computing Resources, Knowledge Management, and Design Optimization for Next Generation Vehicles
In today’s rapidly changing world, state-of-the-art approaches to design and just-in-time methods for learning relevant tools, techniques, and technologies are in great demand. For many organizations, especially Universities, this problem is accentuated by a large annual turnover of those who participate in research and development.
An approach to knowledge transfer that integrates physical, virtual, and human elements is likely to be most effective with a broad spectrum of learner/practitioners. This begins with programs such as the Idaho Engineering Works (IEW) for training mentors associated with senior design and vehicle competition projects. It can be enriched through special environments where knowledge resides in an easily accessible format that is regularly updated and expanded through efforts of a broad community.
Such an environment, the Idaho Design Engineering Analysis Works (IdeaWorks) Laboratory, was prototyped with IEW students last year in a special topics course. Case studies, SnagIt videos, and technical papers from this class received many accolades at the 2006 UI Design Exposition.
This proposal seeks to transform IdeaWorks into a premiere space for conducting mechanical design optimization in transportation research, attracting and training graduate students, and building capacity for future proposals. Special emphasis will be devoted to applications in transmission design, structural design and intake/exhaust design. Software tools featured in the IdeaWorks Lab include Evolutionary Structures Optimization Program (developed by a previous master’s student at UI), Genesis (algorithmic optimization), SolidWorks (solid modeling), Rhino (CAD rendering), Algor (finite element analysis), Working Model (kinematic analysis), Ricardo Wave (engine modeling), FlowWorks/Fluent (thermofluid modeling).