Mechamatronic System Design Methodology

John Redmond, Ph.D student.

The Mechamatronic System Design Methodology thrust area strives to develop techniques by which the science and experience learned in research can be applied to the design of mechamatronic (mechanical, smart material, and electronic) systems.  Because smart materials are multi-domain, interactive with the application, and commonly with properties that are history dependent, applications that involve smart materials require a different engineering process from those using conventional materials.  Traditional decomposition methods are not sufficient, and more integrative, multi-domain methods are required.  The SMS CRL is seeking to capture and incorporate its knowledge base and experience into synthesis and analysis tools that can be used by (and be useful to) all engineers regardless of their level of expertise with smart materials, even those without any expertise in smart materials and structures or those who may not be familiar with the necessary nontraditional, advanced design processes.  This thrust area is symbiotic with the other thrust areas.  Findings such as device models, design experiences and empirical characterizations from the Smart Device Technology Innovation thrust area as well as material models, experimental methods and simulation tools from the Smart Material Maturity thrust area, feed into the design tools developed in this thrust area.  Conversely, future device technology projects will rely on the developed design tools and methods, and the formation of integrative, multi-domain methods will identify gaps in knowledge and spawn research projects in Smart Material Maturity.