I became an engineer because I am fascinated by the idea of design. To design is to create something new, and an engineering background helps designers ensure that their creations are technically and scientifically sound. Since 2007, I have been studying, researching, and teaching the design process and design optimization, which is the mathematical process of finding the best possible design for some particular needs.
Below are some examples of product design projects that I have taken part in:
Mobile phone quality & sustainability
As part of my postdoctoral research at Chalmers, I looked into the design of a mobile phone case for quality and sustainability. We modeled how design decisions affect cost, quality, and environmental friendliness, and then we surveyed consumers to see how they value these attributes. This resulted in a profit maximization formulation that was solved from the perspective of producers and used from the perspective of lawmakers to model how policy decisions affect economic and environmental impacts.
Military vehicle safety
As part of my Ph.D. thesis at the University of Michigan, I developed new ways to optimize the design of military ground vehicles for occupant safety from a systems-level perspective. This involved multidisciplinary modeling, optimization, and trade-off analysis of vehicle design decisions for blast protection, rollover resistance, and fuel needs.
Vehicle crash safety
As part of Ph.D. thesis at the University of Michigan, I looked into the design problem of improving occupant safety in passenger vehicles. Using simulations of crashes and occupants, I looked at the problems of coordinating the simulations in design optimization, accounting for uncertainty in crash speeds, driver sizes, and seat positions, and modeling consumer, business, and policy decisions to minimize on-road injuries.
Locally-producible bamboo tricycle
As part of a joint graduate course Global Product Development at the University of Michigan, the Technical University of Berlin, and Seoul National University, our six-member international team designed, built, and developed a social business model for a tricycle made from local materials for southern African markets.
Vehicle front-end optimization
As part of a graduate course Design Optimization at the University of Michigan, our four-member team coordinated the model-based multi-objective design optimization of the front end of a car.
As part of a graduate course Analytical Product Development at the University of Michigan, our four-member team designed, built, and developed a business model for an energy-harvesting running shoe.
As part of a multidisciplinary undergraduate research team, we designed an self-contained laboratory kit for teaching micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), marketed and piloted the product, established the start-up company IMPACT Education, LLC, and secured grant funding. The product addresses the problem that teaching MEMS and nanotechnology requires access to a cleanroom, which costs hundreds of dollars per person-hour, which many students at high schools and smaller colleges and universities do not have access to.