Collaborative Work Published by Journal of Mechanical Design

Our paper titled “Data-Driven Dynamic Network Modeling for Analyzing the Evolution of Product Competitions”, is recently accepted by the Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME. In this paper, we proposed a dynamic network-based approach to modeling the evolution of product competitions using multi-year buyer survey data based on Separate Temporal Exponential Random Graph Model. Our approach provides a pathway to gain insights into why a product maintains or loses its competitiveness over time. This study was performed in collaboration with Dr. Jian Xie from Beijing Institute of Technology and Dr. Wei Chen’s research group from Northwestern University. Congratulations.

SiDi Lab Organized “Solarized UARK Campus” Design Contest

In Fall 2109, SiDi Lab successfully organized the first design contest at the University of Arkansas campus on the topic of solar energy systems design. The motivation of this design contest is to prepare next-generation engineers to be skillful system designers and system thinkers. The contest relies on a computer-aided design (CAD) based framework to cultivate knowledge in the field of solar energy and the capability of synthesizing knowledge from different disciplines. This year, the participants were asked to engage in an authentic solar energy systems design for an on-campus architecture – Pomfret Hall on Stadium Drive. See more detail about this design contest here.

There were a total of 42 participants including undergrad students, graduate students and staff members. 35 participants successfully submitted their design solutions before the deadline. The top three winners were awarded during the awarding ceremony and two participants were recognized with special awards due to their significant time commitment in the design contest. This design contest sets forth a workable mechanism on how engineering education and design research can be synergistically integrated. SiDi Lab is looking forward to scale up the context in 2020 by collaborating industry partners, particularly local electric utility companies, such as Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Southwest Electric Cooperative.

$2.2M NSF Grant Received to Facilitate the Future of Design at Human-Technology Frontier

In this project, the University of Arkansas, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Oregon State University, and the Concord Consortium will collaborate to define, implement, and disseminate generative design tools and projects for use in undergraduate courses. Research questions from three perspectives will drive the project: 1) Theoretical perspective: What are the essential elements of generative design thinking that students must acquire so they can work effectively at the human-technology frontier in engineering? 2) Practical perspective: To what extent and in what ways can the curriculum and materials support the learning of generative design as indicated by students’ gains in generative design thinking? and 3) Affective perspective: To what extent and in what ways can artificial intelligence affect the professional formation of engineers as indicated by the changes of students’ interest and self-efficacy in engineering? This project represents a novel application of artificial intelligence to engineering that could augment the creativity and productivity of the engineering workforce of the future. See the NSF website for more details about this project.

Welcome New PhD Students

This fall, two new PhD students working as Graduate Research Assistants joined in SiDi Lab: 1. Xingang Li graduated from Tianjin University, China with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining in the PhD program, Xingang worked in auto industry at OTICS Corporation in Japan for four years. He has practical working experience in design of automotive engine parts for major car manufacturers, such as Toyota and SAIC Motor Co., Ltd. 2. Yinshuang Xiao, who holds BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, graduated from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Prior to joining in SiDi Lab, she was working as a R&D Engineer for new energy vehicles at SAIC Volkswagen in Shanghai. Yinshuang has extensive research experience in computational electromagnetic and EMC characteristics of EV component. Welcome on Board!

Our paper earned the Robert E. Fulton Best Paper Award

Our paper titled “A Deep Learning Based Approach to Predicting Sequential Design Decisions” was recently selected as the awardee of the Robert E. Fulton Best Paper Award from the Computers & Information in Engineering (CIE) Division of the ASME. Molla H. Rahman, the PhD student from SiDi Lab and the first author of this paper, presented the work at the 39th ASME CIE Conference in Anaheim, California, August 20. Please see more information here.


SiDi is Sub-awarded from AMBOTs to Conduct Research on Swarm 3D Printing and Assembly via NSF SBIR Program

SiDi Lab has been working closely with AM3 Lab and AMBOTs, a pioneer start-up company in advanced additive manufacturing, to research and develop swarm 3D printing and assembly technologies. We recently received funding from National Science Foundation SBIR program (Phase 1) to expand current 3D printing capabilities with a swarm 3D printing and assembly platform (SPA).

SPA synergistically integrates 3D printing techniques with swarm robotics, thus effectively addressing the issues pertaining to print time, print cost and print quality – the three objectives that current 3D printing technologies cannot simultaneously achieve. The primary intellectual merit of this project lies in a new approach to realizing cooperative 3D printing and manufacturing between multiple independent 3D printers and robots, which provides a modular and reconfigurable digital manufacturing platform. In this project, we propose a new hardware platform based on a novel mobile 3D printer with a Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) and a new software to coordinate multiple mobile 3D printers and assembly robots. This enables multi-color and multi-material printing, as well as integration of pre-manufactured components into print jobs. The anticipated technical outcome is an integrated SPA system that is capable of printing large-scale objects while assuring print quality comparable to current small-scale commercial 3D printers. For more information about this project, please visit here.

Our research on swarm 3D printing and cooperative 3D printing technologies has been highlighted by media. See this post.

PhD Student Laxmi Poudel Won the Travel Award to Present at 2019 ASME-CIE Graduate Research Poster Session

The PhD student Laxmi Poudel won the 2019 ASME-CIE Graduate Research Poster Competition, and is awarded $750 travel support to present his PhD research on the topic of “Autonomous and Cooperative 3D Printing” during the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference in Anaheim, CA, during August 18-21, 2019. There are 19 applications submitted this year. Congratulations to Laxmi! He will also present his paper “Computational Design of Scheduling Strategies for Multi-Robot Cooperative 3D Printing” in this year’s conference too.