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Syllabus for

Academic year
PPU191 - Engineering design and optimization
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Automation and Mechatronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Design Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 33116
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: A
Maximum participants: 60
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0117 Written and oral assignments 3,0c Grading: UG   3,0c    
0217 Examination 4,5c Grading: TH   4,5c   27 Oct 2021 am J,  05 Jan 2022 am J,  24 Aug 2022 am J

In programs

MPPDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Gauti Asbjörnsson

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

- Machine Elements, Applied Mechanics or similar
- Programming (Matlab)
- Material science
- Manufacturing technology
- Mechanics
- Solid mechanics
- Mathematics equivalent to 30 credits, including multivariate analysis and numerical analysis


The course aims at integrating traditional design methodologies with concepts and techniques of modern optimization theory and practice. Furthermore the course aims to:
- Demonstrate different tools and methods for optimization of mechanical products and structures
- Design for improvement of components in products and systems
- Demonstrate the iterative nature of the development chain including modelling-analysis-test
- Use and familiarize students with modern CAE tools
- Incorporate material selection as a part of the product development process

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Master the complete development chain including modelling-analyses-test-evaluation
  • Identify areas for improvement in a new or an existing product design
  • Identify and choose appropriate material alternatives for a product
  • Apply previously-learned design methods and tools to practical problems
  • Create appropriate simulation models of the design problem
  • Use Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools to design and simulate product performance
  • Apply previous knowledge in mathematics and mechanics to formulate and solve optimization problems.
  • Formulate design optimization problems based on project or product requirements
  • Apply numerical optimization techniques and computer tools to solve optimization problems
  • Interpret optimization results for design decision making (e.g., material selection, geometry, manufacturing, production)
  • Create CAE drawings for use with three-dimensional printing tools
  • Iterate on design solutions to continually improve a product's design and performance
  • Communicate design solutions, including rationales for a given choice, advantages, and disadvantages over alternatives
  • Content

  • Formulate and solve optimization problems
  • Selection of optimization algorithms and tools
  • Identification and classification of design problems and failures
  • Identification of required material properties and selection of materials for design solutions (e.g., using CES Selector)
  • Conversion of requirements and specifications into design objectives and constraints 
  • Modelling-analysis-test methods linking calculations (e.g., MATLAB/Simulink, CAD/CAE (e.g., CATIA, ANSYS,COMSOL), and rapid prototyping (e.g., 3D printing)
  • Organisation

    Lectures, workshops and three assignments on different topics.


    Principles of Optimal Design: Modeling and Computation  

    Selected articles

    Examination including compulsory elements

    Written exam (Grade 5, 4, 3, Fail)
    Midterm exam (bonus points for the exam)
    Three (3) approved assignments (Pass/Fail)
    Attended compulsory guest lectures.

    The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

    Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.