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Michael Kokkolaras


Associate Professor

Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)     Rice University 

Diplom (Aerospace Engineering)   Technische Universität München 

Macdonald Engineering Building, Rm 156 Map

External Website


michael [dot] kokkolaras [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Research Interests

Primary Research Theme: Design and Manufacturing
Research Group/Lab: Systems Optimization Lab

Multidisciplinary design optimization of complex engineering systems; simulation-based engineering design; uncertainty quantification; optimization theory and algorithms; decomposition and coordination methods; design validation; platform-based product families, systems of systems and product-service systems; transportation (automotive and aerospace) and energy systems

The complexity and increasing interconnectivity of modern engineering systems necessitate an analytical, decomposition-based approach to optimal design: Subsystem interactions must be taken into account to ensure system integration and optimality; component design specifications need to be determined, as design targets are given only for the systems; uncertainties need to be quantified and propagated. This requires coordination and optimization of multiple disciplines, appropriate uncertainty modeling and validation of obtained design solutions.

Our research focuses on developing methodologies to address these issues. We use mathematical programming to model, coordinate and solve the decomposed problems so that large and complex problems can be solved efficiently. We adopt different quantification and propagation approaches depending on the amount of available information to account for uncertainties, and use statistics-based methods to quantify design confidence. While these methodologies are being developed to be applicable to any engineering system, emphasis is given on transportation (automotive and aerospace) and energy applications.

Current Research Projects

  • Coordination-based design optimization of complex engineering systems considering individual and systems of systems objectives 
  • Integrated design optimization and validation
  • Modeling and optimization of product-service systems

    Most Significant Publications

      • D. Drignei, Z. Mourelatos, M. Kokkolaras and V. Pandey. "A Variable-size Local Domain Approach for Increased Design Confidence in Simulation-based Optimization." Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 46(1):83-92, 2012
      • J. Hu, K.D. Klinich, M.P. Reed, M. Kokkolaras and J.D. Rupp. "Development and Validation of a Modified Hybrid-III Six-Year-Old Dummy Model for Simulating Submarining in Motor-Vehicle Crashes." Medical Engineering & Physics, September 2011
      • H. Sarin, M. Kokkolaras, G.M. Hulbert, P.Y. Papalambros, S. Barbat and R.-J. Yang. "Comparing Time Histories for Validation of Simulation Models: Error Measures and Metrics." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, 132(6), November 2010
      • S. Tosserams, M. Kokkolaras, L.F.P. Etman and J.E. Rooda. "A Non-hierarchical Formulation of Analytical Target Cascading." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Mechanical Design, 132(5), May 2010
      • J.T. Allison, M. Kokkolaras and P.Y. Papalambros. "Optimal Partitioning and Coordination Decisions in Decomposition-based Design Optimization." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Mechanical Design, 131(8), August 2009
      • Z. Li, M. Kokkolaras, P.Y. Papalambros and S.J. Hu. "Product and Process Tolerance Allocation in Compliant Multi-station Assembly Using Analytical Target Cascading." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(9), September 2008
      • M. Kokkolaras, Z.P. Mourelatos and P.Y. Papalambros. "Design Optimization of Hierarchically Decomposed Multilevel Systems under Uncertainty." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Mechanical Design, 128(2):503-508, 2006
      • R. Fellini, M. Kokkolaras, P.Y. Papalambros and A. Perez-Duarte. "Platform Selection under Performance Bounds in Optimal Design of Product Families." Transactions of the ASME - Journal of Mechanical Design, 127(4):524-535, 2005
      • L.F.P. Etman, M. Kokkolaras, A.T. Hofkampf, P.Y. Papalambros, and J.E. Rooda. "Coordination Specification in Distributed Optimal Design of Multilevel Systems Using the Chi Language." Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 29(3):198-212, 2005
      • M. Kokkolaras, A.J. Meade, Jr. and B.A. Zeldin. "Concurrent Implementation of the Optimal Incremental Approximation Method for the Adaptive and Meshless Solution of Differential Equations." Optimization and Engineering, 4(4):271-289, 2003