Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fred Stern, the George D. Ashton Professor of Hydroscience and Engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa, has received a $1.35M award from the United States Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research to develop a digital process for ship design, evaluation, and certification.

Stern, who is also an IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering (IIHR) research engineer, came to the University of Iowa in 1983 to lead IIHR’s ship hydrodynamics program. For 39 years, Stern has helped to revolutionize naval ship design processes through development of increasingly complex and precise computational tools.

The digital design process is envisioned as the way forward to fully embrace computational capabilities in the design process of maritime vehicles. The process leverages the exploration of advanced concepts, the use of big and sparse data (such as operational and experimental data, high- and low-fidelity simulations, and reduced order models), machine learning and artificial intelligence methods, and builds upon rigorous mathematical foundations of multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO). The workflow also includes virtual performance trials to verify the design requirements and can be implemented using either single- or multi-point design approaches. 

“The digital design process is aimed at providing the future directions towards a fast and reliable use of computational capabilities for the design of marine vehicles,” said Stern.  “The elements included in the process and their integration emphasize how the greatest benefits in the development of the future platforms lay at the intersection of the designer, the computational-tool developer, and the machine-learning and MDO expert’s work.”

The new project will support the digital design process for a new high-speed small craft hull form. He will work closely with Zhaoyuan Wang, PhD, IIHR associate research scientist, who is an expert in computational fluid dynamics and leads code development on Stern’s team along with graduate students.

Stern and Wang will collaborate with Matteo Diez, PhD, and other researchers at the Institute of Marine Technology, National Research Council in Rome, Italy.

About ONR

As an executive branch agency within the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides technical advice to the U.S. Navy. IIHR has received funding from the Office of Naval Research since the mid-1950s.

For more information, visit the ONR website.