About the lab
We are a heterarchical group of researchers based at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, who fancy curiosity-driven research at the interface between computational mechanics, materials science, applied mathematics, and informatics.
Featured projects (1)
This project aims at the development of * Efficient techniques for a global solution to discrete topology optimization problems under free vibrations, * Novel formulations and solution techniques for a global solution to discrete topology optimization under steady-state damped harmonic oscillations, * Methods exploiting problem-specific structure to accelerate the optimization, * Additively manufactured prototypes to validate optimized designs. Supported with the Czech Science Foundation project No. 22-15524S.
Featured research (29)
A numerical procedure providing guaranteed two-sided bounds on the effective coefficients of elliptic partial differential operators is presented. The upper bounds are obtained in a standard manner through the variational formulation of the problem and by applying the finite element method. To obtain the lower bounds we formulate the dual variational problem and introduce appropriate approximation spaces employing the finite element method as well. We deal with the 3D setting, which has been rarely considered in the literature so far. The theoretical justification of the procedure is presented and supported with illustrative examples.
Topology optimization of modular structures and mechanisms enables balancing the performance of automatically-generated individualized designs, as required by Industry 4.0, with enhanced sustainability by means of component reuse. For optimal modular design, two key questions must be answered: (i) what should the topology of individual modules be like and (ii) how should modules be arranged at the product scale? We address these challenges by proposing a bi-level sequential strategy that combines free material design, clustering techniques, and topology optimization. First, using free material optimization enhanced with checkerboard suppression, we determine the distribution of elasticity tensors at the product scale. To extract the sought-after modular arrangement, we partition the obtained elasticity tensors with a novel deterministic clustering algorithm and interpret its outputs within Wang tiling formalism. Finally, we design interiors of individual modules by solving a single-scale topology optimization problem with the design space reduced by modular mapping, conveniently starting from an initial guess provided by free material optimization. We illustrate these developments with three benchmarks first, covering compliance minimization of modular structures, and, for the first time, the design of non-periodic compliant modular mechanisms. Furthermore, we design a set of modules reusable in an inverter and in gripper mechanisms, which ultimately pave the way towards the rational design of modular architectured (meta)materials.
Wang tiles enable efficient pattern compression while avoiding the periodicity in tile distribution via programmable matching rules. However, most research in Wang tilings has considered tiling the infinite plane. Motivated by emerging applications in materials engineering, we consider the bounded version of the tiling problem and offer four integer programming formulations to construct valid or nearly-valid Wang tilings: a decision, maximum-rectangular tiling, maximum cover, and maximum adjacency constraint satisfaction formulations. To facilitate a finer control over the resulting tilings, we extend these programs with tile-based, color-based, packing, and variable-sized periodic constraints. Furthermore, we introduce an efficient heuristic algorithm for the maximum-cover variant based on the shortest path search in directed acyclic graphs and derive simple modifications to provide a 1/2 approximation guarantee for arbitrary tile sets, and a 2/3 guarantee for tile sets with cyclic transducers. Finally, we benchmark the performance of the integer programming formulations and of the heuristic algorithms showing that the heuristics provides very competitive outputs in a fraction of time. As a by-product, we reveal errors in two well-known aperiodic tile sets: the Knuth tile set contains a tile unusable in two-way infinite tilings, and the Lagae corner tile set is not aperiodic.
We investigate the applicability of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in reconstructing a sample image of a sponge-like microstructure. We propose to reconstruct the image by predicting the phase of the current pixel based on its causal neighbourhood, and subsequently, use a non-causal ANN model to smooth out the reconstructed image as a form of post-processing. We also consider the impacts of different configurations of the ANN model (e.g., the number of densely connected layers, the number of neurons in each layer, the size of both the causal and non-causal neighbourhood) on the models’ predictive abilities quantified by the discrepancy between the spatial statistics of the reference and the reconstructed sample.