Astrid Layton

Astrid Layton
Texas A&M University | TAMU · Department of Mechanical Engineering

PhD in Mechanical Engineering

About

62
Publications
3,544
Reads
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425
Citations
Introduction
Astrid Layton currently works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Dr. Layton does research at the intersection of Complex System and System of Systems (SoS) Design, Bio-Inspired Design, and Sustainability. Her current projects are looking at the design of power grids, water distribution networks, and industrial resource networks.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
Texas A&M University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2014 - December 2016
Georgia Institute of Technology
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Instructor of record for the undergraduate courses ME3340 - Fluid Dynamics and ME3345 - Heat Transfer
Education
August 2009 - December 2014
Georgia Institute of Technology
Field of study
  • Mechanical Engineering
August 2004 - May 2009
University of Pittsburgh
Field of study
  • Mechanical Engineering and Studio Arts

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
Technological advances have created a world where humans are highly dependent on an uninterrupted electric power supply, yet extreme weather events and deliberate attacks continue to disrupt power systems. Inherently robust ecological networks present a rich source of robust design guidelines for modern power grids. Analyses of ecosystem networks i...
Article
Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs), network of industries that collaborate by utilizing each other’s byproducts and wastes, are highly desirable for both the industries themselves, their environment, and governments due to their economic, environmental, and social advantages. Previous work has shown that EIPs are not as successful as they could be in term...
Conference Paper
This research investigates a bio-inspired framework for analyzing and predicting trade-offs between System of Systems (SoS) performance, affordability, and resilience early in the design process – without the need for highly detailed simulations or disruption models. This framework builds on ecological research that has found a unique balance betwe...
Article
Increasingly prevalent extreme weather events have caused resilience to become an essential sustainable development component for resource and infrastructure networks. Existing resilience metrics require detailed knowledge of the system and potential disruptions, which is not available in the early design stage. The lack of quantitative tools to gu...
Article
Full-text available
Supply chain design has traditionally focused on using the shortest path or the minimum number of paths to reduce operational costs. This approach, however, fails to account for a system's response to external disruptions. A novel supply chain design is proposed that mimics the optimal balance of efficient and redundant pathways found in nature's r...
Article
Bio-inspired design is a highly promising avenue for uncovering novel traumatic brain injury prevention equipment designs. Nature has a history of providing inspiration for breakthrough innovations, particularly in cases when the traditional engineering mindset has failed to advance problem solving. This work identifies patterns and trends in the w...
Conference Paper
System of Systems (SoS) are networked integration of constituent systems that together achieve new capabilities not possible through the operation of any single system. SoS can be found across all aspects of modern life such as power grids, supply chains, and aerospace operations. Their resilience (being able to withstand and recover from disruptio...
Conference Paper
Traditional supply chain policies and design efforts, such as lean-manufacturing, prize efficiency over all other factors. These traditional design principles are being challenged as supply chains around the globe struggle to bounce back from an array of recent disruptions. This brings up the longstanding battle between profit driven efficiency goa...
Conference Paper
Globally, universities have heavily invested in makerspaces. This investment requires an understanding of how students use tools and how tools aid in engineering education. This paper utilizes modularity analysis in combination with surveys to analyze and understand the space as a network of student-tool interactions. Modularity analysis is able to...
Article
Full-text available
Configuring the network connections in industrial, power, and water networks to mimic the structural patterns of ecological food webs has been shown to improve the resilience of human networks. This work investigates the ability of food web inspiration to specifically guide the incorporation of renewable energy and water sources for resilience. Fea...
Chapter
This research investigates a bioinspired framework for analyzing and predicting trade-offs between system of systems’ (SoS) performance, affordability, and resilience early in the design process – without the need for highly detailed simulations or disruption models. This framework builds on ecological research that has found a unique balance betwe...
Article
Plastics present a vast and pressing issue in modern society. Currently recycling efforts fall dangerously short of dealing with even a small percent of the millions of tons of plastic waste produced yearly across the globe. This article investigates resistance toward plastic recycling in three areas from both a contemporary and a historical contex...
Conference Paper
Power systems consist of interdependent cyber and physical networks: the physical network supplies energy to the cyber network for data exchange, while the data exchange provides for observation and operation of the power system. This mix of a physical and a cyber/information network means that network disturbances can be synthesized in both physic...
Conference Paper
The design of resilient power grids is a critical engineering challenge for the smooth functioning of society. Bio-inspired design, using a framework called the Ecological Network Analysis (ENA), is a promising solution for improving the resilience of power grids. However, the existing ENA framework can only account or for one type of flow in a net...
Conference Paper
Much emphasis is placed on the role of Net Zero Communities (NZCs) in achieving a sustainable future. Systems research on the topic, including the application of bio-inspired techniques already used on other human networks, is currently hindered by the lack of case studies documenting the structure and quantity of energy, water, and waste flows wit...
Conference Paper
Supply chain policies and design efforts are traditionally focused on efficiency objectives such as reducing operational costs. With the occurrence of the most devastating pandemic in decades and the continually increasing prevalence of natural disasters, this focus has been challenged, and the need to focus on supply chain resilience has become ap...
Article
An optimal trade‐off between resilience (the ability to survive and recover from disruptions) and affordability is highly desirable in System of Systems (SoS) architectures. However, it is difficult to design SoS architectures for these goals as existing resilience evaluation methods require detailed disruption models that are not readily available...
Preprint
Full-text available
Electric power grids are critical infrastructure that support modern society by supplying electric energy to critical infrastructure systems. Incidents are increasing that range from natural disasters to cyber attacks. These incidents threaten the reliability of power systems and create disturbances that affect the whole society. While existing sta...
Conference Paper
Engineering makerspaces are a powerful new tool in the educators' toolboxes. Although a growing body of empirical data demonstrates their benefits to student learning, more needs to be done to ensure they meet their full potentials. Analyzing the design of these spaces to maximize student-tool interactions and identifying barriers to entry are part...
Article
Matrix Trays are single-use plastic carriers used to transport integrated chips and circuit board components during automated test and assembly processes for Printed Circuit Boards. These trays represent a significant yet consistent waste stream; primarily in the electronics industry and many other industries that integrate microchips into their pr...
Conference Paper
The identification of critical components in electric power grids is an important challenge power engineers face. Similarly, many ecologists face the challenge of identifying important species in food web networks. Drawing similarities between power grid networks and food web networks, this study utilizes proposed identification methods from ecolog...
Article
Industrial Symbiosis (IS), inspired by the highly effective resource utilization found in nature, advocates byproduct-exchange partnerships between industries to reduce raw material use, emissions, and waste generation while promoting economic growth. Ecological research on mutualistic ecosystems (such as plant-pollinator networks) has found a conn...
Article
The objective of this study is to investigate the value of an ecologically inspired architectural metric called the Degree of System Order in the System of Systems (SoS) architecting process. Two highly desirable SoS attributes are the ability to withstand and recover from disruptions (resilience) and affordability. In practice, more resilient SoS...
Article
In this work, we show that bioinspired function-sharing can be effectively applied in engineering design by abstracting and emulating the product architecture of biological systems that exhibit function-sharing. Systems that leverage function-sharing enable multiple functions to be performed by a single structure. Billions of years of evolution has...
Preprint
Power systems are susceptible to natural threats including hurricanes and floods. Modern power grids are also increasingly threatened by cyber attacks. Existing approaches that help improve power system security and resilience may not be sufficient; this is evidenced by the continued challenge to supply energy to all customers during severe events....
Conference Paper
Prior work investigated the use of biological food webs as a source of quantitative guidance to balance the efficiency and redundancy in industrial water distribution networks. Urban water distribution networks, however, present unique challenges that prevent a direct replication of the bio-inspired methods used for industrial network settings. Man...
Conference Paper
The objective of this study is to investigate the value of an ecologically inspired architectural metric called the Degree of System Order in the System of Systems (SoS) architecting process. Two highly desirable SoS attributes are the ability to withstand and recover from disruptions (resilience) and affordability. In practice, more resilient SoS...
Article
Eco-Industrial Networks (EINs) have gained support as a solution that simultaneously reduces environmental burdens and promotes economic interests. EINs operate under a mutualistic framework, where waste materials and energy are exchanged between industries to their mutual benefit, creating a diverse web of flows. Recent studies have focused on ana...
Conference Paper
Student use of makerspaces can vary greatly, with some students confidently using the space throughout their academic career and others quickly losing interest or never participating. Improvements to the tools within the space, both the tools available and the order in which students are introduced may help more students confidently navigate the sp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Supply chain design has traditionally focused on using the shortest path or the minimum number of paths to reduce operational costs. This approach, however, fails to account for a system’s response to external disruptions. A novel supply chain design is proposed that mimics the optimal balance of efficient and redundant pathways found in nature’s r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The sustainability of industrial practices is a growing point of emphasis in the research and business communities demanding effective systems-level solutions. Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs), networks of co-located industries connected through mutually beneficial collaborations are a popular systems-level solution but have experienced highly variable...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainability of industrial practices is a growing point of emphasis in the research and business communities demanding effective systems-level solutions. Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs), networks of co-located industries connected through mutually beneficial collaborations are a popular systems-level solution but have experienced highly variable...
Article
Full-text available
Human networks and engineered systems are traditionally designed to maximize efficiency. Ecosystems on the other hand, achieve long-term robustness and sustainability by maintaining a unique balance between pathway efficiency and redundancy, measured in terms of the number of flow pathways available for a given unit of flow at any node in the netwo...
Conference Paper
Structural similarities between human networks and biological ecosystems have inspired biomimetic design of human networks. The approach requires the networks to be represented as graphs, where the actors are nodes and the connections between actors are links. A major oversight in the application of ecosystem-based modeling to human networks thus f...
Conference Paper
The Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) metric ecological robustness quantifies the unique balance that biological food webs have between their pathway efficiency and redundancy, enabling them to maximize their robustness to system disturbances. This robustness is a potentially desirable quality for human systems to mimic. Modeling the interactions b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many engineering senior design programs, students are taught an engineering design process that they apply to a real-world, engineering design problem. This study examined how different factors from that experience impact a student’s design self-efficacy, or their belief in their own ability to complete engineering design tasks. Self-efficacy ha...
Conference Paper
Circular economy aims to address limited resources through the continuous circulation of materials and energy. Recirculating low quality materials for reuse is a sustainability goal that is analogous to the primary function of Nature’s detritus species, a keystone for the proper functioning of ecosystems. Prior applications of ecosystem structure t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Industrial Ecology uses ecological systems as a guide for improving the sustainability of complex industrial systems. Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) have gained support as a solution that seeks to simultaneously reduce environmental burdens and promote economic interests by exchanging materials and energy between industries to their mutual benefit. Re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The evolution of power systems has recently seen a strong increase in renewable energy integration. This evolution has resulted in bidirectional pathways with two-way exchanges between the grid and consumers that is beginning to resemble the cyclic organization of food webs. Ecologically-similar cycling of materials and energy in industrial network...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Economic, environmental, and social advantages have been achieved over the years through byproducts and waste exchanges between industries. These Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) are touted to be ecologically similar, however when they are analyzed using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) techniques it has been found that they do not successfully mimic a...
Conference Paper
Ecology has acted as a source for sound design principles and studies of ecosystems have examined how ecological principles can enhance sustainable human network design. Engineered systems are often designed for maximum performance, but in many cases, robustness is lost due to unwanted variations in inputs or efficiency. Taguchi’s signal to noise r...
Conference Paper
Ecology is proving to be an innovative source for design principles. Studies have examined how ecological principles can enhance sustainability in industrial networks. Ecologically-inspired manufacturing networks tend to focus on supporting symbiotic relationship formation, creating a cyclical flow structure that has been shown to result in efficie...
Article
Industrial Ecology hypothesises that networks of industries designed to be analogous to the structure and properties of food webs may approach a similarly sustainable and efficient state. Although ecology is the metaphor for designing Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs), prior research has shown that EIPs are inferior in performance compared to natural eco...
Article
Full-text available
From de Mestral’s hook-and-loop fasteners to the industrial symbiosis in Kalundborg, Denmark, organisms and ecosystems have provided inspiration for multiple novel inventions. Bio-inspiration at the industrial system scale can reduce energetic and material environmental burdens as documented in the case of Kalundborg’s symbiosis. Practical successe...
Article
Biologically Inspired Design (Biomimicry) and Industrial Ecology both look to natural systems to enhance the sustainability and performance of engineered products, systems and industries. Bio-inspired design (BID) traditionally has operated on a unit operation and single product level. In contrast, this paper describes how principles of network org...
Article
A key element for achieving sustainable manufacturing systems is efficient and effective resource use. This potentially can be achieved by encouraging symbiotic thinking among multiple manufacturers and industrial actors and establish resource flow structures that are analogous to material flows in natural ecosystems. In this paper, ecological prin...
Chapter
Industrial Ecology hypothesizes that networks of industries designed to be analogous to the structure and properties of food webs may approach a similarly sustainable and efficient state. Although ecology is the metaphor for designing Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs), prior research has shown that IEPs are inferior in performance compared to natural eco...
Conference Paper
Ecology has acted as a source for sound design principles and studies have examined how ecological principles can enhance sustainability in human industrial networks. Engineered systems are often designed for maximum performance, but in many cases robustness is sought with respect to unwanted variations in input or other parameters. Taguchi’s signa...
Article
Cyclical industrial networks are becoming highly desirable for their efficient use of resources and capital. Progress toward this ideal can be enhanced by mimicking the structure of naturally sustainable ecological food webs (FWs). The structures of cyclic industrial networks, sometimes known as eco-industrial parks (EIPs), are compared to FWs usin...
Conference Paper
In this paper we use ecology metrics to analyze closed loop manufacturing networks, specifically eco-industrial parks. Eco-industrial parks (EIP) have become a popular manifestation of sustainable initiatives around the world. EIP examples and proposals have met with varying success. We create here three groupings of industrial networks based on th...
Article
Full-text available
A sustainable global community requires the successful integration of environment and engineering. In the public and private sectors, designing cyclical ("closed loop") resource networks increasingly appears as a strategy employed to improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. Patterning industrial networks on ecological ones has...
Data
Basic Rankine cycle idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Data
Rankine cycle with two open feed water heaters idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Data
Rankine cycle with one open feed water heater idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Data
Basic Brayton cycle idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Data
Brayton cycle with regeneration (i.e. counterflow heat exchanger), intercooling, and reheat (2 turbines) idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Data
Brayton cycle with regeneration (i.e. counterflow heat exchanger) idealized equipment diagram for a power cycle (a), energy flow diagram (b). (TIF)
Conference Paper
This article investigates a correlation between the thermal efficiency of ideal power cycles and a structural measure of the degree of interactions in networks known as cyclicity. Efficient design of networks that reuse materials and energy motivates the work. Corporate "take-back" plans, multi-company industrial symbioses and public recycling prog...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Support the growth and value of engineering makerspaces for students
Project
Improving our design of human networks using inspiration from biological ecosystems
Project
Improve the ability to incorporate System of Systems (SoS) resilience to disturbances for designers and decision makers.