Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202200127
Computational Optimization
Course infoSchedule
Course module202200127
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. J. Hazrati Marangalou
Contactperson for the course G.T. Havinga
Lecturer G.T. Havinga
dr. J. Hazrati Marangalou
Contactperson for the course
dr. J. Hazrati Marangalou
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
In every engineering field, models are used to assess the performance of structures/products/systems. In order to improve the performance of a system, certain parameters of the design can usually be adapted. Computational optimization refers to the use of algorithms to automate the search for an optimal design. The adequate algorithm to be used depends on characteristics of the problem, properties of the model and the number of parameters to be optimized.

After having completed  the course, the student is able to:
  1. Formulate a design assignment as an optimization problem.
  2. Classify an optimization problem by its type of parameters, objective function and constraints.
  3. Choose appropriate mathematical  solution algorithms for specific optimization problems.
  4. Use an optimization software toolbox to solve optimization problems.
In the Computational Optimization course the concepts of unconstrained and constrained optimizations are covered. The most important methods for systematic mathematical optimization are explained, and applied using practical examples. In the first part of the course, local (gradient-based) optimization methods are covered in detail, while global optimization methods are covered in the second part of the course. The course is designed for Mechanical Engineering students, and examples from structural mechanics will be covered in the lectures and assignments.

The course is a blend of mathematics, programming and engineering, and of interest for Master students from all Mechanical Engineering specializations.
The following topics will be covered in the course:
  1. Design optimization, design variables, objective function, constraints.
  2. Unconstrained optimization, line search.
  3. Constrained optimization, Lagrange multipliers.
  4. Local optimization methods for linear and non-linear problems.
  5. Calculation of gradients.
  6. Global optimization methods.
  7. Surrogate model based global optimization.
  8. Topology optimization.
  9. Practical approaches to optimization in engineering.

Assumed previous knowledge
Mandatory: 202000149 Introduction to Finite Element Method
Participating study
Master Mechanical Engineering
Required materials
Course material
Handouts distributed via Canvas
Recommended materials
Joaquim Martins and Andrew Ning: Engineering Design Optimization (ISBN: 9781108980647, also available at
Instructional modes

Assignments & Oral Exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal