We conduct research in the application of rigorous design methodologies to the design of artifacts and environments for people.

Keyword: “optimization”

Considering just noticeable difference in assessments of physical accommodation for product design

Configuring products or environments for the size of their human users requires the consideration of several characteristics of the target user population, including body dimensions (anthropometry) and preferred interaction. Users are both adaptable and imperfect observers, which often makes it difficult for them to distinguish between candidate designs. This insensitivity is described by a concept […]

Optimization of product dimensions for discrete sizing applied to a tool handle

The allocation of adjustability and use of discrete sizes are two methods of accounting for the variability in the population of prospective users of a product. This paper addresses the discrete sizing problem, adapting recent adjustability research. This is done in the context of the optimization of tool handle sizes, and a case study of […]

Investigation of accommodation for products designed for human variability

This study investigates the nature of accommodation in products designed for human variability with the intent of improving tools for design decision-making. Accommodation, which describes the ability of a user to fit or use a device or environment in a preferred way, is a key measure of the performance of many devices. Methods that offer […]

Using designing for human variability to optimize aircraft seat layout

Integrating the seemingly divergent objectives of aircraft seat configuration is a difficult task. Aircraft manufacturers look to design seats to maximize customer satisfaction and in-flight safety, but these objectives can conflict with the profit motive of airline companies. In order to boost revenue by increasing the number of passengers per aircraft, airline companies may increase […]

Including Preference in Anthropometry-Driven Models for Design

In the design of artifacts that interact with people, the spatial dimensions of the target user popula- tion are often used to determine requirements of the engineered artifact. The expected variability in body dimensions (called “anthropometry”) is used to indicate how much adjustability or how many sizes are required to accommodate the intended user population. […]

Optimization of tool handle shape for a target user population

One goal of Designing for Human Variability (DfHV) is to optimize the interaction between user and device. Often, this interaction is dictated by the spatial dimensions or shape of the artifacts with which people interact. A novel approach that applies DfHV principles including virtual fitting trials to optimize the shape of an artifact is presented […]

Modeling variability in torso shape for chair and seat design

Anthropometric data are widely used in the design of chairs, seats, and other furniture intended for seated use. These data are valuable for determining the overall height, width, and depth of a chair, but contain little information about body shape that can be used to choose appropriate contours for backrests. A new method is presented […]

Improved head restraint design for safety and compliance

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently revised Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 202, which governs head restraints. The new standard, known as FMVSS 202a, establishes for the first time in the U.S. a requirement for the fore-aft position of the head restraint. The fore-aft distance between the head restraint and headform representing […]

Robust truck cabin layout optimization using advanced driver variance models

One important source of variance in the performance and success of products designed for use by people is the people themselves. In many cases, the acceptability of the design is affected more by the variance in the human users than by the variance attributable to the hardware from which the product is constructed. Consequently, optimization […]

Improving an ergonomics testing procedure via approximation-based adaptive experimental design

Adaptive design refers to experimental design where the next sample point is determined by information from previous experiments. This article presents a constrained optimization algorithm known as superEGO (a variant of the EGO algorithm of Schonlau, Welch, and Jones) that can create adaptive designs using kriging approximations. Our primary goal is to illustrate that superEGO […]

Adaptive experimental design applied to an ergonomics testing procedure

Nonlinear constrained optimization algorithms are widely utilized in artifact design. Certain algorithms also lend themselves well to design of experiments (DOE). Adaptive design refers to experimental design where determining where to sample next is influenced by information from previous experiments. We present a constrained optimization algorithm known as superEGO (a variant of the EGO algorithm […]

Multicriteria optimization in product platform design

A product platform is a set of common components, modules or parts from which a stream of derivative products can be created. Product platform design requires selection of the shared parts and assessment of the potential sacrifices in individual product performance that result from parts sharing. A multicriteria optimization problem can be formulated to study […]

A parametric approach to the optimization-based design of compliant mechanisms

Several optimization-based strategies have been proposed for compliant mechanism design that do not rely on the experience or intuition of the designer. This paper demonstrates an optimization-based method wherein compliant mechanisms are modeled parametrically within an optimization and a finite element analysis package. Topological optimization is performed to minimize an objective function representing the fitness […]