A Pursuit of Geometry-Centric Solutions to Engineering Problems

By Ganesh Subbarayan

Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Engineers often face the need to analyze challenging multi-physics problems driven by mechanical forces, heat, as well as phenomena such as diffusion. These forces commonly cause parts to deform, cracks to grow or material phases to evolve. The evolution of cracks or phase boundaries in turn has consequences for product performance that the engineers seek to optimize. In a purely design context, the boundary shape may be evolved deliberately by the engineers to optimally achieve the design goals. The main thesis of this talk is that a geometry-centric viewpoint during analysis of behavior is not only necessary to ensure the accuracy of the predicted shapes of boundaries and interfaces, but also enables efficient solution. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that an explicit parametric representation of the boundaries is feasible even in complex problems such as dendritic solidification. Since it is my firm belief that engineering research must be in service of a need to solve (messy) engineering problems, I will intersperse the description of techniques with solutions to several practical problems drawn from the electronics industry.


Ganesh Subbarayan Ganesh Subbarayan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He began his professional career at IBM Corporation (1990-1993). He holds a B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering (1985) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his M.S. (1989) and Ph. D. (1991) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Subbarayan's core research is broadly concerned with developing computational techniques to seamlessly integrate CAD with CAE while practical aspects of his research are to model and experimentally characterize failure in microelectronic devices and assemblies. He was a pioneer in using geometric models directly for analysis, popularly referred to as Isogeometric Analysis. As an independent consultant, he contributed to ensuring reliable designs of Microsoft Kinect and Surface line of products. Among others, Dr. Subbarayan is a recipient of the 2005 Mechanics Award from the ASME EPP Division and the NSF CAREER award. He is a Fellow of ASME as well as IEEE, and he served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging during 2002-2010. He also served as the topical editor for John Wiley’s Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering during 2011-2012.

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  • Ganesh Subbarayan (2017), "A Pursuit of Geometry-Centric Solutions to Engineering Problems," http://nanohub.org/resources/26241.

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ME 2054, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN