The Simulation-Based Engineering Lab (SBEL) investigates modeling approaches and develops software solutions that enable fast computers to accurately predict how complex mechanical systems change in time. Example applications: vehicles operating on soft deformable terrain, ensembles of millions of elements in the flow of granular material, the VIPER rover operating on the Moon. The lab has ongoing projects with NASA, US Army, DOT, and DOE. All our work is channeled into a simulation platform called Chrono, which is available as for unfettered use as open source software on GitHub, see here.
Our research seeks to advance the use of computer modeling and simulation towards two ends: (a) augment the traditional engineering design process with a digital dimension rooted in the concept of virtual prototyping; and (b) facilitate discovery and innovation through advanced computing; i.e., enabling the use of simulation to produce data that provides useful insights in the engineering design process. SBEL relies on the joint effort of lab members with expertise in computational mechanics, parallel computing, fluid-solid interaction, computer graphics, computer vision, granular dynamics, terramechanics, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and software development.
Our outreach and educational initiatives revolve around a lab-organized and run residential summer camp that aims at introducing high-school students to the topic of Computational Science, see here. We also organize yearly an event related to the broad area of robotics, autonomy, off-road vehicles, and terramechanics. For details see here.