Polyhedral Structures

computer simulation of novel polyhedral structure




Assistant Professor

Project Summary

This summer I worked with Dr. Masoud Akbarzadeh, a professor in the school of design, in his lab at the Pennovation center. His work focussed on developing ultra lightweight structural forms using an algorithm that he developed. The basic idea of the program is that if you wanted to design a structure to withstand a force in a certain direction (such as the deck of a bridge), you would tell the program the direction of the forces and the program would output a structure designed to withstand that force. The special thing about the structure is that it’s designed to put all of the structural members in either tension (like it’s being pulled apart) or compression (like it’s being squeezed) and no bending, which makes it much more efficient. My work initially was about using Javascript to write a web based application to help view these structures more intuitively and interact with them, but I eventually switched to a new project. My new project was designing parts in Solidworks that connected different parts of the structure. There are challenges that come with actually building the structure that are not apparent in the initial design phase, such as how everything is actually connected.

This summer experience taught me about architecture and the current advances that are being made in the field. It also showed me what the research experience was like for professors and how much work they do. Personally, it gave me a little more experience with coding and engineering, which is helpful for my decision about my major.