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UW Crest with engineering background
April 1, 2024

New collaborative DARPA award for Krishnan Suresh

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Krishnan Suresh
Krishnan Suresh

Congratulations to Mead Witter Foundation Professor of Mechanical Engineering Krishnan Suresh on his recent award from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)!

DARPA’s METALS program, short for Multiobjective Engineering and Testing of ALloy Structures, aims to fundamentally disrupt how material is considered in the design process. “Material is treated as a discrete, fixed input in the design process today,” said Andrew Detor, METALS program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “We want to make material itself a design variable that can be optimized alongside component shape. If we’re successful, this approach would vastly increase the design space and potentially lead to breakthroughs in system level performance, cost, and sustainability.”

Blisk Krishnan Suresh
Schematic stress plot over a blisk model

Prof. Suresh has teamed up with Teledyne, the University of Miami, and the University of Colorado to propose a novel approach to METALS. Their proposal, “Multi Alloy Pixelated Structures (MAPS),” combines multi-material additive manufacturing, rapid full-field measurement, inverse analysis, design optimization, machine learning, and high-performance computing. The multi-organization team was awarded a 3-year $7 million grant to pursue their research. At UW-Madison, Prof. Suresh’s research group will use their machine learning expertise to transform discrete material selection into continuous design variables, for simultaneous material and topology optimization.