Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology

The Engineering Design Research Laboratory

About EDRL

The Engineering Design Research Laboratory (EDRL) was funded in 2011. It focuses on engineering systems, structures, and material design optimization algorithms. Our research aims to exploit and develop synergies among structural engineering, engineering mechanics, material science, and manufacturing to introduce new insights and capabilities to engineering design.

Our long-term vision is to develop multidisciplinary, multiscale design methodologies to address challenges in the design of novel materials, products, and systems in a highly integrated manner. Research topics include: topology optimization, design under uncertainty, multiscale design, metamodel-based design, and design for additive manufacturing.

Applications include vehicle structural optimization (e.g., crashworthiness and blast mitigation), composite material optimization, and their integration in a multiscale material and structure design methodology.

Major Equipment

The numerical developments and simulations are supported by EDRL's IBM dx360 M3 computer nodes comprised of twelve dual Intel E5645 processors of 2.4 GHz, 24 GB of RAM, and an internal 250 GB SATA drive. Computer nodes are installed on a shared-memory environment at Indiana University's Quarry cluster, a supercomputer-class system dedicated to handle massive data sets.

The physical testing and validation will be performed on the Hit Lab's Split Hopkinson pressure (SHPB) bar for high strain rate compression testing at IUPUI (SL 044A). The SHPB is equipped with three sets of incident/transmitter bars (2.82 m in length each bar) in different materials: Nylon (50.8 mm in diameter), 7075-T6 aluminum alloy (25.4 mm in diameter), and C350 maraging steel (12.7 mm in diameter).

A library of modeling, analysis, and optimization tools include: MATLAB's optimization toolbox, iSIGHT optimization software package, COMSOL's multiphysics modeling capabilities, ANSYS, NX, and LS-DYNA for nonlinear transient finite element analysis as well as a suite of in-house structural optimization tools.

Over thirty fused filament fabrication (FFF)/fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers including: one uPrint SE Plust from Stratasys (Minnesota, USA), one AW3DXL Deluxe from AirWolf (California, USA), two Makerbot Replicator 2X from Stratasys (Minnesota, USA), two Steam Engine from 3D Parts Manufacturing (Indiana, USA), ten A5 MINI from Afinibot (China), ten in-house Prusa it2 and one Prusa it3, and several experimental printers. In addition, the lab has three stereolithograpy (SLA) printers: one Form 1+ and two Form 2 from FormLabs (Massachusetts, USA).


Current Research Sponsors

Walmart grant

USCMWalmart Foundation

Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, The Walmart Foundation, and The United States Conference of Mayors

Optimal plastic injection molding tooling design and production through advanced additive manufacturing ($291,202: Aug 2014 - Mar 2017). More information >>


GM grant


General Motors Company

Multi-material, multi-objective topology optimization for crashworthiness using extended hybrid cellular automata (gmHCA) ($250,000: Jan 2016 - Dec 2017).


Honda grant


Honda R&D Americas

Topology Crash Optimization of Progressively Buckling Thin-walled Structures using Tubular Compliant Mechanisms—Improved Conceptual Design using a Target Dynamic Response ($120,336: June 2015 - June 2017). More information >>


CRL MURI grants


Center for Research and Learning

3D bioprinting computational models. Mentors: Nicanor Moldovan (PI), Horia Petrache, and Andres Tovar ($18,000: Aug 2016 - May 2017). Co-mentors: Lester Smith, Bruce Ray, T.J. Sego. Students: Samantha England, Maggie Stinnett, Vladimir Kosachevsky, Daniel Hauersperger, Daniel Kinsey.

Optimal filament fused fabrication of 3D printed components made of recycled mixed shredded plastic" ($10,000: May 2016 - Aug 2016) Faculty: Andres Tovar (PI), Amanda Siegel. Students: Laura Luther, Vladimir Kosachevsky, Qiuyu Deng, Jinyun Zhou.

Development of the 3D Printing Technologies to Reduce the Cost of Filament Fused Fabrication ($10,000: Oct 2015 - May 2016). Faculty: Andres Tovar (PI), Lixi Li. Students: Aaron Isaacs, Carl Marko, Zongying Xu, Daniel Rodriguez Gambetta, Abigail Curdes.

Former Sponsors








Professor Andres Tovar

Andres Tovar, Ph.D.
Curriculum vitae
Personal site


  • (Feb 1, 2018) EDRL and INDI are awarded an IUPUI CRL Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) grant to continue research on recycled plastic in extrusion-based additive manufacturing from May to Aug 2018.
  • (Sep 1, 2017) EDRL is awarded a $5000 grant from Detroit Mercy Dental to support research on the biomechanical effects of implantoplasty using finite elment-based bone remodeling models.
  • (Aug 15, 2017) EDRL is awarded $10,000 from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI to continue the development of an Innovation to Enterprise Central (ITEC) project of biomedical tube holder device.
  • (Aug 1, 2017) Prof. Tovar was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • (Jun 15, 2017) EDRL receives $80,000 gran from Honda R&D Americas to continue research on innovative design of thin-walled structures for crashworthiness.
  • (Feb 15, 2017) EDRL receives $100,000 gran from GM to continue research on targeting response of vehicle structures subjected to crashing loads.
  • (Dec 15, 2016) Prof. Andres Tovar (PI) and Prof. Zeb Wood (co-PI) were awarded a research grant ($20,000) from the Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI for their proposal "Design of organic-shaped sport helmets through bioinspired form-finding and optimization algorithms": More info.
  • (Dec 2, 2016) EDRL Research Student Laura Luther was awarded with the 1st place in the 2016 IUURC Student Award competition: Press release.
  • (May 16, 2016) Vaibhav Gokhale successfully deffends his MS thesis in the area of helmet design.
  • (May 10, 2016) Prof. Andres Tovar is awarded with the FORCES grant to commercialize a multi-phase topology optimization algorithm. Press release.
  • (Apr 11, 2016) Fabian Lischke successfully defended his MS thesis in simulation-based design for additive manufacturing (DfAM).
  • (Apr 7, 2016) T.J. Sego successfully defended his MS thesis in long-term stability of dental implants.
  • (Mar 2, 2016) Prof. Tovar has been selected to receive the 2016 Indiana University Trustess Teaching Award (TTA).