Computer Science Distinguished Seminar - University of Houston
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Computer Science Distinguished Seminar

A Practical Unstructured Spline Modeling Platform for Isogeometric Analysis Applications

When: Friday, November 22, 2019
Where: PGH 232
Time: 11:00 AM

Speaker: Dr. Jessica Zhang, Carnegie Mellon University

Host: Dr. Guoning Chen

As a new advancement of traditional finite element method, isogeometric analysis (IGA) adopts the same set of basis functions to represent both the geometry and the solution space, integrating design with analysis seamlessly. In this talk, I will present a practical unstructured spline modeling platform that allows IGA to be incorporated into existing commercial software such as Abaqus and LS-DYNA, heading one step further to bridge the gap between design and analysis. The platform includes all the necessary modules of the design-through-analysis pipeline: pre-processing, surface and volumetric spline construction, analysis and post-processing. Taking IGES files from commercial computer aided design packages, Rhino specific files or mesh data, the platform provides several control mesh generation techniques, such as converting any unstructured quadrilateral/hexahedral meshes to T-meshes, frame field based quadrilateral meshing, and polycube method. Truncated T-splines, hierarchical B-splines, blended B-spline and hybrid nonuniform subdivision approaches are developed, supporting efficient local refinement and sharp feature preservation. To ensure analysis suitability, partition of unity, linear independence and optimal convergence rate of these basis functions are studied in our research. IGA has very broad engineering applications like the finite element method, and specific application requirements always bring us new research problems and drive the future research directions. At the end of this talk, I will present several practical application problems to demonstrate the capability of our software platform. In addition to mechanics characterization for Navy, NAVAIR and Honda applications, in recent years we also developed novel image registration techniques using truncated hierarchical B-splines, an IGA solver to simulate material transport in complex neuron trees, and a new SimuLearn system to combine finite element method with machine learning for 4D printing.


Jessica Zhang is the George Tallman Ladd and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University with a courtesy appointment in Biomedical Engineering. She received her B.Eng. in Automotive Engineering, and M.Eng. in Engineering Mechanics from Tsinghua University, China; and M.Eng. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Ph.D. in Computational Engineering and Sciences from Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (now Oden Institute), The University of Texas at Austin. She joined CMU in 2007 as an assistant professor, and then was promoted to an associate professor in 2012 and a full professor in 2016. Her research interests include computational geometry, mesh generation, computer graphics, visualization, finite element method, isogeometric analysis and their application in computational biomedicine, materials science and engineering. Zhang has co-authored over 170 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and received the Best Paper Award 1st Place for the 2018 Solid and Physical Modeling Conference, Autodesk Best Paper Award 1st Place at the 2015 SIAM Conference on Solid and Physical Modeling, the Best Paper Award at the CompIMAGE’16 conference, one of 5 Most Highly Cited Papers Published in Computer-Aided Design during 2014-2016, and one of 10 Most Cited Articles Published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering during 2005-2008. She published a book titled “Geometric Modeling and Mesh Generation from Scanned Images” with CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group in 2016. Zhang is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the NSF CAREER Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, the USACM Gallagher Young Investigator Award, a Clarence H. Adamson Career Faculty Fellow in Mechanical Engineering, the George Tallman Ladd Research Award, and is a Donald L. & Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellow. She is also a Fellow of USACM and ELATE at Drexel.