Concurrent aerostructural topology optimization of a wing box

Kai A. James, Graeme J. Kennedy, Joaquim R.R.A. Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a novel multidisciplinary framework for performing shape and topology optimization of a flexible wing structure. The topology optimization is integrated into a multidisciplinary algorithm in which both the aerodynamic shape and the structural topology are optimized concurrently using gradient-based optimization. The optimization results were compared with the results of a sequential procedure in which the aerodynamic shape was optimized separately and then used as a fixed design feature in a subsequent structural optimization. The results show that the concurrent approach offers a significant advantage, as this design achieved 42% less drag than the sequentially optimized wing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Structures
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerostructural design
  • Coupled adjoint sensitivity analysis
  • Multidisciplinary optimization
  • Newton-Krylov methods
  • Topology optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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