Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2014

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Colby C. Swan


Continuum topology optimization is a mathematical/computational method to find optimal conceptual structural designs for given loads and boundary conditions. To provide realistic design solutions for structures such as long-span bridges, the method must deal with sparse structures on large, finely meshed domains. Consequently, the method can be very computationally intensive. In this study we attempt to reduce the computational intensity by applying both a multi-level refinement method and an analysis problem size reduction technique. The proposed techniques are found in this study to reduce the computational effort required by a factor of about 3. To make sure that design solutions obtained with the proposed methods are both constructible and convergent with mesh refinement, a perimeter control method is employed in this framework. Besides, analysis is made on both structural layout and objective function curve diagram during optimization process.


vii, 72 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 70-72).


Copyright 2014 Bodi Lu