Engineering Informatics and Simulation
Traditionally, the design and construction industry has faced many barriers to developing and implementing new technologies, including the threat of litigation, government regulations, code restrictions and the high cost of insurance.
Furthermore, because each civil structure tends to be unique, there is, in contrast to other manufacturing sectors, a lack of opportunity for mass production imposed by the “one-off’’ production environment. This in turn creates a special need for innovation in design procedures and construction techniques that are peculiar to this profession. Computers can play a significant role as an enabling technology to support future innovation in the design and construction industry.
Computers have been used in structural engineering primarily as a computational tool improving the accuracy of structural response prediction and assisting in many routine design tasks. Much has been accomplished in the past three decades and much more can be accomplished through advanced research in computational mechanics and computer-aided engineering. Computers provide a significant advantage as communicators of information through proper information management tools.
In a multidisciplinary project of facility engineering, the computer can serve as a medium for storage, management, visualization and communication in which the information is generated only once and is augmented and retrieved in the various phases of the facility engineering process. Furthermore, computers can simulate the fabrication, design, erection and operation processes of a constructed facility. Our research concerns the design and construction of facility engineering, from the viewpoint of integration with all disciplines involved in the process, focusing on the following areas:
- Development of tools to facilitate collaboration between disciplines.
- Use of Internet and mobile technologies to improve communication among project team members.
- Better documentation of design and information transfer.
- Management of engineering and regulatory information.
- Use of high-performance parallel and distributed computers for large-scale simulation of structural behavior as well as design and construction processes.