Design, Optimization, and Entrepreneurship

"Our research is laying a mathematically rigorous foundation for a theory of systems engineering, and we are finding methods to ameliorate negative impacts of common system design methods such as requirements flowdown, continuous improvement and use of the weighted sum method for comparative evaluation of system alternatives."

— George Hazelrigg

Design, Optimization, Entrepreneurship

Mason's Department of Mechanical Engineering leverages its unique location near the Nation's capital to recruit researchers with tremendous depth of knowledge and hands-on experience. With a new PhD concentration under Systems Engineering and Operation Research (to be started as soon as Fall 2022) and senior faculty members with decades of federal, state, and industry experience in design, optimization, and entrepreneurship, mechanical engineering is rapidly growing its portfolio in this area. This is reflected in the capstone design opportunities provided to our undergraduates, and continues on at the graduate level.

Featured faculty conducting research in design, optimization, and entrepreneurship include:

  • Ali Beheshti directs the Tribology and Surface Mechanics Laboratory. Beside investigating surface and interfacial mechanics as well as friction and wear phenomena, he is interested in the design and optimization of hierarchical structures, novel contacting pairs, functionally graded coatings, and gear systems, especially through additive manufacturing. 
  • George Hazelrigg's research focuses on the theory of engineering design and systems engineering. His work views design as a process of decision making and integrates the mathematics of probability theory, optimization theory, decision theory, game theory, economics and social choice theory with problems in product and system design. The results of his research are creating opportunities to significantly improve engineering decision making. It has been estimated that schedule delays, cost overruns, and underperforming systems result in losses to the Federal government in excess of $200 million per day. This research seeks to lower this loss and to make domestic products more competitive in world markets.