• August 29, 2016
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • 117A Surge Building
  • Dr. Robert Canfield
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Kapania

Presentation Slides:

A 30-Year Retrospective of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization


Prof. Bob Canfield will present his experience and perspective on working with winners of the AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) Award for Technical Excellence over the course of the last 30 years. He will present highlights of the contributions of Lucien Schmit, Jarek Sobieski, Rafi Haftka, Vipperla Venkayya, Gary Vanderplaats, Prabhat Hajela, Ramana Grandhi, Ilan Kroo, Achille Messac, Christina Bloebaum, Robert Canfield, and Rakesh Kapania.


Prof. Canfield’s research focuses on structural optimization, multidisciplinary analysis and design methods, including airworthiness, reliability-based design, structural dynamics and controls, and aeroelasticity. The 2014 AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Award winner has published 53 journal articles, 109 conference papers, and is co-author of the textbook Reliability-Based Structural Design. He is Technical Director of the NAVAIR-sponsored VT Airworthiness Center and has been a team lead in the AFRL-VT-WSU Collaborative Center for Multidisciplinary Sciences. He has advised six PhD students and four MS students graduated from Virginia Tech and six PhD and 22 MS students at Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). He has taught 18 different graduate engineering and two undergraduate courses. Prior to arriving at Virginia Tech, he worked in research and development for the Air Force (AF) for 24 years. He was on the AFIT faculty from 1993–1996 and 2000–2008, as Deputy Department Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics at AFIT from 2002–2004. From 1999–2000 he was the Program Manager for Computational Mathematics at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) where he funded basic research in computational fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, plasma physics, combustion and laser chemistry, imaging, quantum computing, and multidisciplinary design. As AFOSR Director of Policy and Integration, 1998–1999, Lt Col Canfield directed planning, financial management, support, and administration of the AF $300M basic research program.


Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Engineering Mechanics, 1992

M.S.,   Stanford University, Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1984
Charles Lee Powell Foundation Fellow

B.S.E., Duke University, Mechanical Engineering, summa cum laude, 1983
Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar