professor ben schafer's thin-walled structures research group - johns hopkins university


Optimization of Cold-Formed Steel Members


This page is under construction - our group is working on many avenues related to optimizing cold-formed steel members - please come back for more information in the future.


Our research team has been investigating the use of advanced optimization techniques that incorporate the Direct Strength Method and hence the finite strip method into the objective function evaluation.


The work began with Hopkins undergraduate student Sam Phillips in 2002 using GA and EA methods. In addition recent work has been conducted with former Hopkins graduate student Haoyang Liu. We have had success with the application of Genetic Algorithms and Knowledge-based Optimization Techniques.


For more on GA in structural engineering see Chris Foley's web site at Marquette.


Recently Hopkins Graduate Student Jiazheng Leng, Professor James Guest, and I have picked this problem up again. Currently we are using FSM, cFSM, and DSM to form the heart of the objective function evaluation and investigating a variety of optimization techniques including: gradient-based, simulated annealing, and GA. The work is ongoing, but a conference paper is expected Fall 2010.




For example, see


Liu, H., Igusa, T., Schafer, B.W. (2004). “Knowledge-Based Global Optimization of Cold-Formed Steel Columns.” Elsevier, Thin-walled Structures Journal. 42 (6) 785-801 (doi:10.1016/j.tws.2004.01.001)

last edited on 08/16/10