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Daring More Intelligence - Design Assistants in Mechanics and Dynamics (SPP 2353)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
In March 2021, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme "Daring More Intelligence - Design Assistants in Mechanics and Dynamics" (SPP 2353). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

The research in the established Priority Programme shall aim at the development of design assistance systems combining methods from optimisation, artificial intelligence, and dynamics/mechanics to assist in and partially automate the interdisciplinary design of engineering systems. This may not only result in designs that are actually optimal with respect to formalised criteria, but such design assistants may equip design engineers with an artificial intuition supplementing their own specialised expertise. This way, criteria nowadays only considered in later design stages may be taken into account early on, improving resulting systems in a much more fundamental manner than today's incremental improvements following established design paradigms.

In the first funding period, the Priority Programme will drive research towards the following areas:
o replacement of subjective evaluation criteria by formalised objectives in all application fields of dynamics in mechanics and mechatronics, as well as the introduction of data-driven instead of rule-based criteria and the evaluation of new and advanced kinds of systems that incorporate, e.g., artificial intelligence, network communication, and/or advanced dynamic control methods;
o development of methods for the flexible coupling of different analysis programmes, used for the acceleration and systematisation of the search for optima by relying on machine learning and artificial intelligence;
o validation of design assistant systems in various application fields, including the development of benchmark processes to demonstrate the resulting advantages; application fields and design goals may include, e.g., the multicriteria optimisation of kinematic properties and the dynamic behaviour of mechanisms, robots, and flexible multibody systems, the choice and design of control strategies for mechatronic systems, and the robustness of designs with respect to aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties.

Project proposals should ideally address all three areas. In any case, submitted applications must clearly put emphasis on design assistant components and comment on the positioning of the project proposal within the framework of the overall research programme, and on its contribution as well as the added value in the above-mentioned areas. Furthermore, it is expected that proposals provide clear visionary aims with a strong connection to specific engineering design questions from mechanics and dynamics. In contrast, projects solely restricted to either theoretical or numerical methods in artificial intelligence, machine learning, optimisation, modelling, surrogate modelling, model reduction, system analysis, or pure control engineering will not be supported by this programme. There must be an explicit link to design questions beyond the established state of the art. Consequently, also projects solely focusing on classic single-criterion topology or shape optimisation are excluded.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 27 October 2021 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered.

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:
Dr.-Ing. Xenia Molodova
phone +49 228 885-2374

Further Information: