Chen Receives 2015 Design Automation Award

The award is the highest achievement for design automation

Wei Chen, the Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design and professor of mechanical engineering, received the 2015 Design Automation Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Chen was recognized for her contributions to the field of design automation, which have advanced both the theoretical development and practical applications in many areas, including simulation-based design under certainty. The division-level award is the highest achievement in the field.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Chen said. “I am immensely grateful to the many people who have inspired me during my 25-year career as a researcher and academic. My graduate students, collaborators, and colleagues have given me the joy of working on interdisciplinary topics, learning new things, and discovering the value of my work for its impact on other fields.”

This award is just one of the most recent accolades that Chen has received. Her research achievements have been recognized by three best paper awards from the ASME Design Automation Conference. She also received an NSF Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, Intelligent Optimal Design Prize, SAE Ralph R. Teetor Education Award, and Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal. Her methods for design under uncertainty have been integrated into commercial software that are widely used in industry, including by iSIGHT and Hyperworks.

Director of Northwestern Engineering’s Integrated DEsign Automation Laboratory (IDEAL), Chen has made extensive contributions for design methods in engineering design. Her research team has developed new algorithmic approaches that reduce the computational complexity of simulation-based design in practical problems that are characterized by expensive simulations and high dimensionality. Her technical leadership in advancing interdisciplinary research has been influential in establishing new research areas in design automation, such as model validation and uncertainty quantification, enterprise-driven decision-based design, and design of engineered materials systems.

Chen has published two books, 120 journal articles, six book chapters, and 75 referred conference proceedings. She is also chair of the research faculty council for Northwestern’s Segal Design Institute and founder and director of the interdisciplinary doctoral cluster in predictive science and engineering design.

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