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Kevin Otto

Associate Professor & Associate Head of Pillar

Research Areas:
Design Science

Prof. Otto is interested in assuring designs provide the intended benefits – they do what they are supposed to do, the way the users want.  This is notoriously difficult when the design is complex: involving many elements which can change over time and interact in different ways, particularly when software controls are used to monitor and adjust the system dynamically.  To study these systems, physics based models of the product as scalable subsystems are created, to cascade design requirements to the subsystems and components.  Further, super-system models of the product environment are also created, to simulate alternative designs and ensure the design performs well.  Beyond optimizing the design, one can also use such models to design the product to continue to operate despite degradation impacts of adverse environmental conditions, imperfections in manufacture and assembly, and failure of various components or systems.  Prof. Otto is working to create the design science, algorithms, processes, methods and tools to enable this capability.

  • PhD Mechanical Engineering, Caltech
  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • Latest publications are here
Research Interests

  • Robust Design of Complex Systems
  • Risk Management in New Product Development
  • Verification and Validation of Complex Systems
  • Design of Integrated Low Energy Buildings
  • Policy Design to Increase Adoption of Low Carbon Systems