Form Finding and Optimisation Theory

The engineering design of structures requires the solution of a complex brief that stipulates economic (cost, technical quality, ease of maintenance, durability, (3D) site-suitability, and esthetic appeals, etc.).  The solutions that satisfy these criteria, are not unique. In the past, engineers identified feasible instances using trial and error approaches, accumulated knowledge and deductive reasoning.  Our lab develops numerical methods for the structural to aid this decision making and ultimately steer the design making process to find novel solutions to these complex problems.


Streeter, M; Rhode-Barbarigos, L; Adriaenssens, S. (2015). ‘Form finding and analysis of inflatable dams using dynamic relaxation’. In: Appl. Math. Comput. doi:10.1016/j.amc.2014.12.054.

Masaaki, M;  Adriaenssens, S.,Igarashi, T; Kawaguchi, K;  (2014).’Geodesic Dynamic Relaxation Method for Equilibrium Problems with Equality Constraint Conditions. ‘ In: International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, doi: 10.1002/nme.4713.

Adriaenssens S., Malek S., Masaki M., Williams. C.J.K (2013). ‘Generating smooth curves in 3 dimensions by minimizing higher order strain energy measures.‘  In: Journal of Space Structures, v.28 (3-4), pp. 119-126.

Richardson J.N., Adriaenssens S., Nordenson G, Labarenne R, Coelho R.F., (2013). ‘Flexible optimum design of a bracing system for facade design using multiobjective Genetic Algorithms.’In: Automation in Construction. DOI 10.1016/j.autcon.2012.12018

Barnes M., Adriaenssens S., Krupka M. (2013).‘A novel torsion/bending element for dynmaic relaxation modeling.’ In Computers and Structures, 19 (1), pp 60–67.DOI 10.1016/j.compstruc.2012.12.027

Richardson J.N.,Adriaenssens S., Coelho R.F., Bouillard P., (2013).  Coupled form finding and grid optimization approach for single layer gridshells‘. In: Engineering Structures, 52, pp. 230–239, DOI 10.1016/j.engstruct.2013.02.017

Richardson J.N., Coelho R.F., Bouillard P., Adriaenssens S. (2012). ‘Symmetry and asymmetry of solutions in discrete and continuous structural optimization‘. In: Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. DOI 10.1007/s00158-012-0871-8.

Richardson J., Adriaenssens S., Bouillard P., Coelho R.(2012). ‘Multi-objective topology optimisation of truss structures with kinematic stability repair.’ In: Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimisation. (DOI) 10.1007/s00158-012-0777-5.

Tysmans T., Adriaenssens S., Wastiels J. (2011). ‘Form finding methodology for force-modelled anticlastic shells in glass fibre textile reinforced cement composites’, In: Engineering Structures,v.33.9, pp.2603-2611.

Fauche E., Adriaenssens S., Prevost JH., (2010).’Topology Optimisation of a thin shell structure’. In: Journal of International association of Shell and Spatial Structures,51(2),p. 153-160.

Adriaenssens S., Ney L., Bodarwe E., Dister V. (2009). ‘Centner footbridge bridges the gap between steel structural design and digital fabrication’. In: Steel Construction, 2(1), p. 33-35.

Adriaenssens  S.M.L. and Barnes M.R.,( 2001). Tensegrity spline beam  and grid shell structures. Engineering Structures, 23 (1), p. 29-36.

Numerical form finding of a  spline  membrane dome

Graphical form finding of Roebling suspension bridge

Numerical form finding of Dutch Marine Museum Coupola (Image courtesy Ney and Partners sa)