Technical Advisory Council

In order to maintain its competitive advantages in the optimization technology arena, Red Cedar Technology (RCT) regularly seeks advice from outside experts in the field. One mechanism for this is the company’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC).

The purposes of the TAC are to
  1. Review RCT’s current technology and product portfolio, and identify any gaps that exist.
  2. Point out new technologies that would be useful to consider in upcoming product releases.
  3. Assess complimentary technologies that may impact current optimization processes.
  4. Discuss the current trends and potential future directions of design optimization.
The TAC is comprised of members of the engineering and scientific community who are recognized experts and are currently active contributors in the field of design optimization. The collective expertise and experience of these members covers a broad spectrum of optimization methodologies and application areas.

The TAC has two formal meetings per year, each lasting approximately 2-3 hours. The spring meeting is held online, and the fall meeting is held in conjunction with Optimize This!, the annual HEEDS User Conference. The agenda for each meeting is built around the four purposes of the TAC, described above. Each meeting consists of short presentations by the RCT team and by TAC members, followed by open discussion.

Informal discussions may be held from time to time, and all TAC members are encouraged to interact with the RCT development team and with each other on a regular basis.

The TAC members and RCT mutually benefit from the technical exchange and peer interactions. Ultimately, the efforts of the TAC are realized by the optimization community through access to improved technology and software products that lead to better designs, faster.

Ron AverillDr. Ron Averill is co-founder of Red Cedar Technology and serves on the faculty of Michigan State University in the Mechanical Engineering Department as Associate Professor and Associate Chair for the Undergraduate Program. Dr. Averill's research and teaching focus is on computational mechanics, the finite element method, design optimization, laminated plate theory, crashworthiness, and analysis of composite materials and structures. He has been in the vanguard of the flipped classroom teaching movement and is instrumental in defining the user training programs for process automation and design exploration at Red Cedar Technology. Ron holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a B.S. in Engineering Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Kalyanmoy DebDr. Kalyanmoy Deb has been working in optimization and evolutionary computation for the past 25 years. He specializes in multi-objective optimization and decision-making. He has extensive experience in working with various industries on applied optimization projects. Many of his optimization algorithms (such as NSGA-II, parameter-less constrained optimization, real-parameter genetic algorithms) have been adopted in commercial optimization software packages and are commonly used in practice. Professor Deb received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Professor Deb has authored more than 325 research papers totaling more than 15,000 Web of Science citations. He has written two textbooks on optimization, edited 17 books, and is involved with the editorial boards of 18 journals. He has received the Infosys Prize, CajAstur Mamdani Prize, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, Bessel Award, and Edgeworth-Pareto Award for his research contributions. He is a Fellow of IEEE and three science and engineering bodies in India. Prof. Deb is associated with the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University. More about Prof. Deb's research can be found at

Dr. Erik D. GoodmanDr. Erik Goodman is co-founder of Red Cedar Technology and serves on the faculty of Michigan State University, where he holds appointments in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. and B.S. from Michigan State University, in Systems Science and Mathematics, respectively. Erik's research has focused on optimization, design automation and CAD/CAM/CAE, particularly on developing and applying novel forms of evolutionary computation, drawing on ideas from biological evolution. He is the Principal Investigator and Director of BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, one of the National Science Foundation's five new Science and Technology Centers. In BEACON, he leads a highly multidisciplinary team doing groundbreaking research on evolution in the lab and in the computer, and applying the lessons learned to evolutionary solution of engineering design problems. Recognized worldwide as a leader in the area of evolutionary computing, Erik has chaired the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation and was the founding chair of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation. In 2009, the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan named Erik a Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year.

Dr. Ramana V. GrandhiDr. Ramana V. Grandhi is the Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Wright State University, where he also serves as director of the Ph.D. programs in Engineering and the Center of Excellence for Product Reliability and Optimization. He joined Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 1984 after completing his doctoral degree at Virginia Tech. An eminent scholar in his field, Dr. Grandhi has notable accomplishments in airframe structures, uncertainty quantification, and metal forming design. His research sponsors include the US Air Force, US Navy, NASA, NSF, GM, GE, Pratt & Whitney, and Caterpillar. Research findings have been published in more than 300 prestigious national and international journals and conference proceedings. In addition, he has published a textbook, Reliability-Based Structural Design (Springer). He has been invited to present his research in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Greece, Poland, Denmark, China, Japan, Canada, South Korea, and Australia.

Dr. Grandhi has initiated and executed projects in many engineering disciplines successfully by working with collaborating faculty, graduate research assistants, and post-doctoral associates. These sustained contributions in teaching and research have resulted in numerous awards: ASME Fellow, AIAA Fellow, AIAA MDO Award, The Solberg Award from the American Society of Naval Engineers, the TANA Award for Excellence in Engineering, The Outstanding Engineers and Scientists Award from the Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton, the Brage Golding Distinguished Professor award, the UP & COMERS Award from Price Waterhouse, the DOW Outstanding Faculty Award from ASEE, and the RALPH R. TEETOR Educational Award from SAE.

Dr. Jorn MehnenDr. Jörn Mehnen is a Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University, UK, and Privatdozent at TU Dortmund, Germany. Before he joined Cranfield in 2007, he worked at Technical University Dortmund in the Department of Machining Technology (ISF), where he did his Habilitation (venia legendi) on “Multi-Objective Optimisation in Manufacturing” and his Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) in Mechanical Engineering on the topic “Evolutionary Surface Reconstruction.” At TU Dortmund, he also received his M.Sc. degree (Dipl.-Inform.) in Computer Science and Mathematics. He has published more than 100 papers in refereed journals, books, and conference proceedings. His research interests cover new IT and mechanical engineering solutions for innovative and industry relevant applications such as Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), parametric cost analysis, smart designs and manufacturing planning services in terms of energy efficiency, as well as knowledge-based tools and approaches for process planning and integrated process simulation at the factory level or innovative manufacturing in lifecycle engineering services. 

Dr. Somanath Nagendra
Dr. Somanath Nagendra has more than 25 years of experience working in Aerospace and Mechanical Design and Optimization at NASA Langley, General Electric, and Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies). He has expertise in advanced system design, optimization of multidisciplinary systems, shape and topology design, phenomenological mechanics, sensitivity analyses, test-validation, simulation and integration algorithms, complex system genesis and Composite Materials and Structures.  Currently, he is a principal engineer and a key member of the Advanced Systems Optimization Group, Advanced Technology Programs and Preliminary Design at Pratt and Whitney Jet Engines, United Technologies, East Hartford, Connecticut. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at University of Hartford. He holds a B.Tech Aerospace Engineering, IIT Bombay, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds 24 patents on turbine airfoil design, mid-turbine frame component design, and MRI machines, and has authored over 50 publications on composite structures, multidisciplinary optimization methods, turbine aerodynamics and systems optimization. He has enabled the design and development of several advanced innovative products like the GE Open Speed MRI machine, A2100 Satellite, GE90 Fan Blade and the Advanced Geared Turbo Fan Engine from Pratt and Whitney. He is a member of ASME and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, Springer-Verlag.