Alicia's research is primarily focused on topology optimization, in particular level set based method. She and her M2DO lab researchers are developing level set topology optimization methods for multiscale and multiphysics problems leading to optimum multifunctional structures. Today's engineering structures are designed to carry out multiple functionalities and structural optimizations provide a common design platform under multiphyiscs considerations. She develops and applies optimization methods for challenging problems involving issues such as large-scale design variables, global optimization, nonlinearity, complex coupling of physics and high computational cost. She works closely with multidisciplinary researchers at the interface of engineering, computer science and applied mathematics and strives to find simple and powerful solutions for engineers. One focus area of Alicia’s current research activities is in coupled multiscale topology optimization for integrated material-structural systems. She developed a integrated framework that coupled two scales via homogenization enabling the macroscopic and the microscopic material optimization simultaneously. This paves the way for a new paradigm of tailoring material properties specific to the functional requirements of the application usually defined at the macroscopic scale.
Dr H Alicia Kim is a Professor in Structural and Material Optimization in the Structural Engineering Department of the University of California San Diego. Her interests are in level set topology optimization, multiscale and multiphysics optimization, modeling and optimization of composite materials and multifunctional structures. She has published nearly 200 journal and conference papers in these fields including award winning papers at the AIAA conferences and World Congresses on Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. She is a Review Editor for the Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization journal.