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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The engineering of laminated composite structures is a complex task for design engineers and manufacturers, requiring significant management of manufacturing process and materials information. Ontologies are becoming increasingly commonplace for semantically representing knowledge in a formal manner that facilitates sharing of rich information between people and applications. Moreover, ontologies can support first-order logic and reasoning by rule engines that enhance automation. To support the engineering of laminated composite structures, this work developed a novel Semantic LAminated Composites Knowledge management System (SLACKS) that is based on a suite of ontologies for laminated composites materials and design for manufacturing (DFM) and their integration into a previously developed engineering design framework. By leveraging information from CAD/FEA tools and materials data from online public databases, SLACKS uniquely enables software tools and people to interoperate, to improve communication and automate reasoning during the design process. With SLACKS, this research shows the power of integrating relevant domains of the product lifecycle, such as design, analysis, manufacturing and materials selection through the engineering case study of a wind turbine blade. The integration reveals a usable product lifecycle knowledge tool that can facilitate efficient knowledge creation, retrieval and reuse, from design inception to manufacturing of the product.


First Advisor

Ian R. Grosse

Second Advisor

Sundar Krishnamurty

Third Advisor

Jack C. Wileden