Faculty Directory
Wei Chen

Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design

Professor of Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A216
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-7019Email Wei Chen


Integrated Design Automation Lab


Mechanical Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China

Research Interests

Simulation-based design under uncertainty; data science in design and advanced manufacturing; stochastic multiscale analysis and materials design; design of metamaterials; multidisciplinary optimization; consumer choice modeling and decision-based design

Dr. Chen is the Director of the Integrated Design Automation Laboratory (IDEAL), Director of the Predictive Science & Engineering Design (PSED) Cluster, and Co-Director of the Design Cluster. Her research goal is to develop rational and computationally efficient design methods based on data science, optimization, statistical inference, and decision analysis for use in engineering design and manufacturing problems. Her current research involves close collaborations with experts in mechanics, manufacturing, materials science & engineering, social science, and computer science. In addition to the listed interests, other topics include risk analysis, model validation and uncertainty quantification, robust shape and topology optimization, deep learning, network analysis, microstructure characterization & reconstruction, and certification of additive manufacturing models.

Significant Recognition

  • Ver Steeg Faculty Award, The Graduate School, Northwestern University, 2018
  • Design Automation Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Design Engineering Division, 2015
  • Best Paper Award, ASME Design Automation Conference, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2009 - present
  • Ralph R. Teetor Education Award, Society of Automotive Engineering, 2006
  • Intelligent Optimal Design Prize, 18th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology, 2005
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award, 1996 - 2001
  • ASME Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal achievement award, 1998
  • Black & Decker Best Paper Award, 1998
  • Alcoa Foundation Research Award, 1998
  • Sigma Xi Doctoral Dissertation Award, Georgia Tech Chapter, 1996
  • Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), 2003 - present

Significant Professional Service

  • Editor-in-Chief, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design
  • Review Editor, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
  • Associate Editor, Design Science
  • Elected Member of Executive Committee, International Society of Structural and Multidisciplinary Design (ISSMO) (2015-present)
  • Elected Member, Executive Committee of ASME Design Engineering Division (2009-2015); Chair (2013-2014)
  • Elected Member, Advisory Board of the Design Society (2007-2013)
  • Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2003-2006; 2010-2013)
  • Associate Editor, SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification (JUQ) (2015-2017)
  • Department Editor, IIE Transactions (Department on “Design Engineering and Product Realization) (2014-2017)
  • Associate Editor, Engineering Optimization (2007-2009)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Design and Manufacturing Automation (2000-2003)

Selected Publications

    Chen, W., Hoyle, C. and Wassenaar, H-J., Decision-based Design: Integrating Consumer Preferences into Engineering Design, Springer, 2012.

    Bostanabad, R., Liang, B., Gao, J., Liu, W-K., Cao, J., Zeng, D., Su, X., Xu, H., Li, Y., and Chen, W. (2018). “Uncertainty Quantification in Multiscale Simulation of Woven Fiber Composites”. Computational Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering , 338(8), 2018.

    Bostanabad, R., Zhang, Y., Li, X., Kearney, T., Brinson, L. C., Apley, D., Wing K., and Chen, W., “Computational Microstructure Characterization and Reconstruction: Review of the State-of-the-art Techniques”, Progress in Materials Science, 95, June 2018.

    Lee, W-K, Yu, S., Engel, C.J., Reese, T., Rhee, D., Chen, W., and Odom, T.W., "Concurrent Design of Quasi-Random Photonic Nanostructures", PNAS, 114(33), 2017.

    Yu, S., Zhang, Y., Wang, C., Lee, W-K, Dong, B., Sun, C., Odom, T. W., and Chen, W., “Characterization and Design of Functional Quasi-Random Nanostructured Materials using Spectral Density Function”, Journal of Mechanical Design, 139(7), 2017.

    Chen, S., Jiang, Z., Yang, S., and Chen, W., “Multi-Model Fusion Based Sequential Optimization”, AIAA Journal, 55(1), 2017.

    Wang, M., Huang, Y., Contractor, N., Fu, Y., and Chen, W., “Modeling Customer Preferences using Multidimensional Network Analysis in Engineering Design”, Design Science, 2(11), 2016.

    Jiang, Z., Chen, S., Apley, D., and Chen, W., “Reduction of Epistemic Uncertainty in Simulation-Based Multidisciplinary Design”, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 138(8), 2016.

    Zhao, H., Li, X., Zhang, Yi., Schadler L.S., Chen, W., and Brinson, C., “NanoMine: A Material Genome Approach for Polymer Nanocomposites Analysis and Design”, APL Materials, 4, 053204, 2016.

    Xu, H., Liu, R., Choudhary, A., and Chen, W., "A Machine Learning-Based Design Representation Method for Designing Heterogeneous Microstructures", Journal of Mechanical Design, in press, 2015.

    Arendt, P., D. Apley, and Chen, W., “Quantification of Model Uncertainty: Calibration, Model Discrepancy, and Identifiability,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 134(10), 2012.

    Chen, S., Chen, W., and Lee, S., “Level Set Based Robust Shape and Topology Optimization under Random Field Uncertainties”, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 41(4), pg 507, 2010.

In the Classroom

Professor Chen has taught the courses: Intro to Mechanical Design and Manufacturing, Engineering Design (Capstone Design), Computational Methods for Engineering Design, Engineering Optimization for Product Design & Manufacturing, and Advanced Computational & Statistical Methods for Engineering Design.