Vanderplaats Research & Development, Inc., (VR&D) was founded by Dr. Garret N. Vanderplaats in 1984 for the advancement of numerical optimization in industry. Dr. Vanderplaats is a widely recognized expert with over four decades experience in the optimization field. He is a Fellow of the AIAA and is the 2002 recipient of the AIAA Multidiscipline Design Optimization Award “For his great impact on the application of optimization to engineering design through teaching, algorithm development, and the creation of outstanding software.” Over the years, the company has evolved into a premier software company, developing and marketing a number of design optimization tools, providing professional services and training, and engaging in ongoing advanced research. All developers hold advanced degrees (most with Ph.D.s) in design optimization and collectively have nearly 100 years experience in optimization, research, and software development.
General Purpose Optimization Software
The flagship optimizer, DOT (Design Optimization Tools) was released in 1987. DOT is a library of software modules that is designed to help solve a variety of nonlinear constrained or unconstrained optimization problems. DOT the first commercial product of VR&D and is the third optimizer written by Dr. Vanderplaats, following CONMIN (1972) and ADS (1984) research codes.
The VisualDOC general-purpose graphics based design optimization software was released in 1998. Using VisualDOC, the user may add optimization to almost any design task, whether source code for the analysis is available or not.
VisualDOC includes numerous design study and optimization options including:
- Design of Experiments
- Gradient and Non-gradient optimization
- Response surface optimization
- Probabilistic and Robust optimization
- Post-processing visualization tools
The VisualScript software aids the user in coupling VisualDOC with one or more analyses programs to generate the design study system.
VR&D has recently released the BIGDOT optimizer that solves very large-scale continuous and discrete variable optimization problems. BIGDOT has solved structural optimization sizing problems in excess of 250,000 design variables and topology optimization problems in excess of two million variables.
Structural Analysis and Optimization Software
In 1992, VR&D released a completely new structural analysis and optimization program called GENESIS. GENESIS was designed from the start to be a fully integrated analysis and optimization program.
Some GENESIS analysis capabilities include:
- Normal Modes
- System Buckling
- Heat Transfer
- Direct and Modal Frequency Analysis
- Random Response
Optimization is based on the latest second generation approximation techniques that make it very efficient. Typical problemes converge very fast making GENESIS a practical tool for industrial usage.
Some GENESIS optimization capabilities include:
Numerous convenience features are offered that allows solving very large and very complex optimization problems with minimal user input.
Eigen Solver Software
In 2001, VR&D released the SMS Eigen Solver for solving large-scale eigenvalue problems at a fraction of the time of the traditional Lanczos method. GENESIS uses the SMS in addition to Lanczos. Also, SMS is available as an add on feature for users of other Nastrans.
Engineering Services and Education
VR&D offers engineering services to assist clients with their optimization tasks. Normally, the client provides a structural model and VR&D provides the optimization, or an analysis program and VR&D couples it with VisualDOC to create a design study tool. Theoretical optimization short courses are offered in addition to software training courses, either at a public location or at a client’s site.