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The University of Southampton
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Professor Andy J Keane MSc, PhD, DSc, CEng, FRINA, FIMechE, FREng

Professor of Computational Engineering, Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Computational Engineering

Professor Andy J Keane's photo

Professor Andy J Keane is Professor of Computational Engineering within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I have been at Southampton as a Professor since January 1996, before which I was at Oxford University as a Lecturer in Structural Dynamics and Fellow of Pembroke College. Prior to this I was at Brunel University where I carried out my PhD research. Before this I worked in the concept design division of the U.K. Ministry of Defence Warship Design Agency.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Research interests


I am currently based in the Computational Engineering and Design Group (CEDG) which is one of the research groups in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at Southampton University. A summary of the group's work can be found on the posters page and in our book on design and on surrogate modelling. We currently have a major research programme studying unmanned air vehicles called DECODE. I am also Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Computational Engineering.

The CEDG's aim is to provide a focus for the Faculty's activities in the area of computational modelling of engineering systems. Its work is based on the use of powerful parallel and clustered computational facilities drawing on the experience and hardware of the University in this area. The primary activity of the group is to develop and exploit models of engineering systems using powerful computational facilities, i.e., based on models that could not be dealt with by standard desk-top type workstations.

The researchers of the CEDG are investigating a number of techniques in the design and optimization of engineering systems. Prof Keane's contributions to this software has been built up into a sophisticated design exploration system called OPTIONS which allows the rapid comparison of various methods on new design tasks. This tool provides many search methods, both evolutionary and classical, design of experiment methods and response surface construction techniques.


We often have a number of fully funded PhD studentships tenable by UK, EU or overseas studentships. These pay full fees and living expenses. If you would like to apply for one please complete and return the forms that may be found from Postgraduate applications web page. Please state that you would like to join the Computational Engineering and Design Group and that you are seeking a full studentship. Please also indicate the area of study you would like to engage in and any particular research interests and we will then assess your application and match it to our staff profile.

Job Vacancies

We sometimes need new research staff for particular projects. These are always advertised at when available, please check that site before contacting us directly.

Personal Research interests

My own personal research interests lie in three main areas:

Most recently, I have started researching geometrical deep learning which lies at the intersection of neural and convolution deep learning methods and advanced, voxel based, geometrical definition systems. New tools in this area will support physics assisted learning schemes when applied to engineering artefacts. Our aim is to more simply account for manufacturing variation and in-service degradation of aerospace components.

I am currently engaged on a significant effort in computational engineering which is focussed on the use and development of optimization methods in design. This work involves the construction of a design search and optimization problem solving environment. It is paying particular attention to so called `modern' approaches. These include simulated annealing and genetic algorithm methods. This work is being supported by grants from the UK E.P.S.R.C., Airbus, Rolls-Royce and the UK Ministry of Defence (DSTL). A recent award from the Microsoft has allowed the purchase of a 500 core super computer running the Windows Compute Cluster Edition of Server 2010. I have also collaborated with various other companies such as Jaguar Cars, Qinetiq and EADS Astrium (formerly Matra Marconi Space) on topics in this area. Current developments are addressing the use of case based reasoning, knowledge based systems and expert systems to provide intelligent interfaces to such tools so as to make them more readily usable by practising engineers. We are also working on Grid enabled tools to allow remote and distributed use of the methods we are developing.

My doctoral research was in statistical energy analysis and further development of this research by myself and those working with me has been carried out in collaboration with the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Farnborough and the I.S.V.R. at Southampton University. These studies looked at problems which are characterized by geometric periodicity, such as the `plated and stiffened' designs found in many marine and aerospace structures. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of mode localization which may enable such structures to be built with inherent vibration isolation characteristics without the need for expensive visco-elastic coatings, etc. This work is continuing and is currently looking at the statistical variations found in vibration prediction methods and the design of structures with enhanced noise performance using optimization and rapid prototyping methods. Structures showing marked noise isolation capabilities have been designed and built using these ideas and further work is in hand on large scale model satellite structures which also include active vibration control.

Large camera carrying UAV
Large camera carrying UAV
UAV design for the BBC
UAV design for the BBC
Passive anti-vibration mount test
Passive anti-vibration mount test
Active/passive anti-vibration test
Active/passive anti-vibration test

Research group

Computational Engineering and Design

Research project(s)

DECODE: Decision Environments for Complex Designs

2Seas Project

Rolls-Royce SILOET (Strategic Investment in Low-carbon Engine Technology) Project

Mixing cheap and expensive simulations in an optimisation

Traditionally automated design optimisation methods use the results from computational simulations to drive an improvement in a design. However, the expense of such simulations can considerably restrict the scope of an optimisation. An alternative is to mix expensive and cheap simulations within a single design optimisation to improve performance.

Embedding intelligence & knowledge in CAD

Traditionally computer aided design (CAD) models represent only geometric information, however, by embedding intelligence and knowledge within the CAD environment the process of design can be streamlined and accelerated.

Hybrid active and passive structural noise control

In this project the feasibility of using active and passive means of vibration control in aerospace structures is investigated. In particular, attention has been focused on controlling vibration transmission through light weight satellite structures at medium frequencies. The structure under test is a 4.5 meter long satellite boom consisting of 10 identical bays with equilateral triangular cross sections. This structure is typical of those that might be used in space telescopes, space stations or synthetic aperture radar systems. Such a structure is typically used to support sensitive instruments in precise alignments spaced tens of metres apart. While a great deal of work has been done on this problem at low frequencies, relatively little has been achieved to date at medium frequencies (here taken to be between 150 Hz and 250 Hz). Nonetheless, this is of importance to new space missions.

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Book Chapters



FEEG6009 Design Search and Optimisation (DSO) - principles, methods, parameterizations and case studies - Course leader

Professor Andy J Keane
Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus
University of Southampton
Building 176
Burgess Road
SO16 7QF

Room Number : 176/5009

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