Dongjin Lee

The most enjoyable part of my research is to see that the algorithms I developed perform well as expected.”

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Year: Fourth-year PhD student

Program: Mechanical Engineering

Lab: Sharif Rahman Research Group

Advisor: Professor Sharif Rahman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences

What brought you to the Iowa Technology Institute?

Before joining the Iowa Technology Institute, I had worked for Hyundai Motor Company as a research engineer. During that time, I read journal articles on design under uncertainty, authored by ITI researchers. Their studies were impressive and motivated me to study further for the PhD degree at Iowa. Also, ITI has been well known by influential alumni across a range of industries and academies for its innovative studies and prestigious faculty members. Such a reputation also influenced me to join the PhD program at Iowa.

Describe your research and how it is intended to improve our world.

My research focuses on stochastic-mechanics analysis and design optimization of complex engineering systems subject to uncertainty. In many real-world applications, uncertainty or randomness stemming from material properties, manufacturing variables, or operating environments is not avoidable. Thus, such uncertainty must be quantified and considered in designing the systems or devices. My research aims to develop robust computational algorithms for design optimization considering uncertainty to deliver safe, reliable, and cost-effective design solutions. The proposed algorithms and tools are envisioned to be applicable to a broad range of engineering disciplines, including manufacturing, bioengineering, energy, robotics, and more.

Who is your mentor, and what have you learned from that person?

Professor Rahman has inspired me not only with his knowledge and creativity but also with his perseverance and patience. He has provided continuous support, encouragement, and valuable advice, which has sharpened me and prepared me to become a stronger scholar. I would not become who I am today without his guidance and advice.

What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to be doing professionally in 10 years?

In the future, I would like to become a professor of mechanical engineering at a research university and continue my research on stochastic-mechanics analysis and design optimization. I hope to lead my research group and inspire students the way my professors have inspired me.