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Azarm, Shapour

Shapour Azarm
Director, Design Decision Support Lab
Department of Mechanical Engineering
2155 Glenn L. Martin Hall, Building 088
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Research Interests 

  • Design Optimization: Design optimization under uncertainty with: (i) single or multiple design objectives; (ii) multiple coupled subsystems
  • Product Design for Market Systems: Design of competitive single products, product lines, and bundled products with upstream (parts/modules suppliers) and/or downstream (manufacturers, retailers) supply chain
  • Approximation Assisted Simulation-Based Design: Approximation strategies combined with multi-objective optimization for engineering design that requires computationally intensive analysis like CFD, FEA
  • Decision Support Systems: Interactive multi-attribute decision analysis strategies that facilitate selection from multiple alternatives
  • Applications: Examples include consumer electronics (smart phones, tablet computers); heat exchangers; power tools; power electronics; data centers; oil refineries; unmanned vehicles (walking machines; UAVs, UUVs); network infrastructure planning


Dr. Azarm was formerly a Navy Senior Faculty Fellow at NSWC-Carderock, NASA Goddard Faculty Fellow, Visiting Scientist at NASA Langley, and Visiting Professor at both the Research Center for Multidisciplinary Analysis and Applied Structural Optimization of the University of Siegen in Germany and at Design Institute of Technical University of Denmark.


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1984

Honors and Awards 

  • Westinghouse Professorship (1989)
  • Proctor & Gamble Best Paper Awards (1989, 1991)
  • ASEE Faculty Fellowships (1994, 1995)
  • ASME Service Awards (1996, 1999, 2007)
  • ASME Fellow (2004)
  • The ASME Design Automation Award (2007): "For sustained and meritorious contributions to research in Design Automation, specifically in computational design optimization and engineering design decision making."
  • The 2009 ASME Design Automation Conference Best Paper Award (with former PhD students Mian Li and Nathan Williams), and the designation of a paper (with Z. Wang and P.K. Kannan) as one of “10 best papers” in the 2011 ASME Design Automation Conference.

Professional Memberships and Service 

  • Guest Co-Editor: Journal of Mechanical Design, Special Issue on “Designing Complex Engineered Systems” that appeared in October 2011;
  • Associate Editor (2008-Present): Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization;
  • Associate Editor (1998-Present): Mechanics-Based Design of Structures and Machines;
  • Editorial Board Member (2005-Present): International Journal of Reliability and Safety
  • Advisory Board Member (2010-Present): ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering
  • Guest Co-Editor: Journal of Mechanical Design, Special Issue on “Robust and Reliability Based Design” that appeared in September 2006
  • Past Associate Editor (1993-1995; 2003-2005; 2006-2009): Journal of Mechanical Design
  • Operating Board Member (2010-2013): ASME Systems and Design Group
  • Member-At-Large (2010-2013), ASME Technical Communities Committee on Division Operations and Training (CDOT)
  • Past Chair (2007-2008) and Member (2007-Present): ASME Design Engineering Division (DED) Advisory Committee
  • Past Chair (2006-2007): ASME DED
  • Past Paper Review Chair (1995) and Conference Chair (1996): ASME Design Automation Conference
  • Past Chair (1996-1997): ASME Design Automation Committee; Fellow of the ASME
  • Senior Member of the AIAA; Member: International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
  • Member: International Society on Multiple Criteria Decision Making
  • Professional Engineer: State of Maryland

Selected Publications 


  • Hu, W., A. Almansoori, P.K. Kannan, S. Azarm, and Z. Wang, 2012, “Corporate Dashboards for Integrated Business and Engineering Decisions in Oil Refineries: An Agent-Based Approach,” Decision Support Systems, 52, pp. 729-741, doi: 10.1016/j.dss.2011.11.019.
  • Siddiqui, S., S. Azarm, and S. Gabriel, 2012, “On Improving Normal Boundary Intersection Method for Generation of Pareto Frontier,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (online since May 8, 2012, doi: 10.1007/s00158-012-0797-1).
  • Hu, W., S. Azarm, and A. Almansoori, 2012, “New Approximation Assisted Multi-objective collaborative Robust Optimization (New AA-McRO) Under Interval Uncertainty,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (online, doi: 10.1007/s00158-012-0816-2 ). (Also, Proceedings of the 13th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference, Fort Worth, TX, Sept. 2010.)
  • Saleh, K., O. Abdelaziz, V. Aute, S. Azarm, and R. Radermacher, 2012, “Approximation Assisted Optimization of Headers for New Generation of Air-Cooled Heat Exchangers,” Applied Thermal Engineering, (online since June 12, 2012).
  • Wang, L., B. Youn, S. Azarm, P. K. Kannan, 2012, “Customer-Driven Product Design Selection Using Web Based User-Generated Content,” Journal of Mechanical Design (submitted/under revision). (Also, in Proceedings of the 2011 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Washington D.C., 2011.)
  • Aute, V., K. Saleh, O. Abdelaziz, S. Azarm, and R. Radermacher, 2012, “Cross-Validation Based Single Response Adaptive Design of Experiments for Kriging Metamodeling of Deterministic Computer Simulations,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (submitted/under revision).
  • Mortazavi, A., S. Azarm, and S. Gabriel, 2012, “Adaptive Gradient Assisted Robust Design Optimization under Interval Uncertainty,” Engineering Optimization (accepted with minor revisions).
  • Hu, W., K. H. Saleh, S. Azarm, and G. E. Mosier, 2012, “Approximation Assisted Multiobjective Optimization with Combined Global and Local Metamodeling,” Journal of Mechanical Design (submitted).
  • Siddiqui, S., S. Gabriel, and S. Azarm, 2012, “Solving Mixed-Integer Robust Optimization Problems with Interval Uncertainty Using Benders Decomposition,” Journal of the Operational Society of America (submitted).


  • Hamel, J., and S. Azarm, 2011, “Reducible Uncertain Interval Design by Kriging Metamodel Assisted Multi-Objective Optimization,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(1), pp. 011002-1 to 011002-10.
  • Wang, Z., S. Azarm, and P. K. Kannan, 2011, “Strategic Design Decisions for Uncertain Market Systems Using an Agent Based Approach,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(4), pp. 041003-1 to 041003-11.
  • Williams, N., P. K. Kannan, and S. Azarm, 2011, “Retail Channel Structure Impact on Strategic Engineering Product Design,” Management Science, 57(5), pp. 897-914.
  • Li, M., S. A. Gabriel, Y. Shim, S. Azarm, 2011, “Interval Uncertainty-Based Robust Optimization for Convex and Non-Convex Quadratic Programs with Applications in Network Infrastructure Planning,” Networks and Spatial Economics, 11, pp. 159-191.
  • Hu, W., M. Li, S. Azarm, and A. Almansoori, 2011, “Multi-Objective Robust Optimization with Interval Uncertainty Using Online Approximation and Constraint Cuts,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(6), pp. 061002-1 to 061002-9.
  • Siddiqui, S., S. Azarm, and S. Gabriel, 2011, “A Modified Benders Decomposition Method for Efficient Robust Optimization under Interval Uncertainty,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 44(2), pp. 259–275.
  • Wang, Z., P. K. Kannan, and S. Azarm, 2011, “Customer-Driven Design Decision for Convergence Products,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(10), pp. 101010-1 to 101010-10. Designated as one of “10 best papers” in the 2011 ASME Design Automation Conference.
  • Allen, J., S. Azarm, and T. Simpson, 2011, “Designing Complex Engineered Systems,” (Special Issue) Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(10), pp. 100301-1 to 100301-2. (Guest Editorial)


  • Li, M., J. Hamel, and S. Azarm, 2010, “Optimal Uncertainty Reduction for Multi-Disciplinary Multi-Output Systems Using Sensitivity Analysis,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 40, pp. 77-96.
  •  Li, G., V. Aute, and S. Azarm, 2010, “An Accumulative Error Based Adaptive Design of Experiments for Offline Metamodeling,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 40, pp. 137-155.
  •  Williams, N., S. Azarm, and P. K. Kannan, 2010, “Multicategory Design of Bundled Products for Retail Channels under Uncertainty and Competition,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 132, pp. 031003-1 to 031003-10.
  •  Hamel, J., M. Li, and S. Azarm, 2010, “Design Improvement by Sensitivity Analysis (DISA) Under Interval Uncertainty Using Multi-Objective Optimization," Journal of Mechanical Design, 132, pp. 081010-1 to 081010-10.
  •  Abdelaziz, O., V. Aute, S. Azarm, and R. Radermacher, 2010, “Approximation Assisted Optimization for Novel Compact Heat Exchanger Designs,” HVAC&R Research, 16(5), pp. 707-728.


  • Li, G., M. Li, S. Azarm, S. Al Hashimi, T. Al Ameri, and N. Al Qasas, 2009, “Improving Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithms with Adaptive Design of Experiments and Online Metamodeling,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 37(5), pp. 447-461.
  • Li, M., N. Williams, and S. Azarm, 2009, “Interval Uncertainty Reduction and Single-Disciplinary Sensitivity Analysis with Multi-Objective Optimization,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 131(3), pp. 031007-1 to 031007-11. (Best Paper of the 2009 ASME Design Automation Conference.)
  • Li, M., S. Azarm, N. Williams, S. Al Hashimi, A. Almansoori, and N. Al Qasas, 2009, “Integrated Multi-Objective Robust Optimization and Sensitivity Analysis with Irreducible and Reducible Interval Uncertainty,” Engineering Optimization, 41(10), pp. 889–908.


  • Li, M., G. Li, and S. Azarm, 2008, “A Kriging Metamodel Assisted Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm for Design Optimization,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(3), pp. 031401-1 to 031401-10.
  • Williams, N., S. Azarm, and P. K. Kannan, 2008, “Engineering Product Design Optimization for Retail Channel Acceptance,”Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(6), pp. 061402-1 to 061402-10.
  • Li, M., and S. Azarm, 2008, “Multiobjective Collaborative Robust Optimization (McRO) with Interval Uncertainty and Interdisciplinary Uncertainty Propagation,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(8), pp. 081402-1 to 081402-12.
  • Azarm, S., 2008, “Journal Impact Factor: What It Is and It Is Not,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 130(10), pp. 100301-1. (Invited Guest Editorial)


  • Maddulapalli, K., S. Azarm, and A. Boyars, 2007, “Sensitivity Analysis for Product Design Selection with an Implicit Value Function,” European Journal of Operational Research, 180, pp. 1245-1259.
  • Li, G., M. Li, S. Azarm, J. Rambo, and Y. Joshi, 2007, “Optimizing Thermal Design of Data Center Cabinets with a New Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm,” Distributed and Parallel Databases, 21(2-3), pp. 167-192.


  • Li, G., S. Azarm, A. Farhang-Mehr, and A. Diaz, 2006, “Approximation of Multi-Response Engineering Simulations: A Dependent Meta-Modeling Approach,” Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 31, pp. 260-269.
  • Li, M., S. Azarm, and A. Boyars, 2006, “A New Deterministic Approach using Sensitivity Region Measures for Multi-Objective and Feasibility Robust Design Optimization,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 128(4), pp. 874-883.
  • Besharati, B., L. Luo, S. Azarm, and P. K. Kannan, 2006, “Multi-Objective Single Product Robust Optimization: An Integrated Design and Marketing Approach,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 128(4), pp. 884-892.
  • Besharati, B., and S. Azarm, 2006, “Deterministic Feasibility and Multi-Objective Robustness Measures for Engineering Design Optimization,” International Journal of Reliability and Safety, 1(1/2), pp. 40-58.
  • Maddulapalli, K., and S. Azarm, 2006, “Product Design Selection with Preference and Attribute Variability for an Implicit Value Function,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 128(5), pp. 1027-1037.
  • Besharati, B., S. Azarm, and P. K. Kannan, 2006, “A Decision Support System for Product Design Selection: Generalized Purchase Modeling Approach,” Decision Support Systems, 42(1), pp. 333-350.

Related News 

Azarm Finishes Tenure as Technical Editor of ASME JMD
Azarm has served as TE for the journal since 2013.
December 18, 2017

Spotlight on NAVAIR-Funded Research at Maryland
Cooperative agreement between UMD and NAWCAD helps support research projects in Mechanical Engineering. March 16, 2017

Graduate Students Selected as Future Faculty Fellows
Seven graduate students were chosen as Clark School Future Faculty Fellows this year. March 7, 2017

Azarm Awarded ASME Robert E. Abbott Award
Mechanical Engineering Professor Shapour Azarm named recipient of 2016 ASME Robert E. Abbott Award. June 6, 2016

ME Alumni Alex Mehr Receives Clark School Early Career Award
UMD alumni and Zoosk Founder Alex Mehr (Ph.D., '03) receives one of three inaugural Clark School Early Career Awards December 1, 2014

UMD Researchers Win $1.5 Million Department of Energy Award to Improve Home Cooling Efficiency
The Center for Environmental Energy Engineering to collaborate with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. January 17, 2013

Professor Shapour Azarm Appointed as Editor-in-Chief of ASME Journal of Mechanical Design
Professor Azarm will begin the appointment at prestigious journal on January 1. December 6, 2012

DeWALT Donates Tools, Equipment to Mechanical Engineering Department
Longtime ME supporter provides the department with tools to build the future. August 2, 2011

ASME Welcomes Shapour Azarm as Faculty Advisor
ME professor will assist the UMD student chapter. November 17, 2010

PI Holds 1st Annual Research Workshop
ME delegation travels to Abu Dhabi to promote research collaborations. February 17, 2010

Professor and Co-authors Win ASME Award
Azarm and former students receive "Best Paper Award." September 11, 2009

Clark School Sweeps OTC Awards
Thin battery, nano-velcro and key exchange system named top UM inventions. April 7, 2009

Azarm Selected as Review Editor for Prestigious Journal
Professor Shapour Azarm selected to be Review Editor of SMO December 3, 2008

Energy Education and Research Collaboration Conducts First Workshop
Maryland faculty and Petroleum Institute review cooperation success of past year. February 1, 2008

ME Grads Join University Faculty Across the Nation
Department congratulates ME alumni who recently joined the faculty of universities across the nation. November 8, 2007

Azarm Awarded Prestigious ASME Award
Azarm to be Awarded ASME Design Automation Award during IDETC2007. July 16, 2007

Mechanical Engineering Recognizes Faculty Accomplishments
Edward B. Magrab honored at reception recognizing distinguished service to campus and department. May 16, 2007

Professor Shapour Azarm Begins Tenure as ASME Division Chair
Professor Shapour Azarm has begun his tenure as ASME Division Chair serving through June 2007. June 15, 2006

Mechanical Engineering Honors Prof. James Wallace & Faculty
Mechanical Engineering faculty were honored at the Faculty Recognition Event and Dinner on Friday, May 12. May 15, 2006

ME Professor Shapour Azarm Appointed Associate Editor of ASME Journal
He is also the Associate Editor of Mechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines since January 1998. July 15, 2004

Dr. Shapour Azarm has been elevated to the status of Fellow within the ASME. February 15, 2004

Professor Shapour Azarm Receives Grant from National Science Foundation
Professor of Mechanical Engineering Shapour Azarm received a grant for $370,363 from the National Science Foundation. October 4, 2001

Eight Mechanical Engineering Faculty Present at ASME Conference
Eight faculty members from the Department of Mechanical Engineering attended, presented, and were divisional chairs at the 2001 ASME Conference. September 15, 2001

2001 NSF Design, Service & Manufacturing Grantees & Research Conference Faculty Presentations
Five ME faculty present their research at the 2001 NSF Design, Service & Manufacturing Grantees & Research Conference. January 18, 2001