Colin Corcoran Received A Scholarship from a Grant Sponsored by the NSF

Congratulations to senior mechanical engineering student, Colin Corcoran, for being selected as the recipient of the Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE) Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and is designed to support students who are interested in pursuing research in academia and allows for students to spend more of their time working towards a research related goal.

Corcoran said, “I am honored to receive the National Science Foundation Student Integrated Intern Research Experience scholarship because it validates the work and progress of my research project. I have been working on the project for the past six months under the guidance of Dr. Sha and receiving the scholarship verifies not only that Dr. Sha values my work but also other professors around campus also value the time and effort I have put in to the project.”

Colin has been working in SiDi lab, as a research assistant, on the project related to better understanding the spatial heterogeneity of customer preferences and behaviors  in community-based digital manufacturing systems, such as the


Laxmi Poudel Presented His Research at IDETC 2018

The PhD student Laxmi Poudel attended The ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, held in Quebec City, Canada from August 26-29. He received the ASME CIE Graduate Student Poster Travel Award to participate this venue and presented his preliminary studies on Autonomous and Cooperative Digital Manufacturing.


SiDi Lab is Awarded by NSF to Research Human Sequential Decisions in Engineering Design

SiDi Lab recently received the EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct fundamental research into sequential decision making in engineering systems design. The primary objective of this high-risk high-reward project is to create and demonstrate a research approach centered on the acquisition and analysis of fine-grained design activity data for design research. The approach is based on an open-source research experiment platform extended from an existing computer-aided design (CAD) software, Energy3D, for renewable energy systems design. The subawardee, Dr. Charles Xie, from Concord Consortium will collaborate with Dr. Sha to 1) extend Energy3D to incorporate functionality required for a research platform, 2) demonstrate use of the new research platform to support the acquisition of fine-grained data from real-world design exercises, and 3) disseminate the platform within the engineering design research community through publications and tutorials. The research study will highlight how fine-grained data enables new research directions on sequential decision-making and system thinking, two fundamental elements of engineering design thinking. See the NSF website for more details about this project.

Autonomous and Cooperative Digital Manufacturing

SiDi Lab has been working with AM3 Lab directed by Dr. Wenchao Zhou on developing the next-generation digital manufacturing systems through an integration of theories from swarm robotics, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and computer vision.  Our PhD student Laxmi Poudel will be in Quebec City next week to present our project on The ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Click this link to see our recently published video:

A group of mobile 3D printing robots are working autonomously and cooperatively to print a map of Arkansas State.

Invited Visit to The Concord Consortium

Dr, Sha was invited by Dr. Charles Xie, the Senior Scientist from the Concord Consortium, and visited the CC from August 2-9. Dr. Sha introduced the current research projects of SiDi Lab to Dr. Xie, the President & CEO Mr. Chad Dorsey, and many other research staffs at the CC. Particularly, Dr. Sha introduced the project of Mining and Modeling Engineering Design Thinking Using Big Data Analytics, which has been conducted based on Energy3D – a smart CAD tool of renewable energy systems design invented by Dr. Xie. This visit has resulted in fruitful outcomes, including identification of future forms of collaboration, joint projects, new research proposal ideas and students co-advising mechanism. SiDi is very much looking forward a new year of success in collaborating with the CC. IMG_6344

A Fun and Great Outreach Activity – Engineering Summer Academy

On July 23rd, SiDi Lab was invited to host two sessions of engineering systems design challenges for a group of 40 high school students by collaborating with the Assistant Director of the college’s Outreach and Summer Programs, Dr. Amy Warren. This is a fun and high-impact outreach activity and a great demonstration of SiDi research and its implication to K-12 education. These students came from different states national-wide and participated in UARK’s Engineering Summer Academy program. There are four interdisciplinary tracks, including Living systems, Non-Living Systems, Modeling and Simulation, and Function and Structure. SiDi held a half-day event for the track of Modeling and Simulation, and half day for the track of Non-Living System with an extended version of the solar energy system design challenge. See media coverage on this event here for more details.


PhD Student Laxmi Poudel Won the Travel Award to Present in 2018 ASME-CIE Graduate Research Poster Session

Congratulations to Laxmi! He won the 2018 ASME-CIE Graduate Research Poster Competition, and will be awarded $750 travel support to present his PhD research on the topic of “Design of Multi-Robot Systems with Evolving Multi-Level Constraints” during the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference in Quebec City, Canada, during August 26-29, 2018. There were 23 applications submitted this year, of which the top twelve were nominated for the awards.