Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bhushan, Shanti

Committee Member

Collins, Eric

Committee Member

Priddy, Matthew

Committee Member

Sescu, Adrian

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


computational engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Computational Engineering Program


Design of thermoelastic structures can be highly counterintuitive due to design-dependent loading and impact of geometric nonlinearity on the structural response. Thermal loading generates in-plane stresses in a restrained panel, but the presence of geometric nonlinearity creates an extension-bending coupling that results in considerable transverse displacement and variation in stiffness characteristics, and these affects are enhanced in post-bucking regimes. Herein a methodology for structural sizing of thermally stressed post-buckled stiffened panels is proposed and applied for optimization of the blade and hat stiffeners using a gradient-based optimizer. The stiffened panels are subjected to uniform thermal loading and optimized for minimum mass while satisfying stress and stability constraints. The stress constraints are used to avoid yielding of the structure, whereas the stability constraints are used to ensure static stability. Corrugation of the hat stiffeners is also studied through variation of its magnitude and position. A continuation solver has been validated to tackle the highly nonlinear nature of the thermoelastic problem, and formulations for the stability constraints have been derived and imposed to satisfy the static stability of the structure. The study confirms that geometric nonlinearity is an important aspect of sizing optimization and is needed for an accurate modeling of the structural behavior. The results also show that modeling of geometric nonlinearity adds extra complexity to the thermoelastic problem and requires a path-tracking solver. Finally, this work supports that corrugation enhances the stability features of the panel but requires a blending function to reduce stresses at the panel boundaries.