“Explore new design capabilities with smart MDO solutions”

The objective of Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) Competence Center is to address three major industrial challenges: shortening the design and development cycle, the efficient command of products for their entire life cycle through the interconnection of systems and digital continuity, and finally, accelerating the introduction of new technologies in products. It is therefore necessary to develop an ambitious conception and simulation program.


The activities of the competence center are thus dedicated to the development of process automation technologies encompassing a wide range of disciplines and parameters, as well as the smooth reconfiguration of these processes. It also develops robust and efficient multidisciplinary optimization methodologies that can be scaled to industrial applications. Finally, it is setting up a software platform for a user-friendly use of MDO.


While the scope of application in the center is that of designing aircraft, generic developments are and can be adapted to other fields – automobile, naval, energy – and even more remote applications such as healthcare, and other systems, like means of production.

R&T Fields

  • Generic MDO methodologies. MDO formulations (MDF, IDF, bi-level formulation family) and algorithms (experimental plan, coupling, optimization)
  • Methodologies for resolving optimization problems with mixed conception variables (continuous and discrete) for example in the framework of the structure optimization.
  • New substitution models using machine learning techniques.
  • Methodologies for taking into account uncertain parameters in MDO processes.
  • MDO-MBSE methodology based on system engineering to formalize and grasp the conception of complex systems, for example during the global design stage of the aircraft.[1]

[1] Model-Based System Engineering

An MDO platform was developed with the dual purpose of meeting the challenges facing industry and offering a very interesting solution for research.

GEMS – the Python library and the mathematical kernel of the platform – proposes a set of MDO formulation and automatically creates the MDO process map depending on the selected formulation. GEMS proposes interfaces to algorithms libraries (creation of experiment plans, coupling, optimization), substitution model libraries, post-processing libraries and visualization capacities.

Over and above GEMS, the platform offers services for creating and executing MDO scenarios in parallel and distributed across several machines, for managing in configuration these processes, and for helping the user (verification of data entry, process supervision, analysis of results).

This transverse approach brings into play both the platform and the methodologies, and carries out a full-scale test.  Since 2016, the center has focused a lot of effort into setting up representative tests of industrial problems and constraints. In particular, a test case for an engine strut re-design underwent considerable development. Multidisciplinary optimization techniques were applied to the re-engining of aircraft to assess the impact of a new generation engine on aircraft performance.


Head of Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Competence Center
Toulouse Site



  • New MDO methodologies.
  • New Generic Engine for MDO Scenarios (GEMS) software (Python library) which enables the automatic creation of MDO processes.
  • User-friendly MDO software platform for researchers (Python interface) and industrialists (graphic interface).
  • Demonstrations using test cases that simulate industrial constraints.
  • Supports for the transfer of results: videos, training, themed workshops.
  • Thesis reports, scientific publications, communication at conferences.