Since 2017, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) has been annually holding a Summer School program as a part of the ITB’s World Class University program. However, as we already know, this year we are having a different situation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Summer School program has been replaced by the International Virtual Courses (IVC) program. IVC itself is a series of online courses that can be attended by participants all over the world with lecturers from ITB and also other universities (local and abroad). This year, ITB offers a total of 30 courses with participants coming from Indonesia and also other countries. The Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (FMAE) ITB is hosting one of the courses, namely, Multidisciplinary Optimization and Machine Learning for Engineering Design Applications (MDO-ML) that just begun on 19 July 2021.

IVC MDO-ML is jointly organized by ITB, Tohoku University (Japan), and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong). The primary motivation of this course is mainly due to the increasing demands to improve the quality of engineering design in the age of high-performance computing and the ease of accessing big data in today’s era of high-performance computing. Therefore, in the age of data, optimization techniques and machine learning algorithms are essential skills that need to be possessed by students, researchers, and practitioners. The MDO-ML virtual course consists of online lectures, Python tutorials, and assignments that will help the participants to understand the materials given and apply them in practice.

The MDOML virtual course started on July 19, 2021, and will finish on August 5, 2021. Prof. Dr. Ir. Tatacipta Dirgantara, as the Dean of FMAE ITB, officially opened this course and then followed by greetings and explanation about the course’s rules from Pramudita Satria Palar, Ph.D., as the general chair of this event. The course will be taught by 14 world-class experts in the field of design, optimization, and machine learning from various countries. In total, 154 participants joined this course, with 57 originating from Indonesia and the other 97 are from the other countries, spanning across five continents.

The first lecture was delivered by Rhea Liem, Ph.D. (HKUST) who introduces the students to modern tools in engineering design and optimization. In her class, Dr. Liem explained the complex optimization process in real-world problems, which spurred the development of modern optimization methods to tackle intricate practical engineering problems. Besides Dr. Liem’s topic, other topics that have been delivered in this course include formulation of optimization problems (Rommel Regis, Ph.D.), gradient-based optimization (Koji Shimoyama, Ph.D.), stochastic optimization methods (Hemant Kumar Singh, Ph.D.), modern simulation methods (Lavi Rizki Zuhal, Ph.D., and Eky Valentian Febrianto, Ph.D.), and design under uncertainty (Lucia Parussini, Ph.D.). Prof. Kazuhisa Chiba, who has considerable experience in working with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), also delivered a talk on real-world challenges in applying optimization techniques for industrial-scale aerospace engineering applications.

Other world-class researchers that will also deliver a talk in this course include Prof. Joaquim R.R.A. Martins (University of Michigan), who is a pioneer in the field of engineering design optimization technology, and Dr. Maziar Raissi (University of Colorado, Boulder) who pioneered and coined the physics-informed neural network/deep learning. Researchers from ITB who contributed to this course include Dr. Pramudita Satria Palar and Dr. Lavi Rizki Zuhal that will deliver a talk on advanced simulation methods and machine learning for design optimization.