Engineering System Design Lab


Welcome to the Engineering System Design Lab at the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, directed by Professor James Allison. Our mission is to play a leading role in the transformation of engineering system design.

The complexity of engineered systems has risen dramatically in recent decades, but conventional system design methods have failed to keep pace, resulting in regular cost and time overruns. Interactions between system components contribute to complexity, and at the ESDL we study advanced design methods that can fully account for system interactions and capitalize on synergistic relationships to improve system performance and reduce complexity of the design process. We are particularly interested in ways better system design can have positive impact on humanity, such as improving energy efficiency and energy sustainability.

Please visit our research and publications pages to learn more about our work. You may also be interested in visitng Professor Allison's YouTube Channel and MATLAB Central Profile for videos and MATLAB code associated with teaching and research relevant to the ESDL. If you have more questions, are interested in joining the ESDL, or are considering collaboration or sponsoring our research, please contact Professor Allison.

Click here for more information regarding research opportunities within the ESDL

Group Photos


ESDL Dinner May 2015
ESDL Dinner December 2014
ESDL Luncheon May 2014
ESDL Luncheon December 2013
ESDL Spring 2012
ESDL Fall 2012
Building the trebuchets for GE 100
Freshman General Engineering majors Anthony Lin (left) and Quin Wang launch a mini-pumpkin with their trebuchet for their intro to engineering classes in Bardeen Quad on Wednesday, November 28, 2012. Photo by Ben Woloszyn
Engineering students gather in Bardeen Quad on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 to launch mini-pumpkins with trebuchets built fo their intro to engineering classes. Photo by Ben Woloszyn
Professor Allison demonstrates how the transmission in your car works in GE 410
Professor Allison at the Kennedy Space Center, May 2013
ISE Department Awards Night, May 2013
Final GE 100 trebuchet competition, October 2013
Trebuchet range measuring officials, October 2013
Final GE 100 trebuchet competition, October 2013
Dan Herber and Jason McDonald at the 2013 Engineering Open House trebuchet demonstration
Professor Allison receiving the ASME DAC Young Investigator Award at the 2013 ASME iDETC Conference
Professor Allison at the Mars Yard with the Mars Science Lab (Curiosity Rover) while visiting JPL in November 2013
Kamp Kaboom Summer 2014
Junior Scientist Day 2015
Junior Scientist Day 2015
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