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Kurt S. Anderson
Associate Professor


Department Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering

Ph.D.  1990   Stanford University
M.S. 1984 University of California
B.S. 1982 University of California

Professional Background :

After receiving his BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982, Dr. Anderson went on to earn a MS in the area of dynamic systems and control from the same institution in 1984. He then spent the next two years working in the areas of dynamics, structural dynamics, and controls for TRW Space and Technology in Redondo Beach, California. After this period, he entered the Ph.D. program in Applied and Computational Mechanics at Stanford University, earning his degree in 1990. Dr. Anderson then accepted a position as researcher and principal dynamics engineering at TRW where he was associated with various spacecraft and research programs. In late 1991 Dr. Anderson was invited to Germany for a two-year period as a visiting scholar, lecturer, and research fellow at the Technische Hochscule - Darmstadt. In 1993 he joined the faculty of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Applied Mechanics, and Aviation at The Ohio State University, in Columbus where he remained until coming to RPI as faculty member in August 1995.


Professors Anderson's primary research goals are associated with development of advanced algorithms for modeling, simulating, and analyzing the behavior of complex dynamic systems. Examples of such systems include, but are not limited to, spacecraft, robotic systems, automotive applications, the human body, and manufacturing operations. These analysis and simulation tools emphasize the use of algorithms which obtain the desired accuracy, while requiring far fewer computational operations than their more traditional counterparts. This results in simulations which run much more quickly, or equally important, allows a level modeling and analysis which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. This is a accomplished through the use of special low operational order algorithms, multirate temporal integration methods, and intelligent exploitation of parallel computing.

Specific problems being investigated include:

  • Development of highly efficient parallelizable algorithms for general multibody systems;
  • Determination of the optimal form of the equations of motion (in the sense of maximizing simulation speed) for a complex multibody system when available computer resources have sub-optimal numbers of processors;
  • Automated determination of design parameter values which yield near optimal design performance of complex mechanism from a dynamics point of view;
  • Development of methods for producing design sensitivity information at a greatly reduced cost;
  • Multi-Rate temporal integration schemes;
  • Simulation, Design and Control of MEMS devices;
  • Advanced material modelling; Molecular systems; Biomechanical modeling;
  • Multi-continuous body modeling of the dynamic behavior of translating media (e.g. drive belts, tracks and tracked vehicles, etc.).


  • NSF Career Award
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Pi Tau Sigma
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Sigma Xi

Contact Information:
Kurt S. Anderson
Associate Professor
4006 Jonsson Engineering Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, N.Y. 12180 USA
Phone: (518) 276-2339
Fax: (518) 276-2623
anderk5 at rpi dot edu


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