Hi! I’m currently a Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Research Assistant working with the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This page has some information about my work. If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Things that I most like to do:

  • Small Satellites and everything around them
  • Dynamics, Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) of Autonomous Vehicles
  • Space Mission Operations Software (COSMOS)
  • Flight Software,  C++11 is amazing …


Click to see my Research Gate profile.

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MS Thesis


”If there occur some changes in nature, the amount of action necessary for this change must be as small as possible.”

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, 1698 – 1759;
French mathematician who formulated the principle of least action.


Optimization problems in engineering are of major importance for the development of new structures, new materials, and even for new ways of improving engineering that are so demanding in today’s industry. The development of a biologically inspired methodology brings new ways for topology optimization to be applied in a multidisciplinary design approach. The process developed in this thesis extends the methodology proposed by Kobayashi for engineering designs to multiply connected regions. The methodology is based on a cellular division model for developing the design topology. The topology generated is then improved using a Genetic Algorithm. The methodology is demonstrated in the design of a structural panel from a satellite at launching conditions. Software was developed to illustrate the applicability of the proposed design approach. The results show how the method improves a given structural problem and compares it to a traditional engineering design.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary Design Optimization, Map L-system, Biologically Inspired Structures, Satellites.

>> Thesis Document
>> Thesis Presentation


Miguel A. Nunes

University of Hawaii at Manoa
Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory
1680 East-West Road, POST 501
Honolulu, HI 96822, U.S.A.

Miguel (dot) Nunes (at) hawaii (dot) edu
+1 808-956-0441 (line)

Relevant Links

>> HSFL official page