Ahsan Qamar

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Dr. Qamar is a postdoctoral researcher at the MBSE center and has a multi-disciplinary background in systems engineering, mechatronic engineering and control engineering. He received a PhD. in Mechatronics from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, in 2013. Prior to that, he obtained a MSc. in Automation and Control Engineering from Aalborg University Denmark and a B.E. in Mechatronic Engineering from National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan. Having a multidisciplinary background helps him apply his knowledge on various aspects of engineering design while solving the systems engineering problems. His research interests are in model-based systems engineering, model management, multi-view modeling, development of integrated engineering environments, inconsistency management, mechatronic design and engineering design. He also has research experience from the Automation & System Technology Laboratory at the Aarhus University Denmark, working with control of outdoor vehicles. He also has keen interest in robotics and (together with fellow undergraduate students) has built ball throwing robots that participated in the ABU Asia Pacific Robot contest in 2003. He has experience of developing and implementing automatic control for applications ranging from gantry cranes to micro-gravity isolation platforms and satellite tracking antennas. 

Contact Information

Manufacturing Research Center (MaRC)
Georgia Institute of Technology
813 Ferst Drive NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0405

Click here to see my personal website

Room: MaRC 263
Tel.: +1 (404) 894-8569
E-Mail: ahsan.qamar(at)gatech.edu

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Research Interests

Design of today's engineering systems is a complex process. The systems themselves are becoming complex due to an increase in functionality and behavior intelligence. On the other hand, the development process naturally involves multiple stakeholders which have different viewpoints, supported by multiple views to address their concerns. Modeling is performed at various levels of abstraction and detail to represent the system based on the concerns of the stakeholder. As a result, multiple formalisms, modeling languages and tools are utilized. From the perspective of Model-Based Systems Engineering, such multi-view development processes presents a number of challenges:

  • Overlapping concerns: Results in views that are not entirely independent, but have relations between them.  
  • Dependencies: Due to the overlapping concerns, semantic relationships appear between viewpoints established to address the concerns, resulting in dependencies. The dependency management is in general implicit and ad-hoc.
  • Difficulty in communication:  Communication in a heterogeneous development setting is challenging due to different backgrounds of engineers, different terminologies, difficulties in using a common language, and difficulties to exchange and understand data between a diverse set of stakeholders 
  • Tool interoperability and tool integration is a major hurdle. 
  • Inconsistency management between interrelated but disparate models is challenging and difficult to enforce.
  • Visual representations to represent system engineering data from multiple system modeling sources are inadequate.

My aim is to study methods and approaches and develop the supporting tools that address the above mentioned challenges and support the designers in their work. By applying a decision-theocratic framework to MBSE, new insights can be gained by maintaining a focus at the process level rather than just applying product-focused decision-making. Our aim is to build effective products with the resource available to build them and hence the process and organization aspects play a major role in how the end result is achieved.

Current Research Projects

Inconsistency Management in MBSE

Sponsored by Boeing Research & Technology, the aim of this project is to develop methods to identify inconsistencies among distributed and heterogeneous models which are supported through multiple formalisms. Some of these inconsistencies are caused by not conforming to the design guidelines and the use of modeling languages that are of semi-formal nature, other types of inconsistencies are caused by overlapping concerns of the involved stakeholders (resulting in dependencies), and the viewpoints established to address these concerns. In our earlier work, we investigated the modeling and management of dependencies in such a development setting and created a Domain-Specific Modeling Language (DSML) to formally capture dependencies. The current work extends this and studies the nature of semantic overlaps that results in dependencies, and investigates methods to detect such dependencies between heterogeneous models. In addition to the detection of inconsistencies, resolving inconsistencies is a challenging problem, as dependencies play a role in defining a resolution strategy. A resolution action could lead to other inconsistencies appearing, and it may not be valuable to resolve all such inconsistencies. Further information about the project can be found at the following project page

Systems Engineering Tools Integration & Interoperability Using OSLC

Sponsored by Deere & Company and in collaboration with Koneksys LLC, the goal of this project is to develop support for establishing interoperability between distributed and heterogeneous models.  OSLC-compliant tool adapters are developed for different design and analysis tools to demonstrate the benefits of this approach. This includes OSLC tool adapters  for Matlab/Simulink and for MagicDraw SysML. In addition, conformance to design guidelines within and across heterogeneous models is also investigated. Further information is available at the following project page

Managing Cycles in Innovation Processes

In collaboration with the Technical University Munich (TUM), this project investigates application of formal analysis techniques to detect incompatibilities among  engineering models, or in general, inconsistencies. For example, detecting incompatibility between ports, interfaces, non-conformance to design guidelines and inconsistencies due to duplication of information. Further information is available at the following page.

Visual Analytics to Support Decision-Making in Early Design Phase

The design of complex engineered systems requires analysis of massive amounts of information relating to the product, manufacturing, supply chain and maintenance. Supported by Boeing Research & Technology, the aim of this project is to investigate and build visual analytic tools that will help the involved stakeholders interactively explore, discover, and make sense of the underlying data. The aim is to investigate appropriate modes of representation and interaction required when the system design is reviewed among design teams. In such situations, answering questions about the system requires information from multiple system modeling sources, hence data and tool interoperability is a challenge.


In Press
Basole, R. C., A. Qamar, H. Park, L. F. McGinnis, and C. J. J. Paredis, "Visual Analytics for Early Phase CES Design Support", IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications: IEEE Computer Society, In Press.
Qamar, A., C. J. J. Paredis, J. WIkander, and C. During, "Dependency Modeling and Model Management in Mechatronic Design", Computing and Information Science in Engineering, vol. 12, issue 4: ASME, pp. 041009, 11/2012.
Qamar, A., and C. J. J. Paredis, "Dependency Modeling and Model Management in Mechatronic Design", 32nd Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, vol. 2: ASME, pp. 1205-1216, 2012.
Herzig, S. J. I., A. Qamar, A. Reichwein, and C. J. J. Paredis, "A Conceptual Framework for Consistency Management in Model-Based Systems Engineering", Proc. ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conf. & Computers and Information in Engineering Conf., Aug., 2011. Abstract
Qamar, A., J. WIkander, and C. During, "Designing Mechatronic Systems: A Model Integration Approach", 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11), vol. 4: The Design Society, pp. 145-156, 2011.
Torry-Smith, J. M., A. Qamar, S. Achiche, N. H. Mortensen, J. WIkander, and C. During, "Mechatronic Design - Still a Considerable Challenge", 23rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, vol. 9, pp. 33-44, 2011.
Qamar, A., J. WIkander, and C. During, "A Mechatronic Design Infrastructure Integrating Heterogeneous Models", International Conference on Mechatronics (ICM): IEEE, pp. 212 - 217, 2011.
Qamar, A., C. During, and J. WIkander, "Designing Mechatronic Systems, A Model-Based Perspective, An Attempt to Achieve SysML-Matlab/Simulink Model Integration", IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM09): IEEE, pp. 1306-1311, 2009.
Nørremark, M., A. Qamar, M. Nilars, and K. Persson, "A system using GNSS to record spray boom movement and absolute position under operating conditions", International Conference on Agricultural Engineering : Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering for a Sustainable World: EurAgEng, 2008.