Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Brett A. Newman

Committee Director

Duc T. Nguyen

Committee Member

Julie Z. Hao

Committee Member

Gene J. Hou


An investigation into current methods and new approaches for solving systems of nonlinear equations was performed. Nontraditional methods for implementing arc-length type solvers were developed in search of a more robust capability for solving general systems of nonlinear algebraic equations. Processes for construction of parameterized curves representing the many possible solutions to systems of equations versus finding single or point solutions were established. A procedure based on these methods was then developed to identify static equilibrium states for solutions to multi-body-dynamic systems. This methodology provided for a pictorial of the overall solution to a given system, which demonstrated the possibility of multiple candidate equilibrium states for which a procedure for selection of the proper state was proposed. Arc-length solvers were found to identify and more readily trace solution curves as compared to other solvers making such an approach practical. Comparison of proposed methods was made to existing methods found in the literature and commercial software with favorable results. Finally, means for parallel processing of the Jacobian matrix inherent to the arc-length and other nonlinear solvers were investigated, and an efficient approach for implementation was identified. Several case studies were performed to substantiate results. Commercial software was also used in some instances for additional results verification.