The Design Manufacturing Futures Lab has published and presented its first paper entitled “Quantum Combinatoral Design” exploring the potential of applying Quantum Computing to Engineering Design problems. This was published and presented at the International Conference on Engineering Design 2021 (ICED21)


Combinatorial Design such as configuration design, design optioneering, component selection, and generative design, is common across engineering. Generating solutions for a combinatorial design task often involves the application of classical computing solvers that can either map or navigate design spaces. However, it has been observed that classical computing resource power-law scales with many design space models. This observation suggests classical computing may not be capable of modelling
our future design space needs.

To meet future design space modelling needs, this paper examines quantum computing and the characteristics that enables its resources to scale polynomially with design space size. The paper then continues to present a combinatorial design problem that is subsequently represented, constrained and solved by quantum computing. The results of which are the derivation of an initial set of circuits that represent design space constraints. The study shows the game-changing possibilities of quantum computing as an engineering design tool and is the start of an exciting new journey for design research.


Constraint modelling, Robust design, Simulation, Quantum Computing, Design Space