The outline of the thesis is as follows. Chapter 2 discusses the use of Laplacian smoothing in order to improve the accuracy of semi-analytical sensitivities. Chapter 3 explains how these sensitivities can be used to construct response surfaces. Here, a two-step approach to construct the response surface will be presented. Construction of gradient-enhanced response surfaces can be considered as a multi-objective problem which will be shown in Chapter 4. The use of radial basis functions in order to construct response surfaces based on function values and gradients will be presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 focuses on efficiency improvement of response surface building using fast reanalysis methods. In Chapter 7 the optimization of composite laminates using a sequential approximate optimization of composite laminates using a sequential approximate optimization approach will be discussed. Finally, Chapter 8 contains a discussion and general conclusions.
Chapter 2 to 6 are reproductions from papers presented at conferences and journal publications. References to these papers are given at the first page of the corresponding chapter. As a consequence of the fact that Chapters 2 to 6 are reproductions, some information in this thesis is superfluous. On the other hand, it enables selective reading of each of the chapters.