Levent Burak Kara-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Levent Burak Kara

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Courtesy Appointment, Robotics Institute

5000 Forbes Avenue
Scaife Hall 411
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-268-2509
Fax: 412-268-3348


Professor Kara’s research develops new computational techniques and software to support product design and user interaction with design tools. His research interests include CAD/CAE, product design and styling, geometric modeling, shape analysis, design for additive manufacturing, user interfaces for design, pen computing and artificial intelligence. While founded in mechanical engineering, his research draws upon several related disciplines including computer graphics, machine learning and human-computer interaction.

One of Professor Kara’s recent research projects involves developing a sketch-based 3D geometric modeling tool. This work aims to help designers construct, modify, and fluidly interact with 3D geometry through a 2D sketch-based interface. The techniques enable a rapid creation and manipulation of 3D shapes, and are particularly effective for concept development and styling design. Other ongoing projects include shape abstraction, study of aesthetic product forms, design for additive manufacturing, free-form surface feature modeling, data-driven shape design and engineering design and analysis from image-based representations. 

Related News

Kara’s development means lighter weights, lower costs in additive manufacturing 

Carnegie Mellon to lead $970K America Makes collaboration to advance additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry

Semantic shape editing


B.S. 1998, Middle East Technical University, Ankara

M.S. 2000, Ph.D. 2004, Carnegie Mellon University


Visual Design and Engineering Lab

Selected Publications

  • Luoting Fu. Levent Burak Kara. Kenji Shimada. Modeling Flow Features with User-Guided Streamline Parameterization. SIAM Conference on Geometric and Physical Modeling (GD/SPM13). Also special issue of Elsevier Computer-Aided Design.
  • Mehmet Ersin Yumer, Levent Burak Kara. Co-Abstraction of Shape Collections. ACM, Transactions on Graphics (TOG) 31(6), Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia 2012.
  • Gunay Orbay, Levent Burak Kara. Sketch-Based Surface Design Using Malleable Curve Networks. Elsevier, Computers & Graphics, Volume 36 (8), Pages 916-929.
  • Mehmet Ersin Yumer, Levent Burak Kara. Surface Creation on Unstructured Point Sets Using Neural Networks. Computer Aided Design, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp. 644-656, 2012.
  • Mark Fuge, Mehmet Ersin Yumer, Gunay Orbay, Levent Burak Kara. "Conceptual Design and Modification of Freeform Surfaces Using Dual Shape Representations in Augmented Reality Environments" Computer-Aided Design, Volume 44, Issue 10,  Pages 1020–1032, 2012.
  • Luoting Fu, Levent Burak Kara, Kenji Shimada. "Feature, Design Intention and Constraint Preservation for Direct Modeling of 3D Freeform Surfaces" 3D Research, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2012.
  • Gunay Orbay, Levent Burak Kara. "Beautification of Design Sketches Using Trainable Stroke Clustering and Curve Fitting" IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Volume 17, Number 5, May 2011, Pages 694-708
  • Levent Burak Kara, Kenji Shimada. "Supporting Early Styling Design of Automobiles Using Sketch-based 3D Shape Construction" Computer-Aided Design & Applications, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 867-876, 2008
  • Levent Burak Kara, Kenji Shimada. “Sketch-based 3D Shape Creation for Industrial Styling Design” IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol.27, no. 1, pp. 60-71, 2007.
  • Levent Burak Kara, Thomas F. Stahovich. “An Image-Based, Trainable Symbol Recognizer for Hand-drawn Sketches” Computers & Graphics 29(4): 501-517, 2005.
  • Levent Burak Kara, Thomas F. Stahovich. “Hierarchical Parsing and Recognition of Hand-Sketched Diagrams” 17th ACM User Interface Software Technology (UIST) 2004.