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The problem of designing large induction motors at a minimum cost is approached using nonlinear programming. The performance evaluation programs include saturation effects, stray load losses, and airflow and temperature rise throughout the machine, while the cost function includes labour as well as material costs. A new optimisation technique is employed which promises rapid convergence and allows the program to begin from, and search through, nonfeasible designs. This feature eliminates the need for a synthesis program as required in most optimisation methods. The program has been applied to motors in the range of 148Â¿1 110kW.