Professor Powers's research areas center on design research and systems analysis. His work specifically concentrates on process synthesis, risk and reliability, and engineering education techniques.
The synthesis of operating procedures for continuous and batch processing facilities is an important task in plant design. Computer programs are being written to test such models and assist designers in generating high-integrity procedures and flowsheets. Island-driven hierarchical planning is combined with functional models to unify synthesis of the procedures and flowsheet.
Chemical Process Risk and Reliability Assessment
A strategy to assess process hazards and diagnose faults using real-time data is being tested, using fault trees and digraph models to develop causal and probabilistic relationships between sensed variables annd process hazards.
A theory for the verification of real-time control systems is being developed by combining chemical engineering process models with software engineering techniques. Symbolic verification tests are being developed for stages in the control system that range from the initial specification of the user's requirements to final control code and hardware. The theory is being tested on discrete event controllers.
Powers, G.J. and Fusillo, R. "Computer-Aided Planning of Purge Operations," AIChE Journal, vol. 34, p. 4, 1988.
Moon, I., Powers, G.J., Burch, J.R., and Clarke, E.M. "An Automatic Verification Method Using Temporal Logic for Sequential Chemical Process Control Systems," AIChE Journal, vol. 38, p. 67, 1991.
Turk, A.L., Probst, S.T., and Powers, G.J. "Verification of Real-Time Chemical Processing Systems," In Proceedings of HART Workshop "Hybrid and Real-Time Systems," Lect. Notes in Comp. Sci., vol. 1201, pp. 259-272, Springer-Verlag, 1997.
Turk, A.L., Probst, S.T., and Powers, G.J. "Verification of a Chemical Process Leak Test Procedure," In Proceedings of CAV Workshop "Computer Aided Verification," Lect. Notes in Comp. Sci., vol. 1254, pp. 84-94, Springer-Verlag, 1997.