Related Program: Center for Advanced Process Decision-making
Research in Process Systems Engineering (PSE) is currently directed by Professors Biegler, Grossmann, Hauan, Sahinidis and Ydstie, while Professor Westerberg is currently emeritus professor. The research in the PSE area is carried out by about 25 graduate students and 6 researchers within the department's Center for Advanced Process Decision-making (CAPD), and with funding over $2 million per year. Our research goals are to provide intellectual leadership in complex design and operation issues faced by process industries. Our underlying approach is based on developing and advancing systematic modeling and solution methods for the optimization and control of multi-scale process systems, ranging from molecular level to the enterprise level.
The research work of the PSE group is focused in three major areas: optimization, control, and complex systems. Topics covered in optimization include nonlinear, mixed-integer, disjunctive programming, and global optimization; optimization of differential algebraic systems; synthesis of energy and water systems, and metabolic networks; planning, and scheduling; enterprise-wide optimization; optimization methods for data-handling problems. Topics in control include adaptive and self-learning control; passivity theory; design and verification of process operating systems; and fault tree analysis for safety. Finally, topics in complex systems include microscale chemical synthesis and sensing; agent systems in engineering design and optimization; synthesis and design of reaction-separation processes and simulated moving-bed chromatography.
Over the past two decades, the PSE group at Carnegie Mellon, the largest in the country, has graduated over 70 Ph.D. students. The PSE faculty have also authored a textbook on process design (Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design ), and there has been widespread adoption of Carnegie Mellon-developed research strategies among a large number of academic departments. The PSE faculty play important editorial roles for a number of journals, including AIChE Journal, Automatica, Journal of Global Optimization, Computers and Chemical Engineering, Optimization in Engineering, I & EC Research , and SIAM Journal on Optimization .
In addition, the PSE group is involved in a number of research interactions with other Carnegie Mellon departments and centers, including: Tepper Business School (Operations Research and Operations Management), Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES), Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematical Sciences. Moreover, our research activities include numerous international interactions and research collaborations which include Imperial College (UK); INTEC, PLAPIQUI (Argentina); Universidad Catolica (Chile); Abo Akademi (Finland); Technical University-Berlin, RWTH-Aachen (Germany); Kyoto University (Japan); Universidad Iberoamericana, Tecnologico de Celaya (Mexico); NTNU (Norway), and Univ. Cantabria, Univ. Politecnica Catalunya (Spain).
The Center for Advanced Process Decision-making (CAPD) provides an umbrella organization for interactions with industry in the Process Systems Engineering area. Based on fundamental research in modeling, optimization and control, the CAPD addresses a wide range of applications. These include product and process design (microsystems, metabolic networks, separation networks, energy systems), process control and safety (adaptive control, passivity theory, fault trees), and enterprise-wide optimization (scheduling, planning and control of supply chains). These applications are addressed through methodologies that are based on process modeling (dynamics, superstructures), mathematical programming (nonlinear and mixed-integer programming), modern search methods (logic-based and agent-based) and advanced computing (Beowulf cluster).
Companies that are currently members of CAPD include the following: ABB, Air Products, AspenTech, Bayer, BP, Cargill, Dash Optim., Dow, Eastman, ExxonMobil, GAMS, Honeywell, IBM, Kraft, Neste Eng. , Nova Chemical, Petrobras, PPG, SimSci, Sunoco, Total . These companies help to support our research through membership fees, and in a number of cases, through special industrial projects. Students are involved in the CAPD through an annual review meeting in which they have the opportunity to present their work and meet industrial researchers. In addition, through the CAPD opportunities of summer industrial internships are given to our graduate students.
The training of students in our PSE group makes them attractive candidates for industry and academia. Our students have taken academic positions within major departments (e.g. Illinois, Imperial College, McMaster, Princeton, Purdue, Texas A&M, Wisconsin) or are currently employed in industry in a variety of companies (e.g. AspenTech, Air Products, Bank of America, BP, ExxonMobil, McKinsey, Shell, United Technologies, and Northrop Grumman).
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