March 28, 2019 – ChBE Seminar Speaker – Dr. Prodromos Daoutidis

March 26, 2019

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering welcomes Dr. Prodromos Daoutidis, the Amundson Chair and Executive Officer of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science for the University of Minnesota.

His seminar titled, “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: New Vistas for Systems and Control Research”, will take place on Thursday, March 28 from 2:00-3:00 PM in 100 Earle Hall.

Energy efficiency and sustainability are major factors towards mitigating the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and the environmental impact of their consumption. Tight integration is a key enabler towards achieving these goals. The first part of the talk will focus on control of integrated large-scale plants, a classic open problem in control. A natural paradigm for addressing this problem is the one of distributed control, in which coordinated controllers tackle operational objectives of different sections of the plant. A key underlying problem is the optimal decomposition of the integrated system into the distributed control architecture. A new approach to this problem inspired from network science will be described. It relies on identifying “communities” of system variables whose members interact strongly among them, yet are weakly coupled to the rest of the network members. The second part of the talk will focus on the emerging theme of distributed production of power, fuels and chemicals, using renewable resources. The motivation lies in the promise of developing efficient, sustainable and robust infrastructures utilizing local resources. The challenges span science, technology and public policy considerations. Recent results along with exciting opportunities for systems research will be highlighted.

Prodromos Daoutidis is a College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor, holder of the Amundson Chair, and Executive Officer in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He received a Diploma degree in Chemical Engineering (1987) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, M.S.E. degrees in Chemical Engineering (1988) and Electrical Engineering: Systems (1991) from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering (1991) from the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty at Minnesota since 1992, having served as Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering (1998-2004) and Chair of the Physical Sciences Policy and Review Council (2000-03), while he has also held a position as Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2004-06). He is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the AIChE Computing in Chemical Engineering Award, the PSE Model Based Innovation Prize, the Best Paper Prize from the Journal of Process Control, an NSF Career Award, and the AIChE Ted Peterson Award. He has also been a Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow. He is currently serving as CAST Programming Chair. He is the Associate Editor for Process Systems Engineering in the AIChE Journal and an Associate Editor in the Journal of Process Control. He has co-authored 5 books, more than 250 refereed papers, and has supervised to completion 31 PhD students and post-docs, 10 of whom have gone into academic positions. His current research is on control of complex process networks, and the design and operation of distributed renewable systems for power generation and fuels and chemicals production.