Integration of design and control
processes are complex dynamic systems that are typically designed to
accomplish a set of goals at minimum cost. To remain competitive,
chemical plants must be designed such that they meet product
specifications under stringent operational, environmental and safety
restrictions in the presence of disturbances and uncertainty in the
process parameters. Integration of design and control, also known as
simultaneous design and control, has been accepted as an attractive
alternative to optimally design chemical systems that can meet the
production targets and minimize product variability in the presence of
disturbances and parameter uncertainty. Our focus in this research is to
develop new practical and efficient methodologies that integrate design
and control. Over the years, our group have developed methodologies that have been successfully applied to simultaneously design and control typical chemical processes
such as a distillation system or water treatment plants, and
large-scale chemical systems such as the Tennessee Eastman process.
Recently, we have also developed methodologies that perform the
simultaneous design, scheduling and control of multiproduct systems
Sample Research Projects
Multiscale Modelling and Control
field of nanotechnology, biotechnology and microelectronics are mostly
characterized by coupled physical and chemical phenomena that evolve at
different length and time scales thus requiring the need of a multiscale
modelling approach. Thin film deposition is a key process in the
semiconductor manufacturing sector that is widely used to deposit films
mounted on portable electronic devices. For the device to work properly,
key properties such as the surface roughness and thickness of the film
must meet certain criteria. In the industrial practice, the production
of thin films is currently operated empirically, without a deep
knowledge of the underlying dynamics. Therefore, the development of
efficient control strategies for thin film deposition is needed to
satisfy the increasingly stringent requirements in the semiconductor
manufacturing sector. However, a few obstacles hinder the progress in
this field: i) development of fundamental mathematical models describing
the system for optimization and control purposes, ii) lack of practical
in-situ sensors that provide real-time measurements for online control,
and iii) uncertainties in the deposition process that are not captured
by the prevalent, nominal multiscale models. Our research in this area
aims to develop efficient techniques that improve the controllability of
multiscale process systems under limited availability of on-line
measurements and uncertainty in the physical parameters.
Another research avenue
that has been investigated by group in multiscale systems is
first-principles calculations for relevant catalytic systems. In this
research, we have made use of Density Functional Theory (DFT) analysis
to provide insight (from the modelling point of view) on the expected
behaviour of certain reactions in the production of carbon nanotube and
carbon filaments. Also, we study the effects of different metals and
their supports in the production of these carbonaceous materials.
Sample Research Projects
Process improvement in CO2 capture and gasification systems
change is one of the world‘s most pressing environmental issues, and
has become a leading technology driver for the energy and broader
industrial sectors. Greenhouse gas emissions—in particular, carbon
dioxide (CO2)—are considered the principal cause of climate
change. This is of great concern, as fossil-fired power plants are a
leading contributor of CO2 emissions, while being one of the
main sources of the world‘s energy supply. It has become clear that
there is no—silver bullet—solution to clean energy production; while
many initiatives focus on advancing renewable and carbon neutral energy
supplies, the future energy portfolio must also consider carbon capture
systems that reduce greenhouse emissions from fossil-fired power plants.
The aim of my research in this field is to provide insight on the
optimal design, operation and control of conventional and advanced CO2
capture technologies. Another research avenue that is being currently
explored by my group is on developing modelling studies for
technologically-advanced gasification systems.
Sample Research Projects
Current Graduate Students
- Mina Rafiei, Ph.D.
- Mariel Belen Cachon, Ph.D.
- Do Yeon Lee, MASc.
- Manuel Tejeda, MASc.
- Huabei You, MASc.
- Zachariah Stevenson, MASc.
- Yue Yuan, Ph.D.
- Honghao Zheng, MASc.
- Ilse Cerrillo, MASc.
- Kavitha G Menon, Ph.D.
- Yael Izamal Valdez Navarro, MASc.
- Guanjie Sun, MASc.
- Han Wang, MASc.
- Marco Lucio, MASc.
- Bohua Ren, Ph.D.
Former Graduate Students
- Grigoriy Kimaev, Ph.D.
- Zhenrong He, MASc.
- Robert Koller, MASc.
- Donovan Chaffart, MASc.
- Siddharth Mehta, MASc.
- Saman Lagzi, MASc.
- Shabnam Rasoulian, Ph.D.
- Bhushan Patil, MASc.
- Sami Bahakim, MASc.
- Jingde Li, Ph.D.
- Thanita Nittaya, MASc.
- Atchariya Chamsomwong, Ph.D.
- Noorlisa Harun, Ph.D.
- Alberto Betancourt-Torcat, MASc.
- Ali Alshehri, MASc.
- Jozsef Gaspar, Ph.D. (Technical University of Denmark)
- Maricarmen Lopez, MASc. (Iberoamericana University)
- Barbara Rodriguez, MASc. (Iberoamericana University)
- Nazmul Alam, Ph.D. (Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo)
- Darinel Vazquez-Marquez, Ph.D. (Iberoamericana University)
- Lazaro Hernandez, MASc. (Technological Institute of Orizaba)
- Kelvyn Sanchez-Sanchez, MASc. (Technological Institute of Orizaba)
- Jennifer Charry-Sanchez, BASc.
- Rolando Barrera, Ph.D. (University of Antioquia)
- Gloria Gutierrez, Ph.D. (University of Valladolid)