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College of Engineering

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November 27, 2018 | 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Danto Engineering Development Center | Map
5050 Anthony Wayne
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

Role of Process Systems Engineering in Chemical Engineering

In this talk we give a general overview of the nature of Process Systems Engineering, discuss some current major trends, and show how it fits in this Chemical Engineering and the role it might play in the future. After briefly reviewing the history of Chemical Engineering, we highlight how academic research over the last decade has had a strong push towards science, largely due to emergence of areas like nanotechnology and biotechnology, which has caused some disconnect between academia and industry. However, despite these trends, Process Systems Engineering (PSE) remains a core area in Chemical Engineering that one the one hand has expanded its scope from the process engineering level down to the molecular level, and up to the enterprise and global level. Furthermore, PSE is again regaining prominence due to the increasing importance of the areas of energy and sustainability. Traditionally, PSE has been subdivided into process design, process control and process operations. In this talk we argue why PSE is becoming broader in terms of scope due to future trends.

We describe three major trends in Process Systems Engineering that have emerged over the last decade and that can potentially help the industry to innovate and to remain competitive. First, we describe efforts for simultaneous product and process design, where the emphasis lies in tying the molecular structure of the products with the processing and macroscopic properties of the product. Second, we describe work that is aimed at modeling and optimizing processes for effectively exploiting fossil fuels like shale gas and alternative sources like biomass. We also address the issue of efficiently managing natural resources such as water. Third, we describe research efforts in enterprise-wide optimization that are aimed at designing and operating supply chains for the process industry in which planning, scheduling and control can be integrated more effectively. We conclude that Process Systems Engineering is broadening its scope in order to address problems that are of current and future interest.


About Ignacio Grossmann
Ignacio Grossmann is the R. R. Dean University Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Imperial College. He was department head of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon from 1994 to 2002, and is currently director of the Center for Advanced Process Decision-making. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was named “One of the Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era” by AIChE. The author of over 400 publications, Grossmann’s research focuses on developing novel mathematical programming models and techniques for a variety of problems in process systems engineering, such as process synthesis, energy integration or enterprise-wide optimization.

About the BASF Distinguished Lecture Series
The Wayne State University Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science is welcoming five prominent scientists and engineers to its campus to stimulate idea-focused conversations about emerging growth areas such as alternative energy, biomaterials, nanotechnology, polymer engineering and sustainability. This partnership between Wayne State and BASF — the largest chemical producer in the world, with a footprint in more than 80 countries — is intended to create another pathway to connect students with professional leaders and to enhance interaction among industry experts.

For more information about this event, please contact Guangzhao Mao at 313-577-3804 or