BASF distinguished lecture: New paradigms for optimization in computer aided process engineering

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Date: March 8, 2023
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Engineering, College of #1507
5050 Anthony Wayne
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Seminar


Lorenz T. Biegler, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University


Optimization models are encountered in all facets of process engineering, from model and process development, to process synthesis and design, and finally to process operations, control, scheduling and planning. Challenges include the synthesis of efficient, reliable optimization strategies, which can be embedded within the work process, providing sensitivity of the optimal solution to exogenous inputs, and robustness of the solution to uncertainties. This talk discusses three new paradigms that lead to significant advances to address these challenges. First, equation-oriented (EO) optimization strategies have led to the solution of problems with potentially millions of variables and thousands of degrees of freedom. Second, enabling NLP tools handle optimization models with complementarity conditions that can model nonsmooth switches as well as phase changes in equilibrium systems. These applications arise in distillation columns, pipelines, complex heat exchangers and reservoir models. Finally, detailed 'truth' models for molecular dynamics (MD), density functional theory (DFT) or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) resist reformulation in EO form and are often handled through data-driven or physics-inspired reduced models (RMs). Recently, we have created RM-based trust region frameworks that a) guarantee convergence to the optimum of the complex truth models (TM) and b) integrate naturally with large-scale optimization modeling platforms. These new approaches will be demonstrated on steady state and dynamic models drawn from process analysis, process design and real-time optimization.


Lorenz T. (Larry) Biegler is Covestro University Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests lie in computer aided process engineering (CAPE) and include flowsheet optimization, optimization of systems of differential and algebraic equations, reactor network synthesis and algorithms for constrained, nonlinear process control. Contributions in these areas include analysis and development of nonlinear programming algorithms, optimization software design and application to real-world chemical processes and energy systems. He is an author on over 550 archival publications and 2 textbooks, has edited nine technical books and given numerous invited presentations at national and international conferences. He is a Fellow of AIChE, IFAC and SIAM, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

In-person event

In-person location:  Engineering, College of # 1507 (Map)


Helen Durand


March 2023