The McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) promotes and advances process automation and related process systems engineering technologies through academe-industry interactions. [more]
Manufacturers are making decisions all the time about what products to make and how best to make them. And, regardless of whether the products are chemicals, fuels, consumer products, or widgets, those decisions are incredibly important for the company’s bottom line and can make—or break—the business. For example, when manufacturing consumer electronics, planners continually search for the best deals on the different components, manage delivery times, and orchestrate their factories to... [full story]
The 28th MACC Meeting and Workshop was a huge success! Held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton from May 17-19, 2016, the workshop featured talks from industry member representatives, MACC professors, graduate students, and researchers from visiting companies and universities. This year's theme was "Addressing Uncertainty in Process Operation and Design" and featured keynote speaker Prof. Paul Stuart from École Polytechnique Montréal.
Member companies can download all of the course materials...[full story]
The chemical process industry is continually striving for greater efficiency, throughput and operability in their plant operations, all while adhering to safety and cost constraints. The processes considered are often on a plant-wide scale, involving several operating units, and involve a considerable amount of uncertainty in terms of the raw material quality, utility costs and product demand. Designing such plants to be flexible enough to quickly ramp up or down production in real-time to... [full story]
The air we breathe consists mainly of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon. These components have various applications in many industrial sectors from food/beverage to energy and healthcare. The separation of these components can be done at extreme cold temperatures, i.e. more than 100 oC lower than the coldest outside temperature ever recorded in the Canadian history. Although the raw material, air, is free and plentiful, such separation processes usually start with an energy intensive step –... [full story]
Synthetic diesel and gasoline have been important sources of transportation fuel since World War II, when Axis forces needed a way to power their fleets after the Allies cut off much of their access to petroleum. Traditionally, synthetic fuels are made from coal which is converted into synthesis gas—a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be produced in a device called a gasifier. Gasifiers are widely used today to produce syngas from not just coal, but biomass, petroleum coke,... [full story]
MACC researchers have developed a new chemical process system that will make it less expensive to produce biobutanol—a biofuel that may play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions by blending into ordinary gasoline along with or instead of bioethanol. For the past few years, MACC researchers have been developing a new process that can produce biobutanol using something called the thermochemical route. “The thermochemical route is different from most other biobutanol processing... [full story]
We are proud to announce the graduation of eight of our students! Listed clockwise from top left:
- Kushlani Wijesekera (MaSC) - Quaternary and Quintenary Semicontinuous Distillation
- Chris Ewaschuk (MaSC) - Optimal Scheduling of Converter Aisle Operation in a Nickel Smelting Plant
- Patrick Carter (MaSC) - Planning and Scheduling Optimization in Integrated Steel Production
- Kyle Lefebvre (MaSC) - Load-following heat, hot water and power distributed generation using an integrated solid...
The 27th Annual MACC Meeting and Workshop was held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton from May 12-14, 2015, with the theme "Operations and Design over Multiple Time Scales – from Planning and Scheduling to Advanced Control." Featured speakers from our partners and guests were:
- Marianthi Ierapetritou - Rutgers University, Decision Making Across Different Scales: From Process Control to Supply Chain Management
- Elkafi Hassini - DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Supply Chain...
Nine MACC graduate students have received top federal or provincial scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year, covering most to all of their educational and living expenses:
Sarah Ballinger Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Master's Level)
Pedro Castillo Ontario Graduate Scholarship (International)
Giancarlo Dalle Ave Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Master's Level)
Brian MacDonald Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Master's Level)
Vida Meidanshahi Ontario Trillium... [full story]
MACC Researchers have released 20 new example simulations for solvent-based CO2 and H2S capture processes in common commercial software packages such as Aspen Plus, Aspen HYSYS, Pro/II, and ProMax.
Solvent-based process for capturing CO2 from major energy conversion processes such as power plants and synthetic fuels processes have been in use for decades and are now experencing even greater interest due to their potential use in mitigating climate change. However, simulating these...[full story]
We are excited to welcome the following new students to the MACC team!
Update:Philip Tominac, Hadi Shahnazari, and James Scott were left off the list of recipients... sorry guys! I guess we had so many recipients that I couldn't keep track.
We are incredibly proud of our graduate students who continue to perform at the very best of their game. We had no less than EIGHTEEN! students win some sort of scholarship this year, with the nine pictured above winning new scholarships at the highest level (full funding).
NSERC Vanier Scholarship
Jake Nease This is...
Assistant Professor Thomas A. Adams II recently received an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for his research entitled "Sustainable Synthetic Fuels: Combining biomass, natural gas, and nuclear energy to produce diesel and gasoline with reduced CO2 emissions". The award is given to leading young scholars in the province from all fields of science, engineering, technology and medicine and consists of a $150,000 research grant over a period of five... [full story]
We are proud to announce the graduation of three of our MACC graduate students this year:
Jingyan Chen. MaSC
Thesis Title: Statistic methods for process monitoring and control.
Adviser: Prashant Mhaskar
Kuilin Chen. MaSC
Thesis Title: Data-driven modeling for quality control in chemical processes.
Adviser: Prashant Mhaskar
Dominik Seepersad. MaSC
Thesis Title: Dynamic simulation and control of a hybrid coal gasifier / steam methane reformer system.
Adviser: Thomas A....
The MACC recently held its 26th annual Meeting & Workshop, entitled "Best Practices in Control and Optimization - from R&D to Industrial Implementation". Speakers included McMaster Professors Chris Swartz, Thomas A. Adams II, Vlad Mahalec, and Prashant Mhaskar; industrial member speakers from Exxon Mobil, Johnson Control, and ProSensus; special guest speakers Dr. Ali Cinar (IIT), Dr. Lotfi Belkhir (Walter Booth School of Engineering Practice at McMaster), and Dr. Danielle Zyngier at Hatch.... [full story]
The MACC has launched orfre.mcmaster.ca, a new website dedicated to showcasing our ongoing research in sustainability. Funded by an Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellent grant, the MACC has been researching how to design new sustainable chemical and energy processes, how to control them, and how to automate them in a sustainable way. Our research projects include the development of better solid oxide fuel cell systems, better biofuel systems, more sustainable air separation units,... [full story]
We are delighted to announce that in recognition of the distinguished MACC alumn's 70th Birthday, John MacGregor has been honoured with a special Festschrift issue of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
In addition, the work of Dr. MacGregor will celebrated in two special sessions on November 3 at the upcoming national meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in San Francisco. The sessions will feature presentations and contributions from his many students and...[full story]
MACC Professor Prashant Mhaskar, along with colleagues Prof. Jinfeng Liu (U. Alberta), and Prof. Panagiotis D. Christofides (UCLA), have announced the publication of their new book “Fault-Tolerant Process Control: Methods and Applications”. Drawing on their many years of experience and active research at the forefront of the field, the book discusses issues concerning nonlinear systems and control concerning stability, stabilization, zero dynamics, model predictive control, integrated... [full story]
Manufacturers are making decisions... [more]
Gang Fu, Vladimir Mahalec. Comparison of methods for computing crude distillation product properties in planning and scheduling [more]
Kim McAuley. Modelling, estimation and control of product properties in a gas phase polyethylene reactor [more]
Junichi Mori, Vladimir Mahalec. Bayesian Inference in Hybrid Networks with Large Discrete and Continuous Domains [more]
The chemical process industry is... [more]
Gang Fu, Vladimir Mahalec. Hybrid Model for Optimization of Crude Distillation Units [more]
Dr. Marlin contributes considerable industrial and academic experience (15 and 22 years, respectively). His primary research interests are in process control design, real-time optimization, robust predictive control, and supply-chain optimization.