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The McMaster Advanced Control Consortium was recently awarded a research grant worth over $1 million from the Ontario Research Fund -- Research Excellence program for research into the sustainable operation and design of complex and large-scale process systems. This will involve a collaborative effort between five MACC professors (Chris Swartz, Prashant Mhaskar, Thomas Marlin, Vladimir Mahalec, and Thomas Adams), eight industrial members of the MACC (ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Frito-Lay, IBM, Imperial Oil, Johnson Controls, PepsiCo Foods Canada, Praxair, and Suncor Energy Products), and 33 graduate and undergraduate students over five years.

The overarching goal of this research program is to develop new innovations which help improve the “triple-bottom-line of sustainability” (environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and social sustainability) of industrial-scale process systems. This will be achieved by conducting high-impact research in the areas of process systems engineering which focus on the integration of design and operations, the integration across levels of the process automation hierarchy, and the improvement in the sustainability of process automation. The particular projects include (1) supply chain optimization; (2) energy efficient model predictive temperature control; (3) safe-parking approach for fault-tolerant control; (4) zero-emissions power generation using solid oxide fuel cells; (4) semicontinuous production of biofuels; (5) design of air separation units for rapid response dynamics; and (6) dynamic real-time optimization.

Photo: MACC Profs Chris Swartz and Tom Adams accept the grant on behalf of the MACC from Sophia Aggelonitis (Minister of Provincial Parliament, 2nd from right).

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