About Us
Grad Studies
MACC Researchers
Dr. Thomas E. Marlin
Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemical Engineering

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario, Canada L8S 4L7

Office: JHE-345A/A
Voice: (905) 525-9140 x 27125
Fax: (905) 521-1350
Email: marlint@mcmaster.ca

B.S., State University of New York at Buffalo (1966)
M.S., University of Dayton (1967)
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts (1972).

Real Time Optimization
Supply Chain Optimization

Research Interests

Advanced Control and Optimization in the Process Industries
Competitive pressures require today's process plants to be tightly integrated and to achieve consistently high yields, low energy consumption and excellent product quality. The overall objective of this research is the development of new real-time technology that enables plant personnel to satisfy these ever-increasing demands. Particular emphasis is placed on the design, optimization, control, and monitoring of the integrated plant, not on individual units.

Considerable opportunity exists to optimize operating variables in existing process plants, but the analysis is challenging. New analysis procedures address the realistic environment of dynamic plants, noisy data and models with errors. The research concentrates on model updating, model formulation, optimization, and results analysis that are designed to function as an integrated, feedback system.

Operations optimization exists in a hierarchical decision-making system, so that the research must also address the proper structure and communication between these levels. The higher scheduling level considers longer-term issues and provides an operating window and goals (economics) to the optimizer. The lower, multivariable control level enforces the proper operating policy as disturbances enter the plant.

I collaborate with several Faculty members and 18 industrial sponsors in the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC). MACC fosters industrially relevant research in process systems engineering and provides a community of graduate students who share knowledge and experiences. Further information about MACC is available at the following website.


We have been developing teaching approaches and resources for education that can be used by students at all universities. The major product is an undergraduate textbook on process control and a supporting website.

Marlin, T., Process Control, Designing Processes and Control Systems for Dynamic Performance
2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 2000 (ISBN 0-07-039363-1)

The following website provides interactive learning resources for process control students

Selected Publications on Education

Hough, M., E. Wood, W. S. Yip, and T. Marlin, A Web Site To Support Active Student Learning In
Process Control, Amer. Assoc. Engr. Ed. Annual Conference, Session 3513, Montreal, June 2002.

Marlin, T. and D. R. Woods., Trouble Shooting for CAPE Undergraduate Education, ESCAPE 12,
The Hague, Netherlands, May 26-29, 2002

Marlin, T., Progressing from Real to Realistic Practical Examples in Undergraduate Control Education,
AIChE Annual Meet, Los Angeles, November 2000; Topical Conference on Chemical Engineering Education

Marlin, T., The Software Laboratory,Comp and Chem. Engr., ESCAPE-6 supplement, S1371-1376, 1996

Recently, I have taught the following undergraduate courses.

Chemical Engineering 3P04 Process Control
Chemical Engineering 4N04 Engineering Economics and Problem Solving
Chemical Engineering 4G03 Optimization in Chemical Engineering

and the following graduate course

Chemical Engineering 764 Process Control Design


Visiting Fellow for Warren Centre (1987): Selected to lead a project on Advanced Process Control at the University of Sydney. The one-year study involved the evaluation of commercial and technical issues in plant automation for Australian industry by a team of 40 academics and practitioners. The results of this study have been published as a book by the Instrument Society of America. The project is summarized at http://www.warren.usyd.edu.au/front_page.html

NSERC Chair in Industrial Process Control at McMaster University

Teaching: President's Award for Excellence in Course and Resource
Design was granted in 2001

Kalev Pugi Award: (with John MacGregor) - From the Society of Chemical Industry of Canada for accomplishments in research management demonstrating creativity, determination experimental design and project management for the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium

MACC Publications

  • Hazaras, Matt, Swartz, C. L. E.Marlin, T. E. Industrial application of a continuous-time scheduling framework for process analysis and improvement, Ind Eng Chem Res,, 53 259-273 (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • David Gerardi, Marlin, T. E.Swartz, C. L. E. Optimization of Primary Steelmaking Purchasing and Operation under Raw Material Uncertainty, Int Eng Chem Res,, 52 1238312398 (2013) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Hazaras, Matthew J., Swartz, C. L. E.Marlin, T. E. Flexible maintenance within a continuous-time state-task network framework, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, 46 (15) 167-177 (2012) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Marlin, T. E. Teaching Operability in Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Design Education, Computers and Chemical Engineering, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 34 14211431 (2010) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Hazaras, M., Swartz, C. L. E.Marlin, T. E. Optimal scheduling of an industrial food manufacturing facilit, Paper 356e, AIChE Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City., (2010)
  • Li, X., Marlin, T. E. Robust Supply Chain Performance via Model Predictive Control, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 33 2134-2143 (2009) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Zyngier, D., Marlin, T. E. Monitoring, diagnosing and improving the economic performance of closed-loop optimization, MOPTA Conference, (2006)
  • Zyngier, D., Marlin, T. E. Monitoring the performance of model-based optimization, CSChE Annual Meeting, (2005)
  • Yip, W.S., Marlin, T. E. The effect of model fidelity on real-time optimization performance, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 28 267-280 (2004) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Cai, Y., Marlin, T. E. Control structure design to achieve multiple performance criteria, DYCOPS 7, (2004)
  • Yip, W.S., Marlin, T. E. Designing Plant Experiments for Real-Time Optimization Systems, Contr Eng Pract,, 11 (8) 837-845 (2003) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Yip, W.S., Marlin, T. E. Multiple data sets for model updating in real-time operations optimization, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 26 1345-1362 (2002) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Kassidas, A, Patry, J., Marlin, T. E. Integrating Process and Controller Models for the Design of Self-Optimizing Control, Comp Chem Eng,, 24 2589-2602 (2000) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Contreras-Dordelly, J.L., Marlin, T. E. Control design for increased profit, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 24 267-272 (2000) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Hough, M., Marlin, T. E. Web-based interactive learning modules for process control, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 24 1485-1490 (2000) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Marlin, T. E. Process Control: Designing Processes and Control Systems for Dynamic Performance, Process Control: Designing Processes and Control Systems for Dynamic Performance, (2000) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Miletic, I., Marlin, T. E. Results diagnosis for real-time process operations optimization, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 22 S475-S482 (1998) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Miletic, I, Marlin, T. E. On-Line Statistical Results Analysis In Real-Time Operations Optimization, Ind Eng Chem Res,, 37 3670-3884 (1998) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Marlin, T. E., Hrymak, A.N. Real-time Operations Optimization of Continuous Processes, Chemical Process Control-V Conference, Tasho City, Nevada, Jan 7-12, (1996)
  • Forbes, J.F., Marlin, T. E. Design cost: a systematic approach to technology selection for model-based real-time optimization systems, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 20 717-734 (1996) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Kresta, J.V., Marlin, T. E.MacGregor, J. F. Development of inferential process models using PLS, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 18 597-611 (1994) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Forbes, J.F., Marlin, T. E.MacGregor, J. F. Model adequacy requirements for optimizing plant operations, Computers and Chemical Engineering,, 497-510 (1994) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Kresta, J.V., Marlin, T. E.MacGregor, J. F. Multivariate statistical monitoring of process operating performance, Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering,, 69 35-47 (1991) [ Publisher Version ]
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