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MACC Researchers
Brandon Corbett Brandon Corbett
Ph.D. Recipient
Supervised by Dr. Prashant Mhaskar

Start date
May 2011

Email
corbeb@mcmaster.ca

Education
B.Eng, Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Research Objectives
Batch operations are industrially important in the production of many high valued and quality critical products. Examples of such products include pharmaceutical, bio-chemicals, and high quality polymers. In batch processes, a reaction vessel is first charged with ingredients, which are subsequently reacted for some finite duration. The goal for these processes is to reach some predefined terminal batch quality. By manipulating inputs such as heating, mixing, and ingredient addition, etc. the final quality can be influenced. The control of batch systems presents a number of unique challenges. Unlike continuous process, batch processes inherently lack equilibrium operation conditions. As a result, many traditional control techniques, which focus on stabilizing and maintaining operations at an equilibrium point, are not applicable. Unavailability of process measurements further complicates batch control. In particular, it is common that the quality measurements (relevant to terminal quality targets) are not available during the batch. In addition, batch dynamics are often poorly understood meaning that accurate first-principal models are often unavailable. Current research focusses on overcoming these obstacles by exploiting the availability of historical process databases. To do this, these databases are used to build statistical models of process dynamics which can then be used to predict final batch quality for available process measurements. Having accomplished this, model predictive control schemes are developed to select the optimal input trajectory to reach the desired batch quality.

MACC Publications

Other Publications
Conference Proceedings Papers

  • B. Corbett, B. Macdonald, and P. Mhaskar. "Model Predictive Quality Control of Polymethyl Methacrylate." (accepted) In: Proc. of the American Control Conference (ACC), Washington DC, 2013.
  • S. Aumi, B. Corbett, and P. Mhaskar. "Model Predictive Quality Control of Batch Processes." In: Proc. of the American Control Conference (ACC), Montreal, QC, 2012.
  • S. Aumi, B. Corbett, and P. Mhaskar. "Data-based Modeling and Control of Nylon-6,6 Batch Polymerization." In: Proc. of the American Control Conference (ACC), San Francisco, California, 2011.
Presentations
  • S. Aumi, B. Corbett, P. Mhaskar, T. L. Clarke-Pringle. "Data-based Modeling and Control of Nylon- 6,6 Batch Polymerization," Presented at: AIChE 2011 Minneapolis, MN and CSChE 2011 London, ON
  • S. Aumi, B. Corbett, and P. Mhaskar. "Model Predictive Quality Control of Batch Processes." Presented at: AIChE 2012 Pittsburgh, PA, 2012 and CSChE 2012 Vancouver, BC

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