Cornell University

Systems Seminar/Ezra's Round Table: Prodromos Daoutidis (Minnesota) - Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: New Vistas for Systems and Control Research

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12:15pm

Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall, 253

Energy efficiency and sustainability are major factors towards mitigating the depletion of fossil fuel reserves and the environmental impact of their consumption. Tight integration is a key enabler towards achieving these goals. The first part of the talk will focus on control of integrated large-scale plants, a classic open problem in control. A natural paradigm for addressing this problem is the one of distributed control, in which coordinated controllers tackle operational objectives of different sections of the plant. A key underlying problem is the optimal decomposition of the integrated system into the distributed control architecture. A new approach to this problem inspired from network science will be described. It relies on identifying “communities” of system variables whose members interact strongly among them, yet are weakly coupled to the rest of the network members. The second part of the talk will focus on the emerging theme of distributed production of power, fuels and chemicals, using renewable resources. The motivation lies in the promise of developing efficient, sustainable and robust infrastructures utilizing local resources. The challenges span science, technology and public policy considerations. Recent results along with exciting opportunities for systems research will be highlighted, on two broad fronts: micro-grids and bio-refineries.


Prodromos Daoutidis is a College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor and Executive Officer in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He received a Diploma degree in Chemical Engineering (1987) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, M.S.E. degrees in Chemical Engineering (1988) and Electrical Engineering: Systems (1991) from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering (1991) from the University of Michigan. He has been on the faculty at Minnesota since 1992, having served as Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering (1998-2004) and Chair of the Physical Sciences Policy and Review Council (2000-03), while he has also held a position as Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2004-06). He is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the AIChE Computing in Chemical Engineering Award, the PSE Model Based Innovation Prize, the Best Paper Prize from the Journal of Process Control, an NSF Career Award, and the AIChE Ted Peterson Award. He has also been a Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow. He is currently serving as CAST Programming Chair. He is the Associate Editor for Process Systems Engineering in the AIChE Journal, and an Associate Editor in the Journal of Process Control. He has co-authored five books, 250 refereed papers, and has supervised to completion 29 Ph.D. students and post-docs, 10 of which have gone into academic positions. His current research is on control of complex process networks, design and operation of distributed renewable energy systems, and biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals.

Event Type



College of Engineering, Systems Engineering, Sustainability


engineering, systems engineering, College of Engineering





Prodromos Daoutidis

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota

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