PhD project in collaboration with Alcoa Corporation

We are looking for an excellent PhD candidate for R&D project “Development of advanced monitoring and control schemes for the primary aluminum industry” funded by the National Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Alcoa Corporation, one of the world’s leading producer of primary aluminium. The research will take place at Université Laval and Alcoa plants. Université Laval, through the Aluminium Research Centre − REGAL, is a leading academic research institution in the area of aluminium production. REGAL−Laval consists of 15 Faculty members and about 50 graduate students. The candidate will be integrated within this group, and will benefit from the unique carbon anode production and characterization infrastructure.

Project: Automatic control of green anode resistivity.

Context. Pre−baked carbon anodes are required for primary aluminum production by the Hall−Héroult process. Variations in anode raw materials adversely affect their quality. New process control schemes are needed for producing high quality anodes consistently.

Objective. Develop an automatic control scheme to minimize green anode resistivity measured using a new on− line sensor technology.

Methodology. The project requires conducting experimental designs in the REGAL laboratory and at the Alcoa Deschambault plant to quantify the relationships between anode paste formulation and green anode resistivity measurements under different conditions. Based on collected data, the candidate will build dynamic models of part of the anode manufacturing plant in the Matlab/Simulink environment. The performance of different optimizing control schemes will be tested and compared in simulation to identify the most promising strategy. Plant implementation of the most promising control scheme for testing is also envisaged towards the end of the project. The candidate is expected to interact with Alcoa’s personnel, to make regular site visits to gather data, to design and perform a certain number of experiments on the full−scale process to enrich the data bases, and test control schemes. The Deschambault plant is located 40 minutes drive from university.

Start date. May 2022.

Financial support. 25K$/year for up to 4 years.

Requirements. To have maintained a minimum cumulative average of B (or equivalent) during the undergrad and Master’s degrees. To be autonomous. Capacity to read, write and speak French or English. Knowledge of process data analysis using statistical methods, process control, Matlab and/or of the aluminum reduction process (Hall−Héroult) are important assets. Holding a valid Canadian driving licence or obtaining it within the first year of the project is a requirement.

Application. Send CV and transcripts (undergrad and masters) to:

Prof. Carl Duchesne, Ph.D., ing. Chem. Eng. Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Department of chemical engineering Phone: 1−418−656−5184
Aluminum research center − REGAL Email: carl.duchesne@gch.ulaval.ca

MSc and PhD projects in collaboration with Alcoa Corporation

We are looking for excellent MSc and PhD candidates for R&D project “Development of advanced monitoring and control schemes for the primary aluminum industry” funded by the National Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Alcoa Corporation, one of the world’s leading producer of primary aluminium. The research will take place at Université Laval and Alcoa plants. Université Laval, through the Aluminium Research Centre − REGAL, is a leading academic research institution in the area of aluminium production. REGAL−Laval consists of 15 Faculty members and about 50 graduate students. The candidate will be integrated within this group, and will benefit from the unique carbon anode production and characterization infrastructure.

Project: Advanced cell monitoring and control based on individual anode electrical currents.

Context. Cheaper and reliable technologies for measuring individual anode electrical currents in Hall−Héroult reduction cells are now available. These signals may help develop the next generation of cell control systems to better capture local abnormal conditions in the cell and mitigate them.

Objective. Improve detection and diagnosis of cell abnormal events by combining features extracted from individual anode electrical currents (IACS) and relevant cell operation variables.

Methodology. The project first requires collecting IACS signals from a number of reduction cells at an Alcoa reduction plant under different operating conditions (normal and abnormal). Second, signal processing and analysis algorithms will be developed to extract relevant features from IACS allowing to detect and diagnose abnormal events, such as low−voltage anode effects, anodic incidents, magneto−hydrodynamic instabilities, etc. The monitoring scheme will be tested at the Alcoa plant according to carefully designed experiments. How to use the information provided by the system to apply corrective actions will be determined. The candidate is expected to interact with Alcoa’s personnel, to possibly make regular site visits to gather data, to design and perform a certain number of experiments on the full−scale process to enrich the data bases, and test the monitoring and control schemes. The targeted plant is located in Deschambault, 40 minutes drive from campus.

Start date. May 2022.

Financial support. MSc 18K$/year for up to 2 years; PhD 25K$/year for up to 4 years.

Requirements. To have maintained a minimum cumulative average of B (or equivalent) during the undergrad and Master’s degrees (PhD applicants). To be autonomous. Capacity to read, write and speak French or English. Knowledge of process data analysis using statistical methods, process control, Matlab and/or of the aluminum reduction process (Hall−Héroult) are important assets. Holding a valid Canadian driving licence or obtaining it within the first year of the project is a requirement.

Application. Send CV and transcripts (undergrad and masters) to:

Prof. Carl Duchesne, Ph.D., ing. Chem. Eng. Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Department of chemical engineering Phone: 1−418−656−5184
Aluminum research center − REGAL Email: carl.duchesne@gch.ulaval.ca

Faculty position at UofA

Assistant Professor – Sustainable Energy Systems

ENG Chemical&MaterialsEngineer

Competition No.  –   A107447097
Closing Date  –   Will remain open until filled.

The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta invites applications for one full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Sustainable Energy Systems. This position is part of the University of Alberta’s priority to build a diverse faculty; thus, candidates from traditionally underrepresented and equity deserving groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will have research expertise in the area of sustainable energy systems related to life cycle and techno-commercial analysis and thermodynamics. The successful candidate’s research will complement the existing research in the department on various aspects of energy systems, including carbon capture, materials development, and renewable energy production.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Chemical Engineering or a closely related field. They are expected to be or become a licensed Professional Engineer through the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA, https://www.apega.ca/). Licensure must be obtained within five years from the date of hire.

We are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to excellence, innovation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in their research, teaching, and service work. Consideration will be given to candidates with a record of publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Consideration will also be given to those who provide evidence of research and teaching experience and skills, and who have a demonstrated record of service and volunteerism broadly related to their research, teaching, and/or equity, diversity, and inclusivity.

The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering aims to maintain our position among the leading schools in North America. With a present complement of more than 45 faculty members, research in the Department is vigorous and covers all major areas of chemical and materials engineering. Our research strengths are diverse, and include process systems engineering, surface and interfacial science, reaction engineering and catalysis, biochemical and biomedical engineering, energy-related materials, and welding and metallurgy. We celebrate creativity, diversity, perseverance, and a collaborative spirit and recognize the importance of academic excellence in conjunction with work/life balance, interdisciplinary research, and mentorship. Our graduate program attracts outstanding students from the best schools worldwide and presently has an enrollment of over 400 students, including approximately 200 PhD students.

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of Canada’s top teaching and research universities, with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering, and health sciences. The University of Alberta offers close to 900 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in 18 faculties on five campuses, including one rural and one francophone campus, and has more than 275,000 alumni worldwide. The university and its people remain dedicated to the promise made in 1908 by founding president Henry Marshall Tory that knowledge shall be used for “uplifting the whole people.”

The University of Alberta is in Edmonton, home to over one million people and Alberta’s capital. Edmonton offers a vibrant start-up ecosystem and a major industrial corridor with several opportunities for partnerships. The city offers the amenities of a large urban center while maintaining a friendly atmosphere. Edmonton is known internationally for its thriving arts scene with a variety of family activities, an array of indoor and outdoor sports and fitness opportunities, one of North America’s largest stretches of urban parkland, and top-ranked health care services. Campus offers child care, and there are multiple housing options within steps of campus. Faculty members are offered parental and medical leaves, retirement benefits, and healthcare benefits. The Faculty of Engineering values families and aims to minimize the long distance separation of them when possible through our spouse/partner hiring practices.

We invite you to visit these websites for information about the University of Alberta (www.ualberta.ca/faculty-and-staff/index.html), the Faculty of Engineering (www.ualberta.ca/engineering/index.html), and the City of Edmonton (www.edmonton.ca).

How to Apply:

To apply, please submit the following to the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at cmechair@ualberta.ca:

  • Cover letter that includes highlights of the candidate’s profile and the names of the three referees (see below for more information)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research statement that outlines main areas of current research and short- and long-term research goals (2 pages maximum)
  • Teaching dossier that includes a brief teaching philosophy and evidence of, or potential for, teaching effectiveness (2 pages maximum)
  • To assist the University in complying with mandatory reporting requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (R203 (3)(e), please include the first digit of your Canadian Social Insurance Number at the bottom of your cover letter. If you do not have a Canadian Social Insurance Number, please indicate this at the bottom of your cover letter.

Letters of reference will be requested from applicants selected for interviews. Review of applications will begin on or shortly after January 31, 2022. Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

COVID-19 Vaccination: Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Directive is required. Fully Vaccinated means a status an individual achieves 14 days after having received the recommended number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization, and requires the individual to maintain the recommended number and type of vaccine doses as updated and required by Health Canada thereafter.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

DG Fisher Recording Now Available

Dear Systems & Control Division,

On Nov 30 ,We hosted a public webinar for the DG Fisher Award Lecture. Prof. Radhakrishna Mahadevan from the University of Toronto, this year’s winner, presented a lecture entitled “Modeling & Optimization of Metabolism for Sustainable Bioprocesses”. The webinar were recorded, and if you are interested in the talk, please click the link below to enjoy the talk.

DG Fisher Recording

DG Fisher Award Lecture (Webinar) Nov 30

Dear Systems & Control Division,

We will be hosting a public webinar for the DG Fisher Award Lecture on Nov 30 at 3 pm. Prof. Radhakrishna Mahadevan from the University of Toronto, this year’s winner, will present a 30 minute lecture (with lots of time for questions and discussion afterward), entitled “Modeling & Optimization of Metabolism for Sustainable Bioprocesses”

Abstract:
Bioprocess development for biofuels and biochemicals typically requires several rounds of engineering to meet process targets including product yield, titer and productivity, all of which impact the process economics. Advances in computational modeling techniques have allowed the development of genome-scale models of metabolism in several organisms. Such models have been the basis of several algorithms to engineer the metabolism of cells. In this talk, we present modeling and optimization methods that can be used to design proteins, cells and microbial communities. We will also describe computational methods for identifying new metabolic pathways, machine learning based methods to predict enzyme functions and its potential use in protein engineering and finally, describe methods for designing metabolism in microbes. These will include an approach based on orthogonality of the production pathways to growth and examine how such an approach can facilitate the dynamic metabolic engineering of strains for metabolite production.

Anyone can join to listen or watch via the following public MS Teams link (The MS Teams app is not required, free web-based versions and call-ins can be used):

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 647-749-9438,,249050543#   Canada, Toronto Phone Conference ID: 249 050 543#

Annual General Meeting

Dear Systems & Control division,

We will be having our annual general meeting (AGM) on Nov 19, 3-4pm EST on Teams. Please email Prof. Tom Adams (tadams@mcmaster.ca) to register and we will send you the link.

All CSChE members are welcome to attend.

If you have an agenda item to discuss, please email Prof. Tom Adams (tadams@mcmaster.ca).

The current draft agenda is as follows:

  1. Welcome and introductions

  2. Treasurer Report (Nicolas Hudon)
      a. Budget
      b. NEW initiative: monthly webinar series

  3. Chair’s Report (Tom Adams)
      a. LAPSE project
      b. eco-technoeconomic analysis (eTEA) ISO standard project 
      c. CCEC 2021 post mortem and plans for 2022
      d. Conference proceedings initiative
      e. DG Fisher Award Lecture

CCEC 2021 Conference Proceedings Now Available

This year, the Systems & Control division published a conference proceedings called “CSChE Systems and Control Transactions Vol 1” corresponding with the Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference 2021 in Montréal, Quebéc.

Download

Download Full Proceedings

Biotechnology and Global Health

Set membership Estimation for Dynamic Flux Balance Models
Xin Shen and Hector Budman

Towards the Development of a Diagnostic Test for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Big Data Meets Metabolomics
Juergen Hahn

Dynamic Modelling of T Cell Vaccination Response
Alisa C. Douglas, Thomas A. Adams II, and David A. Christian

Ozone Sterilization of N95 Masks
Mohammad Irfan Malik, Karen Bechwaty, François Guitzhofer, and Inès Esma Achouri

A Study of Factors Affecting Iron Uptake from a Functionalized Hibiscus Beverage
Ade. O. Oyewole and Levente L. Diosady

Industrial Applications in Process Systems Engineering

Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Global Automation Experience Across Five Industries
Lane Desborough

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Process Systems Engineering

Detection and Diagnosis of Ring Formation in Rotary Lime Kilns
Lee D. Rippon, Barry Hirtz, Carl Sheehan, Travis Reinheimer, Cilius van der Merwe, Philip Loewen, and Bhushan Gopaluni

Process Systems Engineering for Energy and the Environment

Constant Power Generation by Scheduling Installation of SOFC Modules Operating in Varying Power Mode
Mina Naeini, Thomas A. Adams II, and James S. Cotton

Bypass Control of HEN Under Uncertainty in Inlet Temperature of Hot Stream
Chaitanya Manchikatla, Zukui Li, and Biao Huang

Purification methods for Captured CO2 from Petroleum Coke Oxy-Combustion Power Plants
Tia Ghantous, Ikenna J. Okeke, and Thomas A. Adams II

Methodologies and Fundamentals in Process Systems Engineering

Adaptive State Feedback Stabilization of Generalized Hamiltonian Systems with Unstructured Components
Seyedabbas Alavi and Nicolas Hudon

Request for CCEC 2021 Session chairs and International Speaker Suggestions

Hi Systems & Control Division,

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend today’s CCEC 2021 planning meeting. We had a large and enthusiastic turnout and I know many others were interested but couldn’t attend.

SESSIONS

We were asked to pick 5 or 6 sessions for the conference. We have decided on the following, with some session chairs/co-chairs already assigned. The consensus was to have an application-area grouping (energy, health, AI, analytics) rather than a sub-discipline grouping (design, control, optimization, etc).

We need a few more co-chairs. If you are interested, please email Prof. Tom Adams (tadams@mcmaster.ca)! Graduate students are encouraged as well!

  • Industrial Applications in Process Systems Engineering (Co-Chairs: Ajay Ray, 1 or 2 more needed!)
  • Data Driven Analytics, Control, and Optimization (Co-chairs: Carl Duchesne, Moncef Chioua, Qinqin Zhu) –> The long description will make clear that Data Driven applies to all three
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Process Systems Engineering (Co-chairs: Simant Upreti, Martin Guay, 1 more available)
  • Process Systems Engineering in Health, Medicine, and Biological Systems (Co-chairs: Tom Adams, 1 or 2 more needed!)
  • Process Systems Engineering for Energy and the Environment (Co-chairs: Xiang Li, Luis Ricardez-Sandoval, Jamie Rose)
  • Methodologies and Fundamentals in Process Systems Engineering (Co-chairs: Nicolas Hudon,1 or 2 more needed)

INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS

A number of you suggested names to invite for a sponsored, 40 minute plenary. The division will pay for their registration, and will make the final invitations. If you have a name to suggest, please send your nomination to Prof. Tom Adams (tadams@mcmaster.ca) by March 8, 2021.

Exciting developments for our division at CCEC 2021

Hello CSChE S&C Division:

We are now going to have a much more active role in the upcoming conference in Montreal (they insist it will be in person or at least hybrid by then b/c of vaccinations). One of the conference organizers, Systems & Control professor Moncef Chioua at Poly,  will be working with us and is championing us on this, along with the CIC officer in charge of subject divisions, Gregory Patience.  

This is the current plan, subject to division discussion:

  • We will be given at least 30 speaker slots to fill with speakers as we choose
  • We will pick 5-6 session titles to go with those slots
  • We will recruit session chairs and co-chairs much ahead of time
    • Those chairs will actively recruit speakers in addition to the usual regular submissions, to encourage more participation.
    • Those chairs will, with procedure TBD, handle the review process and make accept/move/reject decisions
  • We will recruit one to three international speakers, at least one whose registration will be covered from our division funds 

This will give us much involvement in the conference and I think will bolster much more activity and help build our community.

 In addition! We are thinking bigger. Specifically: 

  • Creating a six-page conference paper option for accepted presentations that is separately peer reviewed. Think ESCAPE, FOCAPD, etc.
  • Self-publishing those conference papers in a conference proceedings via LAPSE
  • Selecting the best of those to be invited for full paper submission to Canadian J Chem Eng.

We are holding a meeting on Monday March 1 from 3:30 to 4:20pm EST. All division members are invited and encouraged to participate. Please email Prof. Tom Adams (tadams@mcmaster.ca) for the meeting link.

S&C Division AGM Nov 5, 3pm EST

S&C Division AGM Nov 5, 3pm EST

The Annual General Meeting of the Systems & Control Division will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams at 3pm EST (noon PST) on November 5. Dial-in phone numbers are also available for audio participation. All division members or CSChE Stats & Control community adherents (i.e. you forgot to pay your dues!) are welcome to attend.

Normally we would hold in-person meetings at CCEC, but due to the virtual conference structure it is not reasonable to hold virtual meetings that week.

For security reasons, please contact the division chair (Thomas A. Adams II at tadams@mcmaster.ca) for an invitation to the Teams meeting or the dial-in conference code. Dial in phone numbers will be:

+1 289-335-1807 (Hamilton)
+1 647-749-9438 (Toronto)

Out-of-Canada dial-in numbers listed here: https://dialin.teams.microsoft.com/eb651493-795f-45a2-9c8a-22ed7df10557?id=963372877

We will also post the dial-in conference code shortly before the meeting on this space.

Agenda:

  1. New members introduction
  2. Treasury Report
  3. President’s Report
    1. Division supported projects (PSEcommunity.org, LAPSE)
    2. Communications and mailing list
    3. Partnership with Standards Council of Canada on developing ISO Standard for eco-Technoeconomic Analysis
    4. Website changes, handover to Yankai Cao
    5. Discussions: New ventures for 2021
  4. New business

Please send agenda item requests to tadams@mcmaster.ca