Process systems engineering

Process engineering focuses on the design, operation, control, and optimization of chemical, physical, and biological processes. Process engineering encompasses a vast range of industries, such as chemical, petrochemical, mineral processing, advanced material, food, pharmaceutical, software development and biotechnological industries. The application of systematic computer-based methods to process engineering is process systems engineering.

Significant accomplishments

Several accomplishments have been made in Process Systems Engineering:[1]

  • Process design: synthesis of energy recovery networks, synthesis of distillation systems (azeotropic), synthesis of reactor networks, hierarchical decomposition flowsheets, superstructure optimization, design multiproduct batch plants. Design of the production reactors for the production of plutonium, design of nuclear submarines.
  • Process control: model predictive control, controllability measures, robust control, nonlinear control, statistical process control, process monitoring, thermodynamics-based control
  • Process operations: scheduling process networks, multiperiod planning and optimization, data reconciliation, real-time optimization, flexibility measures, fault diagnosis
  • Supporting tools: sequential modular simulation, equation based process simulation, AI/expert systems, large-scale nonlinear programming (NLP), optimization of differential algebraic equations (DAEs), mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP), global optimization

History of process systems engineering

Process systems engineering (PSE) is a relatively young area in chemical engineering. The first time that this term was used was in a Special Volume of the AIChE Symposium Series in 1961. However, it was not until 1982 when the first international symposium on this topic took place in Kyoto, Japan, that the term PSE started to become widely accepted.

The first textbook in the area was “Strategy of Process Engineering” by Dale F. Rudd and Charles C. Watson, Wiley, 1968. The Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division, Area 10 of AIChE, was founded in 1977 and currently has about 1200 members. CAST has four sections: Process Design, Process Control, Process Operations, and Applied Mathematics.

The first journal devoted to PSE was "Computers and Chemical Engineering," which appeared in 1977. The Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design (FOCAPD) conference in 1980 in Henniker was one of the first meetings in a series on that topic in the PSE area. It is now accompanied by the successful series on Control (CPC), Operations (FOCAPO), and the world-wide series entitled Process Systems Engineering. The CACHE Corporation (Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering), which organizes these conferences, was initially launched by academics in 1970, motivated by the introduction of process simulation in the chemical engineering curriculum.

Roger W.H. Sargent from Imperial College was one of the pioneers in the area. PSE is an active area of research in many other countries, particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Korea, and China.

See also


  1. ^ Research Challenges in Process Systems Engineering by Ignacio E. Grossmann and Arthur W. Westerberg, Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

External links

  • Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University
  • Centre for Process Systems Engineering (Imperial)
  • Research Challenges in Process Systems Engineering
  • Process Systems Engineering at Northwestern University
  • Process Research and Intelligent Systems Modeling (PRISM) group at BYU
  • The Process Systems Engineering Laboratory (MIT)
  • Graduate School in Process Systems Engineering
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