Rensselaer CATS Sponsors Short Course in Plantwide Process Control

Rensselaer CATS is sponsoring a short course in Plantwide Process Control, with a focus on self-optimizing control (selecting economic controlled variables).

When: May 20-22, 2014
Where: CII 3051 on the RPI campus

Contact and Host: Wayne Bequette (

The course will be led by Sigurd Skogestad, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Johannes Jäschke, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Course Topics:

Part 1 - Plantwide control (Tues, 5/20 - am)
Part 2 - More on self-optimizing control. Exercise (Tues, 5/20 - pm)
Part 3 - Consistent inventory control, TPM location, Structure of regulatory control layer (Wed, 5/21 - am)
Part 4 - PID tuning (Wed, 5/21 - pm)
Part 5 - “Advanced” control and case studies (Thu, 5/22 - am) 

Plantwide control is concerned with the structural decisions involved in the control system design of a manufacturing or chemical process plant. Questions that must be addressed include "which variables should be controlled, which variables should be measured, which inputs should be manipulated, and what links should be made between them?" The goal is to find a set of controlled variables, which, when kept at constant setpoints, indirectly lead to near-optimal operation with acceptable loss; this is denoted self-optimizing control. In this short course, a systematic procedure for finding suitable controlled variables is presented. Important steps are degree of freedom analysis, definition of optimal operation (cost and constraints), and evaluation of the loss when the controlled variables are kept constant rather than optimally adjusted.  

Target Audience
Industrial practitioners charged with implementing automation and control strategies in their manufacturing processes will learn methods that can lead to better performance and higher economic return from their systems. Also graduate students studying system dynamics and control, and advanced undergraduate students that have taken an introductory course in dynamics and control will benefit from the concepts taught in this course.


Sigurd SkogestadSigurd Skogestad

Sigurd Skogestad is a professor in chemical engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Born in Norway in 1955, he received the Siv.Ing. degree (M.S.) in chemical engineering at NTNU in in 1978. After finishing his military service at the Norwegian Defence Research Institute, he worked from 1980 to 1983 with Norsk Hydro in the areas of process design and simulation at their Research Center in Porsgrunn, Norway. Moving to the US and working 3.5 years under the guidance of Manfred Morari, he received the Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1987. He has been a full professor at NTNU since 1987. During the period 1999 to 2009 he was Head of Department of Chemical Engineering (Kjemisk prosessteknologi). He was at sabattical leave at the University of California at Berkeley in 1994-95, and at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001-02.

The author of about 200 international journal publications and 200 conference publications, he is the principal author together with Ian Postlethwaite of the book "Multivariable feedback control" published by Wiley in 1996 (first edition) and 2005 (second edition). Dr. Skogestad was awarded "Innstilling to the King" for his Siv.Ing. degree in 1979, a Fullbright fellowship in 1983, received the Ted Peterson Award from AIChE in 1989, the George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award from IEEE in 1990, the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award from the American Automatic Control Council in 1992, and the Best Paper of the Year 2004 Award from Computers and Chemical Engineering. He was an Editor of Automatica during the period 1996-2002 and is member of the IFAC Technical Board for the period 2008 to 2014. He was elected into the Process Control Hall of Fame in 2011.

Professor Skogestad has graduated 34 PhD candidates (1990-2012). He presently has a group of about 6 Ph.D. students and is the Head of PROST, which is the strong point center in process systems engineering in Trondheim and involves about 50 people in various departments. 


Johannes JäschkeJohannes Jäschke

Johannes Jäschke is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. He was born in Germany to a German father and an Irish mother, and received the degree "Dipl.-Ing." (M.S) in Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University in 2007. After graduation he started a PhD with Sigurd Skogestad at the Department of Chemical Engineering at NTNU, and worked on extending the concepts of self-optimizing control to a class of nonlinear processes. He finished his PhD in 2011 and has since been a postdoctoral researcher at NTNU. In 2013 he spent 6 months at Carnegie Mellon University to develop a numerical algorithm for fast economic model predictive control.

His research interests are within the field of process systems engineering, with a strong focus on modelling, numerical optimization and control. By linking methods from optimization and control theory, his goal is to systematically develop practically applicable solutions for operating process systems in a safe, reliable, and economical way.

He is interested in energy related control applications, including optimal energy storage strategies, and optimal operation of heat exchanger networks. Other interests include playing soccer, mountain hiking and playing the guitar and the violin.