DE-SK cooperation: Reliable and Real-time Feasible Estimation and Control of Chemical Plants

Title: Reliable and Real-time Feasible Estimation and Control of Chemical Plants


Duration: 2018-2019


The goal of this project is to bring together scientists who share common research interests in the development and application of advanced estimation and control algorithms for dynamic systems in order to achieve greater energy and material efficiency as well as safety of chemical production sites. The scientific goals of the cooperation are to develop a methodology for efficient guaranteed parameter and state estimation of nonlinear dynamic systems, which shall be integrated with advanced optimizing-control schemes. Software implementations will be delivered and will be made freely available as a part of this project. Moreover, this project aims at the demonstration of the developed tools by applying them to laboratory chemical process systems, a pilot membrane filtration system, a distillation column and a chemical reactor.

The specific scientific goals of the proposed collaboration project can be summarized as a set of actions towards:
1. Development of an efficient methodology for guaranteed parameter and state estimation based on the moving-horizon principle for nonlinear dynamic systems,
2. Synthesis of real-time optimization strategies based on parameter estimation and checking for model adequacy,
3. Design of robust adaptive model predictive controllers for uncertain dynamic systems,
4. Development of a methodology for the synthesis and the application of real-time feasible optimizing controllers based on an effective combination of model predictive control and real-time optimization,
5. Prototyping software packages that enable the transfer of theoretical developments into relevant applications,
6. Demonstration of the theoretical and software developments on a set of challenging case studies which are typical for the domains of chemical engineering and process systems engineering in order to promote the project results and to stimulate acceptance by industry.

Kick-off meeting of the project

On Friday, March 9, IAM hosted the scientific seminar on "Reliable and Real-time Feasible Estimation and Control of Chemical Plants" related to our cooperation project with the research group of Professor Sebastian Engell (Technical University of Dortmund, Germany). Professor Miroslav Fikar and Professor Sebastian Engell introduced the main research activities of both research groups. Afaq Ahmad (TU Dortmund) presented the results on "Real-Time Optimization in the Presence of Uncertainty - Addressing Model Inadequacy via Effective Model Adaptation". Sakthi Thangavel (TU Dortmund) gave a talk on "Robust control in the presence of structural plant-model mismatch using model-error model in a multi-stage framework". Juraj Oravec (STU Bratislava) presented the results of the cooperation with ShanghaiTech University on "Parallel Explicit MPC for Hardware with Limited Memory". Radoslav Paulen (STU Bratislava) presented the results on "Dynamic Real-time Optimization of Batch Membrane Processes using Pontryagin's Minimum Principle". Martin Kalúz (STU Bratislava) delivered a talk on "Flexy: An Open-source Device for Control Education". Juraj Holaza (STU Bratislava) gave a talk on "Solution Techniques for Multi-Layer MPC-Based Control Strategies" Martin Klauco (STU Bratislava) presented the results on "MPC-based Reference Governor for Relay-Based Systems".

Scientific exchanges during the project

Mr. Afaq Ahmad and Mr. Sakthi Thangavel spent a week at STU in Bratislava in March 2018. They have been involved in several discussions on research topics that are pursued in the project.

Dr. Radoslav Paulen spent two weeks at TU Dortmund in June 2018. During his stay he has discussed several research topics in the area of Optimal Control, Guaranteed Estimation and Real-time Optimization and he has presented recent advances in research and pedagogy at his institute at STU in Bratislava.



  1. S. Thangavel – M. Aboelnour – S. Lucia – R. Paulen – S. Engell: Robust Dual Multi-stage NMPC using Guaranteed Parameter Estimation. In Preprints of the 6th IFAC Conference on Nonlinear Model Predictive Control, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, pp. 74–79, 2018.

Responsibility for content: doc. Ing. Radoslav Paulen, PhD.
Last update: 03.01.2018 19:31
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