Arpan Seth
PhD Candidate

Contamination of drinking water distribution network can severely impact the public health. This work focuses on the modeling of water distribution systems and using these models to design real-time response applications that help in recovery planning during a contamination incident.

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Yankai Cao
PhD Candidate

The project focuses on developing new algorithms utilizing parallel architectures to solve dynamic optimization problems arising from implementation of nonlinear model predictive control of pharmaceutical manufacturing. The research has explored the use of graphic processing units for fast solution of nonlinear optimization problems and decompositions specifically for time-discretized systems.

Jia Kang
PhD Candidate
Co-Advised with Prof. J. Hahn

Large-scale, nonlinear dynamic models frequently arise when describing the physics of important engineering and biological problems. In this research, we are developing new algorithms that exploit concurrent computing architectures to provide efficient parallel solution of large-scale parameter estimation problems, focusing on those with both temporal and spatial structure that can be exploited.

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Jianfeng Liu
PhD Student

Parameter estimation for infectious diseases plays an important role in the understanding of disease dynamics and decision-making in public health policies. This research focuses on developing advanced modeling techniques and solution strategies for disease-related parameter estimation problems resulting in mixed-integer nonlinear programming problems (MINLPs).


Michael Bynum
PhD Student

Infectious diseases have plagued communities all over the world throughout history, and they continue to kill countless numbers of people every year. Developing dependable models for the spread of infectious diseases can help provide an understanding of such spread and allow evaluation of public health policies. The goal of this research is to use dynamic optimization for parameter estimation of spatio-temporal models of the spread of measles. 


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Todd Zhen
PhD Student

Understanding disease transmission characteristics among communities can lead to better public health policies and disease prevention measures. This research focuses on developing mathematical programming formulations to estimate infectious disease transmission parameters and to infer social contact networks within communities. 

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Jose Santiago Rodriguez
PhD Student

The advancements in numerical methods for solving differential equations and the improvements of computational tools, have made possible the solution of large scale dynamic problems with considerable number of variables. This work explores the use of the parallel algorithms to solve dynamic optimization problems with applications on water network distribution systems. 


Former Group Members

PhD Students


Alberto Jose Benavides-Serrano

Thesis: Mathematical Programming Formulations for the Optimal Placement of Imperfect Detectors with Applications to Flammable Gas Detection and Mitigation Systems (2014)
Current position: Modeling and Optimization Engineer, Shell
Linkedin Link:

Sean Legg

Sean Legg

Thesis: Stochastic Programming Approaches for the Placement of Gas Detectors in Process Facilities (2013)
Current position: Technical Safety Engineer, Shell International Exploration and Production
Linkedin Link:


Angelica (Wong) Mann

Thesis: Numerically Efficient Water Quality Modeling and Security Applications (2013)
Current position: Applications Engineer, ExxonMobil


Daniel Word

Thesis: Nonlinear Programming Approaches for Efficient Large-Scale Parameter Estimation with Applications in Epidemiology (2013)
Current position: Process Control Engineer, Chevron Energy Technology Company
Linkedin Link:


Yu Zhu

Thesis: Efficient Nonlinear Optimization with Rigorous Models for Large Scale Industrial Chemical Processes (2010)
Current position: Optimization Analyst, TPC Group
Linkedin Link:

Post Doctoral and Research Staff


Chen Wang

Current Position: Research Fellow at the Singapore Management University


Gabe Hackebeil


Shawn McGee

Master's Students


Xiaorui Yu


Derrick Thomas
Co-Advised with Prof. S. Mannan


George Abbot III


Ahmed Rabie


Undergraduate Group Members

Daniel Jaimes, Colombian Exchange Student (Summer 2014 -- Fall 2014)
Chris Hanselman, Chemical Engineering Student (Summer 2014)
Stefanus Winarto, Electrical Engineering Student (Summer 2014)
Eric Boley, Chemical Engineering Student (Fall 2013)
Jeremiah Harris, Chemical Engineering Student (Fall 2012)  
Michael Bynum, Chemical Engineering Student (Fall 2012 -- Spring 2013)  
Logan Barnes, Chemical Engineering Student (Summer 2012)  
Joshua Lucas, Chemical Engineering Student (Summer 2012)  
Jose Santiago Rodriguez, Colombian Exchange Student (Spring 2012 -- Fall 2012)  
Anke Iglesias, Chemical Engineering Student (REU Summer 2010)  
Tylan Higley, Chemical Engineering Student (Summer 2010)  
Ali El-Halwagi, Chemical Engineering Student (Summer 2010 -- Summer 2012)  
Kristen Young, Chemical Engineering Student (Spring 2010)  
Gabriel Hackebeil, Chemical Engineering Student (Fall 2009 -- Fall 2013)  
Brandon Barrera, Chemical Engineering Student (REU Student Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010)  
Scott Kolodziej, Chemical Engineering Student (Spring 2009, USRG Student Summer 2009)  
Amy Lindsey, Chemical Engineering Student (Spring 2009)  
Shawn Bernardy, Chemical Engineering Student (Spring 2009)  
Chris Fain, Chemical Engineering Student (Fall 2008)  
German Oliveros, Colombian Exchange Student (Spring 2008 -- Fall 2008)  
Derrick Thomas, Chemical Engineering Student (USRG Summer 2008, Fall 2008)  
Sean Legg, Chemical Engineering Student (REU Summer 2008)  
Ethan Demeter, Chemical Engineering Student (Spring 2008, USRG Summer 2008)  
James Young, Industrial Engineering Student (Spring 2008 -- Summer 2010)