Since the 1960s, Carnegie Mellon University has spearheaded the advancement of systems concepts to all areas of science and technology. Carnegie Mellon’s engineering faculty have been instrumental in catalyzing revolutionary changes resulting from the introduction of computer and systems technology to science and industry. In process systems engineering (PSE), Carnegie Mellon’s effort began in the mid-70s with the creation of the Design Research Center.
This interdisciplinary group saw significant participation by chemical engineers (Gary Powers, Art Westerberg, Ignacio Grossmann, and Larry Biegler) and led to the development of core systems methodologies, such as:
- optimization algorithms and formulations
- operations research methods
- artificial intelligence
- expert systems and software engineering
CAPD started in 1986 as the Computer-Aided Process Design (CAPD) Consortium, and later with the expansion of research efforts was renamed to the Center for Computer Aided Process Decision Making. Currently, our research activities combine strong basic science components and industrial interactions in the areas of process synthesis and analysis, process operation, process planning, and scheduling. The addition of Chrysanthos Gounaris further strengthened CAPD in the core optimization area and brought new fundamental applications at the molecular level (X-ray imaging, bioinformatics, materials design, and molecular design). Recently, Carl Laird and Ana Torres joined the faculty. Carl Laird brings industrial experience in process simulation and modeling, and new research expertise in high-performance and parallel computing, critical infrastructures, and integration of machine learning and optimization. Ana Torres brings significant strengths in the areas of sustainability and process systems engineering as applied to clean and sustainable energy.
CAPD has approximately 20 company sponsors, involves about 40 graduate students, postdocs and visitors. The CAPD involves two special interest groups: the Energy Systems Initiative led by Larry Biegler and Enterprise-wide Optimization led by Chrysanthos Gounaris.
Department of Chemical Engineering
- 2022 - Ana Torres joins the PSE Group and CAPD as a professor in Department of Chemical Engineering.
- 2022 - Chrysanthos Gounaris co-chairs the AIChE Advanced Manufacturing and Processing Conference.
- 2021 - Carl Laird succeeds Ignacio Grossmann as director of the CAPD.
- 2021 - Carl Laird joins the PSE Group and CAPD as a professor in CMU's Department of Chemical Engineering.
- 2020 - Nick Sahinidis moves to Georgia Institute of Technology as the Butler Family Chair and Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Sahinidis continues his association with CAPD and with chemical engineering with a courtesy appointment.
- 2020: Erik Ydstie retires from CMU and becomes an emeritus professor of chemical engineering.
- 2018 - Larry Biegler steps down as Department Head of Chemical Engineering.
- 2017 - Jeff Siirola, who served as a distinguished service professor from 2011 to 2017, retires from CMU. However, CAPD continues to enjoy its long association with Siirola, who provides experienced guidance in conceptual design of chemical and energy processes and continues to teach the process synthesis part of the CAPD short course.
- 2015 - Nick Sahinidis succeeds Ignacio Grossmann as director of the CAPD.
- 2014 - Nick Sahinidis and Ignacio Grossmann co-chair the MINLP Workshop in Pittsburgh.
- 2013 Nick Sahinidis becomes programming chair for Computing and Systems Technology Division of AIChE.
- 2013 - Chrysanthos Gounaris joins CMU and CAPD.
- 2013 - Larry Biegler becomes Department Head of Chemical Engineering.
- 2012 - Nick Sahinidis co-chairs FOCAPO Meeting.
- 2011 - Jeff Siirola joins CMU and the CAPD.
- 2009 - Nick Sahinidis chairs INFORMS Optimization Society.
- 2008 - Ignacio Grosmann co-chairs Pan American Advanced Study Institute on Emerging Trends in Process Systems Engineering.
- 2008 - Steinar Hauan returns to Norway after nine years at CMU.
- 2007 - Gary Powers unexpectedly dies at the age of 61. Read his obituary.
- 2007 - Nick Sahinidis, former student of Ignacio Grossmann, comes to CMU after a sixteen-year long career at the University of Illinois.
- 2005 - Ignacio Grossmann co-chairs Pan American Advanced Study Institute on Process Systems Engineering.
- 2005 - Ignacio Grossmann takes over as the director of CAPD.
- 2004 - Art Westerberg retires from CMU.
- 2003/2004 - Art Westerberg co-chairs Intl. PSE meeting in Kunming, China.
- 2003 - Ignacio Grossmann chairs FOCAPO meeting.
- 2000 - The CAPD, which until then was called the "Computer-Aided Process Design (CAPD) Consortium," is renamed "Center for Advanced Process Decision-making" to reflect broadening of research into process operations topics (control, planning and scheduling, and safety).
- 1999 - Steinar Hauan, former student of Kristian Lien at Trondheim, joins CMU.
- 1998 - Larry Biegler is appointed director of CAPD, which expands its research efforts in chemical engineering after EDRC.
- 1997 - Ignacio Grossmann works with CMU's Tepper Business School to offer engineering students the "Minor in Manufacturing Management and Consulting" (renamed in 2005 "Minor in Supply Chain Management") at CMU.
- 1997 - Art Westerberg, Larry Biegler, and Ignacio Grossmann produce the textbook, "Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design."
- 1996 - Larry Biegler becomes president of CACHE (until 1998).
- 1996 - With phase-out of EDRC, the center becomes the "Institute for Complex Engineered Systems," motivated by Dean John Anderson. Pardeep Khosla is the first director, succeeded later by Cristina Amon.
- 1994 - Ignacio Grossmann becomes Head of Chemical Engineering and serves in that capacity until the end of 2002.
- 1994 - "CAD" (Computer-Aided Design) group is renamed "Process Systems Engineering" (PSE) group.
- 1994 - Larry Biegler co-chairs FOCAPD meeting.
- 1992 - Erik Ydstie, former Ph.D. student of Roger Sargent, comes from UMass to join CMU.
- 1992 - Erik Ydstie and Gary Powers join CAPD.
- 1989 - Ignacio Grossmann co-chairs FOCAPD meeting.
- 1988 - Art Westerberg, Larry Biegler, and Ignacio Grossmann teach the first industrial CAPD course, which continues to be taught today (with Steinar Hauan replacing Art after his retirement in 2004).
- 1986 - The Computer-Aided Process Design (CAPD) Consortium is established, and NSF funds the Engineering Design Research Center (EDRC) for $21 million for eleven years. Art Westerberg is EDRC co-director with Sarosh Talukdar for the first six months and then director for the next three and a half years. Fritz Prinz (ME) takes over, and Dan Siewiorek (electrical and computer engineering, Human Computer Interaction Institute) is named director after him. Grossmann is the Synthesis Lab Director for the first seven years, and Biegler for the last three. EDRC offers multidisciplinary courses with participation of Westerberg, Biegler and Grossman.
- 1985 - Art Westerberg and Sarosh Talukdar (ECE) are co-PIs on a proposal to establish an Engineering Research Center in Design. Larry Biegler receives Presidential Young Investigator grant.
- 1985 - Computer-Aided Process Design laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University is formed.
- 1984 - Ignacio Grossmann receives Presidential Young Investigator grant. Art Westerberg becomes part of CAPD, starting with five companies: Amoco, Exxon Res & Eng., Eastman Chemical, Simulation Sciences, and Union Carbide.
- 1983 - Art Westerberg co-chairs FOCAPD meeting.
- 1981 - Larry Biegler, former student of the late Dick Hughes, comes from U. Wisconsin to join our department and the DRC. For the next few years, Art Westerberg, Larry Biegler, and Ignacio Grossmann grow the effort in what was known at the time as the area of "Computer-Aided Design (CAD)."
- 1980 - Art Westerberg steps down as director of the DRC to take up duties as the Head of Chemical Engineering.
- 1979 - Ignacio Grossmann, former student of Roger Sargent, comes from the Mexican Petroleum Institute to join CMU and takes part in the Design Research Center (DRC).
- 1978 - Art Westerberg takes over as director of the Design Research Center as Gary takes leave to establish his company, Design Sciences.
- 1976 - Art Westerberg, former Ph.D. student of Roger Sargent, comes from Florida to join CMU. Funded by Herb Toor, Gary asks Art to join him in organizing the Design Research Center, which Gary heads for its first two years.
- 1974 - Gary Powers, former Ph.D. student of Dale Rudd and classmate of Jeff Siirola, comes from MIT to join CMU to initiate research in the area of design, as motivated by Herb Toor (Dean of CMU's College of Engineering) and Herb Simon.