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From early in the development of chemical engineering, processes were represented as combinations of unit operations. This concept was useful in analyzing processes, as well as providing a library of building blocks for creating new processes. Process design is an imaginative activity, an artful blend of intuition and analysis. Design is aided by mathematical tools that simulate the behavior of the process and seek optimum operating conditions. Effective use of simulation and optimization tools allows unexpected pathways to be explored, dangerous operating regions to be identified, transient and accident conditions to be tested. Process systems engineering brings it all together, placing the technical features of a process in a context of operations, economics, and business. The end result is improved economy, reliability, and safety.

In the Department, you will find expertise in process modeling and simulation, numerical solution of large equation sets, optimization routines, process design strategy, and many other areas of systems engineering. View the pages of individual faculty members to learn about recent and ongoing research.

Paul I. Barton Professor 617.253.6526
pib@mit.edu
process dynamics; process modeling, simulation, and optimization; batch process design; pollution prevention
Gregory J. McRae Professor 617.253.6564
mcrae@mit.edu
environmental science and engineering, process modeling, numerical analysis and optimization
George Stephanopoulos Professor 617.253.3904
geosteph@mit.edu
product and process development and design, process operations and control, integrated computer-aided environments for process systems engineering