Research

Lab overview (PDF)

Research areas

  • Multiscale Complex Systems
  • Sustainability Control Science and Engineering
  • Integrated Product and Process Design and Control
  • Computational Design of Multifunctional Nanomaterials
  • Large-scale System Optimization and Decision Making under Uncertainty
  • Process Pollution Prevention Theory and Application
  • Chemical System Safety and Security Enhancement Using Advanced Computing Methods
  • System Biology

Research highlights

Economic globalization, depletion of nonrenewable resources, pollution of air, water, and soil, global warming, etc., have raised a very serious question to the global society: how can industrial development be sustainable? Sustainability is undoubtedly one of the most challenging areas of research in scope, scale, size, and sophistication. The Laboratory for Multiscale Complex Systems Science and Engineering has focused on both the theoretical study on multiscale science and complexity and the applied research ranging from sustainable (nano)material design to industrial system restructuring for sustainable development.

Theoretical research:

We pursue the research in two paths: (a) aiming at enhancing product functionality and performance and improving process energy/material efficiencies and environmental quality at the macroscale (10-1~102 m and 100~103 sec), we extend our study down to material design at the micro- or even nanoscale (10-6~10-9 m and 10-6~10-9 sec), and (b) in view of product and process systems as basic elements at the macroscale, we move up to examine the triple-bottom-line issues of sustainability of the industrial zones/regions at the megascale (103~104 m and 107~108 sec). The research through either path is featured by its multiscale complexity. We are developing a theoretical foundation for quantitative sustainability and qualitative sustainability using multiscale science and complexity theory.

Applied research:

Our active projects are in the areas of: (i) design and application of hierarchical, multifunctional, environmentally benign nanocomposite materials, (ii) integrated design, control, and optimization of sustainable energy-chemical poly-generation systems, and (iii) industrial-zone-focused sustainability via large-scale modeling, analysis, and decision making under uncertainty. All the studies are through very close industrial collaboration.

Current and recent major research projects

  • Fundamental Study on Hierarchical Control of Sustainable Development of Complex Industrial Systems under Uncertainty, Sponsored by NSF (CBET)
  • RCN-SEES: Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology (SMART) Coordination Network, sponsored by NSF (CBET)
  • Dynamic Flux Balance Analysis of Hepatic Lipid Metabolism: Cell and Organ Studies, sponsored by NSF (CBET-BBBE)
  • Development of Sustainable Nanocoating Materials and Environmental Fate Prediction and Life Cycle Analysis for Automotive Applications (WSU-REP)
  • Development of a Multiscale Modeling and Simulation Methodology for Predictive Paint Material Application in Automotive Coating, sponsored by NSF (CMMI/CBET), GM, Ford Motor, and DuPont Automotive.
  • Reaching Sustainability under Uncertainty: A Methodological Study on Modeling and Decision-Making, sponsored by NSF (CBET).
  • Development of Materials for Teaching Design for Sustainability via Spiral Leaning, sponsored by NSF (DUE).
  • Second International Congress of Sustainability Science and Engineering: Where Science and Engineering Meet the Needs of Society, sponsored by NSF (CBET)
  • Second International Symposium on Sustainable Chemical Product and Process Engineering, Hangzhou, China, May 5-9, 2010, sponsored by NSF (CBET)
  • First International Congress of Sustainability Science and Engineering: Where Science and Engineering Meet the Needs of Society, Cincinnati, OH, Aug. 9-13, 2009, sponsored by NSF (CBET), EPA, NIST, AIChE.
  • Development of an Undergraduate/Graduate Course on Pollution Prevention, Green Chemistry, and Green Engineering: Introduction to Sustainable Engineering, sponsored by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
  • First International Symposium on Sustainable Chemical Product and Process Engineering, Guangzhou, China, 2007, sponsored by NSF (CBET).
  • Fast Process Security Assessment and Accurate Decision Making Using Advanced Computing Method, sponsored by Wayne State University (Information Technology Research Enhancement Program).
  • Industrial Sustainability Assessment: A Large Scale Modeling and Simulation Methodology, sponsored by NSF (IGERT, sub-award).
  • Chemical Plant Security Enhancement Using Supercomputing Methods, sponsored by NSF (IGERT, sub-award).
  • CFD-Based Modeling and Simulation of Paint Application, sponsored by US Army/ Ventilation and Energy Applications.
  • Demonstration of the Chemical-Metal Zero Discharge Technology for Profitable Pollution Prevention in Electroplating Systems, sponsored by MDEQ/K.C. Jones Plating.
  • Integrated Modeling and Hierarchical Statistical Optimization for Topcoat Filmbuild Improvement and Defect Prevention in Automotive Painting Operations, sponsored by NSF, Ford Motor Company, DuPont Automotive, and Institute of Manufacturing Research, Wayne State University.
  • Undergraduate Research on Integrated Modeling and Hierarchical Statistical Optimization for Topcoat Filmbuild Improvement and Defect Prevention in Automotive Painting Operations, sponsored by NSF (REU).
  • PREMISE/Collaborative Research: Integrated Drag-out and Dynamic Water Allocation for Maximum Reduction of Waste and Energy in the Electroplating Industry, sponsored by NSF (CMMI).
  • Fundamental Study on Inhibiting Exothermic Reactions under Adverse Conditions, sponsored by NSF (CBET).
  • Proof-of-Concept: Integration of Process Safety into Chemical Engineering Curriculum Core Courses ¾ Concepts, Procedures, and Educational Material Development, sponsored by NSF (DUE).
  • Artificial Neural Networks for Vehicle Emission Control, sponsored by DaimlerChrysler.
  • Waste Use and Reuse Network Design Technology: A Demonstration Project, sponsored by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Reilly Plating Company.
  • Optimal Chemical and Water Use and Reuse in Zinc-Acid Plating, sponsored by Reilly Plating Company.
  • Advancement of Process Integration Using Simplified Disturbance Propagation Models, sponsored by ACS/Petroleum Research Foundation (PRF-AG).
  • Advancement of Process Integration Using Simplified Disturbance Propagation Models, sponsored by ACS/PRF-Summer Research Fellowship.
  • Source Reduction through Process Modification and Operational Improvement: Enhancement and Application of Decision Support System in Electroplating Plants, sponsored by American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society.
  • Artificial Intelligence Based Process Synthesis Methodology for In-Plant Waste Minimization, sponsored by NSF (CBET).
  • Intelligent Decision Making and System Development for Comprehensive Waste Minimization in the Electroplating Industry ¾ Methodology Development, sponsored by NSF (CBET).
  • Intelligent Decision Making and System Development for Comprehensive Waste Minimization in the Electroplating Industry ¾ System Development, sponsored by EPA.
  • Model Combined Sewer Overflow Toxic Loadings, sponsored by EPA/SEMCOG.
  • Development of Fuzzy Model Predictive Control Methodology for Controlling Highly Nonlinear Systems, sponsored by Michigan Space Grant Consortium/NASA.
  • Development of a Prototype Knowledge-Based System for Cost-Effective Waste Minimization in Electroplating Plants, sponsored by Hughes Aircraft Corporation.