ISyE Seminar Series: Chrysanthos E. Gounaris

"Decision-making Across Scales: From Supply Chains to Materials Nanostructure"

Presentation by Professor Chrysanthos E. Gounaris
Department of Chemical Engineering and Center for Advanced Process Decision-making, Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, September 30
3:30-5:00 PM CST — Reception and Seminar


Modern chemical engineering contemplates topics across a wide span of scales, ranging from the need to understand and harness the chemistry that governs the performance of advanced compounds and materials, to designing industrial equipment and facilities of all kinds, to managing operations and defining corporate strategy at the enterprise level.

In this talk, we discuss our work in employing mathematical optimization approaches to tackle decision-making in the context of multiple such scales. We start with some settings arising in the supply chain of the chemical industry, for which we develop custom-built mathematical optimization models and solution algorithms to design optimal plans for daily logistics operations. Turning our focus to project scheduling, we show how the management of a pharmaceutical company can optimally allocate R&D resources towards progressing their portfolio of drugs under development.

We continue by discussing the design of process flowsheets, and present novel methods to ensure robustness of optimal process designs against uncertainties in the underlying physicochemical properties at play. Such methods have been incorporated in our tool PyROS, a Python-based implementation for robust optimization of highly nonlinear models. We conclude the talk by presenting MatOpt, our recently developed crystalline materials framework, which efficiently explores the combinatorics of how atoms may arrange themselves on lattices and identifies the specific microstructure that induces desirable properties in various materials related to energy applications.



Chrysanthos Gounaris is currently Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a Dipl. in Chemical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Automation Systems from the National Technical University of Athens, as well as a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. After graduation, Chrysanthos worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. He returned to academia to pursue post-doctoral research at Princeton, before joining the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2013. His research interests lie in the development of theory and quantitative methodologies for decision-making, with emphasis in supply chain optimization and distribution logistics, production planning and scheduling, project management, process design under uncertainty, microporous and nanostructured materials design, as well as methods and tools for robust optimization and global optimization. Chrysanthos actively participates in the Center of Advanced Process Decision-making consortium, where he now directs its Enterprise-Wide Optimization special interest group. He serves as principal investigator for a number of academia-industry research collaborations, as well as participates in the leadership team of DOE’s Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES). Recent recognitions for Chrysanthos include his being named a “2020 MSDE Emerging Investigator”, his induction in the “2019 I&ECR Class of Influential Researchers”, the Glover-Klingman Prize, the CIT Dean’s Early Career Fellowship, and the Kun Li Award for Teaching Excellence. Chrysanthos has been an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, having served as Programming Chair for its Computing and Systems Technology Area 10C, while he is currently serving as co-Chair of the upcoming inaugural conference of the new Advanced Manufacturing & Processing Society, AMPc-2021. Chrysanthos is also a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, being active in its Transportation Science & Logistics society.


Seminar Video:


Start date
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, 3:30 p.m.
End date
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, 5 p.m.