People

Michael Baldea

Michael Baldea
Principal Investigator

Michael Baldea is Associate Professor and Frank A. Liddell, Jr. Centennial Fellow in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, and a core faculty member in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his Diploma and M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from "Babes-Bolyai" University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining The University of Texas, he held industrial research positions with Praxair Technology Center in Tonawanda, NY and GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY.  His research interests include the dynamics, optimization and control of process and energy systems, areas in which he has co-authored three books, five book chapters and over 180 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles. Dr. Baldea is an Associate Editor of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, and has held editorial positions with the Journal of Process Control, and Chemical Engineering Research and Design.

Selected awards and distinctions:

  • Model Based Innovation Prize from Process Systems Enterprise – runner up (2019)
  • AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology (2019)
  • Computers & Chemical Engineering (CACE) 2018 Best Paper of the Year (2019)
  • Excellence in Review Award, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (September 2017)
  • Outstanding Young Researcher Award, Computing and Systems Technology Division of AIChE (June 2017)
  • Excellence in Review Award, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (September 2016)
  • Frank A. Liddell, Jr. Centennial Fellow in Chemical Engineering, UT Austin (September 2016)
  • Visiting Professor, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China (March 2016)
  • NSF CAREER award (2015-2020)
  • American Chemical Society Editors’ Choice Paper (January 2015)
  • Moncrief Grand Challenges Faculty Award, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (2014)

 

 

Postdoctoral scholars

Graduate students

Omar S. Santander
PhD student
Fernando Lejarza
PhD student

Fernando, originally from Córdoba, Argentina, graduated cum laude from Rice University in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a minor in Computational and Applied Mathematics. His past experience includes studying crude oil phase behavior to mitigate asphaltene deposition, as well as developing gold nanocluster-based technology for the visual detection of toxic metal ions in drinking water. His current research interests are control and optimization of dynamic supply chain networks of perishable items.

Kyeongjun Seo
PhD student

Kyeongjun graduated from Sogang University, South Korea in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Kyeongjun also received his Masters’s degree from Sogang University in 2018. His previous research included mass transfer/solubility studies of methane in aqueous solution and bio-inspired catalyst for oxidation of alkane. He also conducted a process design project in the Korea Process Simulation Olympiad and developed a thermodynamic package during the internship at AspenTech, which led him to pursue more advanced studies in optimization and modeling.

Ioannis (Giannis) Giannikopoulos
PhD student

Giannis graduated in 2018 with an Engineering Diploma in Chemical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens, Greece. For his undergraduate thesis, he worked on a Computational Fluid Dynamics problem; the simulation of tin oxide film chemical vapor deposition. His research interests revolve around modeling, simulation and optimization chemical process systems. Right now, he works for CISTAR and his research involves the modelling of the US Refining and Chemical Manufacturing Industry.

Alkiviadis (Alkis) Skouteris
PhD student

Alkiviadis (Alkis) graduated from the National Technical University of Athens in 2018 earning a Chemical Engineering Diploma (5-years degree) with highest honors. His undergraduate studies focused on process and systems engineering with a slight inclination towards bio-processes. His diploma thesis research project involved the development of an innovate computational framework for the Model Order Reduction of a Chemical Vapor Deposition process by employing CFD simulations and mathematical techniques including Artificial Neural Networks. Currently, he is working on a project within CISTAR, where he is studying the US petrochemical industry and its reaction to inserting new technologies (utilizing shale gas), which is achieved by employing network modeling and optimization techniques.

Xin Tang
PhD student (CSEM program)

Xin graduated in 2020 with a BS in Chemical Engineering and Computational Science magna cum laude from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana. For undergraduate research, she worked on computational phylogenetics, optimization of biochemical production, and analytical methods for packed bed reactors. Her current research interests include computational modeling and simulation, optimization as well as machine learning.

Joshua Hammond
PhD student
Joshua graduated from Brigham Young University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. While an undergraduate, his research focused on dynamic optimization applied to autonomous infrastructure monitoring. His current research interests include reduced order models, clean energy, and energy storage.
Jorge Martorell
PhD student
Jorge graduated from the University of Houston in 2017 with a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with University Honors. His previous experience includes process and controls engineering in chemical manufacturing as well as undergraduate research in the phase relationships of metal alloys. His current research interests include modeling and optimization of carbon capture processes.
Adhika Retnanto
PhD student
Originally from Indonesia, Adhika graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a minor in Computing and Intelligence. His past research experience includes studying machine learning applications in the development of catalytic processes. His current research include in modeling and optimization of novel energy systems.
Jihun Jeong
PhD student
Jihun graduated from Brigham Young University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. For undergraduate research, he studied catalyst preparation methods for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. His current research interests include modeling and optimization of chemical processes.
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