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Prashant Mhaskar

Prashant Mhaskar

Canada Research Chair in Nonlinear and Fault Tolerant Control

Tier 2: 2011-04-01, Renewed: 2016-04-01


 Department of Chemical Engineering Profile | Canada Research Chair Profile

Research involves

Developing innovative control and systems tools to improve the efficiency, sustainability and safety of chemical plants.  

Research relevance

This research will address fundamental challenges in process controls and create opportunities to improve the workings of complex operational systems in the chemical-processing industry.  

Keeping Chemical Plants Running Smoothly

Canada’s chemical-processing industries generate billions of dollars in revenue and run the gamut from large-volume petrochemicals to small-volume specialty chemicals.

Dr. Prashant Mhaskar, Canada Research Chair in Nonlinear and Fault Tolerant Control, understands the networked and complex nature of chemical plants. He is tackling one of the greatest challenges to their efficient and safe operation: how to ensure they continue to operate properly in the event of a failure in the factory’s machinery or a fault within one or more components.

Mhaskar’s expertise in nonlinear and fault-tolerant control (which deals with systems that become faulty during their operating lives) efficiently uses newly available, powerful computational tools, and takes into account the challenges posed by the presence of communication networks that enable the transmission of chemical process conditions and control signals from, and to, different parts of a plant. His research also explores the problems caused by everyday heating, ventilating and air conditioning processes.

Mhaskar is at the frontier of developing innovations in nonlinear model predictive control (MPC)—a powerful technique that optimizes the performance of a chemical plant. He is designing MPC algorithms that manage the stability and performance of the processes that take place in chemical plants, while accounting for disturbances.

By anticipating exceptional conditions and designing and building the systems to cope with them, Mhaskar’s research will improve the control and operation of chemical plants, thus ensuring their safety and efficiency.