Dynamics and Control of Process Systems

10 Feb 2014

Richardson bursary winner Grace Oppong reports from the 10th International Symposium of Dynamics and Control of Process Systems (DYCOPS), held in Mumbai, India from 18-20 December 2013:

The conference was organised by the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and focused on seven topic areas which included modelling and identification; process optimisation and control.

There were several interesting plenary talks from leading professors and presentation from academics and industrialist from all over the world to include India, America, China, and the United Kingdom. Due to visa issues, some speakers could not attend the conference; however the conference overlapped with Computer Applications in Biotechnology (CAB 2013) which increased the attendance and number of presentations. There were several parallel sessions and gave me the opportunity to attend presentations in CAB 2013 and DYCOPS that were interesting or related to my research.

My engineering doctorate research at Newcastle University focuses on monitoring, modelling, optimisation and control of anaerobic digestion process and as such fitted in very well with the main conference topics. I presented a conference paper titled 'Towards Model Predictive Control on Anaerobic Digestion Process'.

The poster presentation focused on an inventory simulation study which involves the development of a generic advanced process control system to optimise the performance of anaerobic digesters. The aim of using the simulation in this manner is to gain further understanding from the process and to utilise this during the plant testing or design of experiments on industrial sites.

I had several opportunities during the conference to talk about my research, the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocess Technology Centre (BBTC) I am conducting my research at and my current and past research experiences. The conference helped me to identify some gaps or areas in my research that I have not considered yet and presented me with several arguments about the importance of my research. I got asked useful questions which in some cases will help me to prepare for my viva and I enjoyed presenting and speaking about my research.

I had the pleasure of networking and meeting several researchers from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and India who I hope to keep in contact with. The cultural experience and the organisers made the conference an unforgettable experience.

I would like to thank SCI for the Richardson Travel Bursary award and its contribution to my expenses.

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