Helen Durand

Helen Durand

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

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Helen Durand

Biography

Advances in computing and networking over the last decades have created a demand for "smart" devices in personal and industrial settings. In a manufacturing setting, "smart" (or "next-generation") manufacturing refers to upgrading production procedures to achieve greater agility and efficiency by making use of computing, sensing, and networking systems that can facilitate greater production autonomy, flexibility, and responsiveness while enhancing the accuracy and comprehensiveness of process monitoring/diagnosis and reducing down time. One of the most critical elements of a "smart" manufacturing system is the control systems. These systems automate process operation through the computation and communication of actuator actions to final control elements such as valves and heaters, based on sensor readings. Physical systems interfaced with computing systems that directly manipulate their behavior in this fashion are termed "cyberphysical systems." Our group advances control design and theory for cyberphysical systems through the development of new policies and rigorous theories for cyberattack detection for nonlinear systems and next-generation manufacturing, the investigation of a control-theoretic perspective to the consideration of quantum computing for control action computation for engineering systems, the establishment of new digital twin design principles for processes subject to dynamic operation, and the evaluation of simulation methods for virtual testing of image-based control designs for process systems.

Additional information on research can be found at Durand Lab.

Education

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (2017)
M.S., University of California, Los Angeles (2014)
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles (2011)

Courses Taught

CHE 4200, Product and Process Design

CHE 4600, Process Dynamics and Simulation

CHE 7100, Advanced Engineering Mathematics

Research Interests

plant-wide control of nonlinear systems; centralized and distributed economic model predictive control; operational safety and cybersecurity of closed-loop processes; digital twin development; quantum computing; image-based control

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