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Industrial Membership

Industrial Membership

A key characteristic of the MACC partnership is a two-way exchange between the academic and industrial partners. This takes several forms, primarily through an annual MACC Meeting and Workshop, and collaborative research in which member companies are directly involved through problem formulation, providing data, mentoring students, and field testing concepts. The partnership results in significant benefits to both industry and the university.

Member Companies

MACC addresses automation technology that has wide application within any manufacturing company and across industries. Consequently, MACC member companies span a wide spectrum of industrial sectors.

Member Companies

Benefits for Members

Annual Technical Workshops
The Annual Meeting is typically followed by a two-day technical workshop on a topic selected at the previous year’s business meeting, and includes speakers from both academia and industry. This provides an opportunity for concentrated discussions on a single technical topic, and enables the companies to send specialists on this topic. The highly successful Workshops listed below for the past 10 years included substantial participation from MACC members, and important contributions from visitors outside the MACC faculty and companies.

YearTopicVisiting Academic Plenary Speaker
2019Challenges and Opportunities in Big DataDr. Richard Braatz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2018Process Modeling - the next decadeDr. Costas Pantelides, Imperial College London
2017Will self-driving cars ever lead to self-operating processes?Dr. Sirish Shah, University of Alberta
2016Addressing Uncertainty in Process Operation and DesignDr. Paul Stuart, École Polytechnique Montréal
2015Operations and Design over Multiple Time Scales – from Planning and Scheduling to Advanced ControlDr. Marianthi Ierapetritou, Rutgers University
2014Best Practices in Control and Optimization - from R&D to Industrial ImplementationDr. Ali Cinar, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
2013State of the Art and Future Directions in Process Systems EngineeringDr. M. Morari, ETH Zurich; Dr. C. Maravelias, University of Wisconsin
2012Optimization in Process Operations and DesignDr. L.T. Biegler, Carnegie Mellon University
2011Mathematical Models for Process Optimization, Design and ControlDr. P. Barton, MIT
2010Operational Excellence through the Integrated Decision-Making HierarchyDr. B. Bakshi, Ohio State University
2009Model Maintenance and Performance MonitoringDr. E. Ydstie, Carnegie Mellon University
2008All Things Model Predictive ControlDr. B. W. Bequette, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2007Plantwide Monitoring, Control, and OptimizationDr. C. Laird, Texas A&M University
2006Monitoring, Controlling and Optimizing Batch ProcessesDr. I.E. Grossmann, Carnegie Mellon; Dr. B. Srinivasan, Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal
2005Multivariate Statistical Analysis: Best Practices from Industry
2004Appropriate ModelingDr. R. Braatz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Annual Research Reviews
Every year since the fall of 1988, MACC has held annual research review and business meetings. Attendance is limited to member companies and companies invited to evaluate potential membership; several visiting companies attend each year.

Typically, the day comprises research overviews by MACC faculty, as well as one or two technical presentations by MACC member companies and/or an invited visiting speaker. This is followed by a student poster session which enables the company representatives to meet the graduate and undergraduate students performing research and to discuss the research topics in more depth. Each company receives a package with a summary of each research project along with a copy of the student posters.

The business meeting provides the member companies with the opportunity to provide input on interactions and meeting topics.

Research Collaborations and Internships
One of the most significant benefits of MACC membership is access to collaborative research. There are several mechanisms through which the research may be conducted. This includes graduate research projects, post-doctoral research, undergraduate research projects (independent study for credit, as well as summer employment projects), and contract research. While the researchers are typically based at McMaster University, visits to the companies are common, with more lengthy internships occurring where appropriate. The industrial partner is ideally involved throughout the project evolution, from the project definition and formulation to its conclusion. Several technical advances within member companies have been attributed to collaboration with MACC.

Software for Technology Transfer
At the request of the member companies, several software tools developed within the MACC research group at McMaster have been packaged and distributed. The software is not expected to be commercial quality but can be used by trained company personnel to evaluate technical approaches being developed or recommended by the university. Visit our software page for details.

The high technical skills that MACC graduate students develop through their course work at McMaster and their industrially relevant research make them sought-after and valuable assets to the process industries and their technology suppliers. Companies are in a position to evaluate and employ the graduates from MACC, and many ex-students are working at MACC-member companies. This lists shows where our graduate students have gone on to work when leaving MACC.

Industrial Short Courses
In response to the company needs for specialized training to facilitate technology transfer, the MACC faculty members have developed a suite of specialized courses. They have offered over 100 industrial short courses since 1988.

Recognition and Awards
The consortium and MACC faulty have received numerous awards, including:
  • 2009 NSERC Leo Derikx Award, which recognizes an established innovative model of long-standing university-industry partnership in pre-competitive research and development that has improved the general well-being of an industry.

  • 2006 NIST Report. MACC was included in a major benchmark study performed by Dr. Irene Petrick of Penn. State University for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2006. Although the other consortia included in the study received much greater funding, MACC was highlighted as extremely successful, especially in impact to the member companies via technology transfer. MACC also scored high on key indicators of consortium success, such as well-defined vision, genuine target, agreed agenda, knowledge sharing and a unique university alternative view. (See Report)

  • 2003 NSERC Synergy Award, awarded jointly to McMaster University, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Tembec for advances and industrial application of multivariate statistical analysis techniques.

  • 2002 Kalev Pulgi Award from the Society of Chemical Industry to Drs. Marlin and MacGregor for “outstanding work in bringing together the McMaster Advanced Control Consortium (MACC) as a research and development project with Canadian and international industry”.

Further information

For further information about MACC membership and industrial interaction, please contact us.