About Us
Grad Studies
MACC Researchers
Dr. Vladimir Mahalec
Dep. of Chem. Eng,
Associate Director for Grad Studies, WBooth School of Eng. Practice & Tech.

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7

Office: ETB-505
Voice: (905) 525-9140 x 26386
Email: mahalec@mcmaster.ca

[view profile on department website]

Dipl. Ing., U. of Zagreb, Croatia
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Houston

Dynamic Real-Time Optimization
Hybrid First-Principles/Data-Driven Models
Integrated community Energy Systems
Machine Learning
Optimal Planning and Scheduling
Supply Chain Optimization

Research Interests

Software engineering and application design, development, and implementation (advanced process control, process engineering and design, planning, scheduling, plant optimization, feedstock selection, trading and logistics). Expertise in value chain optimization in petroleum, petrochemicals, and other process industries.

Employment History

1991-2006 Aspen Technology Inc. Cambridge Massachusetts, Senior Vice President
for Technology Management

1978-1991 Esso Petroleum, Manager, Process control Group

1977-1978 MIT Cambridge Massachusetts, Research Associate

Research Interests

  • Civic and industrial energy systems have traditionally been designed and operated as separate, stand alone entities. Individually, they both offer ample opportunities to improve their performance and part of our research is devoted to improving designs of CCHP systems. Additional, possibly even greater opportunities lie in integrated design and operation of civic and industrial energy systems.
  • Design and operation of process plants enables improvements in plant performance via designs which minimize energy usage and optimal operation. Besides working on more efficient plant designs, our research includes globally optimal nonlinear control and dynamic real-time optimization, process scheduling, and production planning. We have introduced inventory-pinch concept as a basis for aggregation and decomposition of large scale nonlinear planning and scheduling problems and are currently exploring its use in planning under uncertainty.
  • Structure design and operation of supply chains in real life is carried out in a competitive environment. Part of our research is to define game-theoretic planning framework which accounts for actions of various players in the market and enables best decision making in light of the competitive decisions by other players.
  • Process modelling efforts in our team focus on combining models derived from actual plant data with the first principles (hybrid models) in order to develop modeling methodology leading to models which are very accurate, small in size, and mostly linear. This enables the same process unit model to be used in scheduling, in planning, and in real-time optimization.
  • While we do not focus on inventing new algorithms, in case that the existing methods are not adequate for solving problems at hand, we do not shy away from pursuing development of algorithms as needed to solve problems at hand.

MACC Publications

  • Jalanko, M.Mahalec, V. Gasoline Blend Planning under Demand Uncertainty: Aggregate Supply–Demand Pinch Algorithm with Rolling Horizon, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research,, 59 (1) 281-298 (2019) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Aziz, Junaid, Mahalec, V. NOPT site: An online workbench for modeling and optimization of diverse networks, 2018 International Conference on Advancements in Computational Sciences (ICACS),, 1-5 (2018)
  • Afzali, S. F.Mahalec, V. Novel performance curves to determine optimal operation of CCHP systems, Applied Energy,, 226 1009-1036 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Jalanko, M.Mahalec, V. Inventory Pinch Based Algorithm for Gasoline Blend Planning with Uncertainty in Components Qualities, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering,, 44 1525-1530 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Jalanko, M.Mahalec, V. Supply-demand pinch based methodology for multi-period planning under uncertainty in components qualities with application to gasoline blend planning, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, 119 425-438 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Gang, Fu, Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Impact of crude distillation unit model accuracy on refinery production planning, Frontiers of Engineering Management,, 5 (2) 195-201 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mahalec, V. Hybrid Modeling of Petrochemical Processes, Hybrid Modeling in Process Industries,, 129-165 (2018)
  • Jalanko, M.Mahalec, V. Supply-Demand Based Algorithm for Gasoline Blend Planning Under Time-Varying Uncertainty in Demand, International Conference on Applied Physics, System Science and Computers,, 183-189 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P., Castro, Pedro, Mahalec, V. Global optimization of MIQCPs with dynamic piecewise relaxations, Journal of Global Optimization,, 71 (4) 691-716 (2018) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Tominac, P.Mahalec, V. A dynamic game theoretic framework for process plant competitive upgrade and production planning, AIChE Journal,, 64 (3) 916-925 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Wang, X.Mahalec, V., Zhi, Li, Qian, Feng Real-time optimization and control of an industrial Ethylbenzene Dehydrogenation process, Chemical Engineering Transactions,, 61 331-336 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Wang, X.Mahalec, V., Qian, Feng Globally optimal dynamic real time optimization without model mismatch between optimization and control layer, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, 104 64-75 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Afzali, S. F.Mahalec, V. Optimal design, operation and analytical criteria for determining optimal operating modes of a CCHP with fired HRSG, boiler, electric chiller and absorption chiller, Energy,, 139 1052-1065 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P., Pedro M. Castro, Mahalec, V. Global Optimization of Nonlinear Blend-Scheduling Problems, Engineering,, 3 (2) 188-201 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P., Pedro M. Castro, Mahalec, V. Global Optimization Algorithm for Large-Scale Refinery Planning Models with Bilinear Terms, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research,, 56 (2) 530-548 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Xiaoqiang Wang, Mahalec, V., Feng Qian Globally optimal nonlinear model predictive control based on multi-parametric disaggregation, Journal of Process Control,, 52 1-13 (2017) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Fu, G., Sanchez, Yoel, Mahalec, V. Hybrid Model for Optimization of Crude Distillation Units, AIChE J,, 62 (4) 1065-1078 (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mori, J.Mahalec, V. Planning and Scheduling of Steel Plates Production. Part II: Scheduling of Continuous Casting, Computers & Chemical Engineering, (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Improved continuous-time model for gasoline blend scheduling, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, 84 627-646 (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Inventory pinch gasoline blend scheduling algorithm combining discrete- and continuous-time models, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, (84) 611-626 (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mori, J.Mahalec, V. Bayesian Inference in Hybrid Networks with Large Discrete and Continuous Domains, Expert Systems with Applications,, 49 1-19 (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Fu, G.Mahalec, V. Comparison of methods for computing crude distillation product properties in planning and scheduling, Ind Eng Chem Res,, 54 (45) 11371-11382 (2016) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Chen, Y, Mahalec, V., Chen, Y, He, R, Liu, X Optimal Satellite Orbit Design for Prioritized Multi-targets with Threshold Observation Time Using Self-Adaptive Differential Evolution, Journal of Aerospace Engineering,, 28 (2) 04014066 (2015) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Nonlinear blend scheduling via Inventory-pinch based Algorithm Using Discrete- and Continuous-time Models, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly,, 28 (4) 425-436 (2015) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mori, J.Mahalec, V. Planning and Scheduling of Steel Plates Production. Part I. Estimation of Production Times via Hybrid Bayesian Networks for Large Domain of Discrete Variables, Comp Chem Eng,, 79 113-134 (2015) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Inventory pinch based, multiscale models for integrated planning and scheduling-part II: Gasoline blend scheduling, AIChE J, (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Inventory pinch based, multiscale models for integrated planning and scheduling-part I: Gasoline blend planning, AIChE J, (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P.Mahalec, V. Inventory Pinch Based Multi-Scale Model for Refinery Production Planning, Comp Aided Chem Eng,, 33 283-288 (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mori, J.Mahalec, V., Yu J Identification of Probabilistic Graphical Network Model for Root-Cause Diagnosis in Industrial Processes, Comp Chem Eng,, 71 171-209 (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Yingguo Chen, Mahalec, V., Yingwu Chen, Xiaolu Liu, Renjie He, Kai Sun Reconfiguration of satellite orbit for cooperative observation using variable-size multi-objective differential evolution, European Journal of Operational Research,, 242 (1) 10-20 (2014) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Castillo, P., Kelly, J. D., Mahalec, V. Inventory Pinch Algorithm for Gasoline Blend Planning, AIChE J,, 59 3748–3766 (2013) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Ijaz, H, Ari, UK, Mahalec, V. Heat Exchanger Network Simulation, Data Reconciliation & Optimization, Applied Thermal Engineering,, 15 328–335 (2013) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Thakral, A, Mahalec, V. Composite Planning and Scheduling Algorithm Addressing Intra-Period Infeasibilities of Gasoline Blend Planning Models, Canadian J Chemical Engineering,, 91 1244-1255 (2013) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Kulkarni-Thaker, Shefali, Mahalec, V. Multiple Optima in Gasoline Blend Planning, Ind Eng Chem Res,, 52 10707–10719 (2013) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Mahalec, V., Sanchez, Y Inferential monitoring and optimization of crude separation units via hybrid models, Computers & Chemical Engineering,, 45 (Oct 12) 15-26 (2012) [ Publisher Version ]
  • Ati, UK, Mahalec, V. Heat Exchanger Network Design with Modular Sizes of Heat Exchangers, Int J Process Systems Engineering, (2012)
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