New DOE funding to support testing at Sandia's NSTTF

Research that will be lead by Dr. Chen and Kaden Plewe was recently awarded DOE funding to support high-temperature particle thermal storage testing at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF). This testing will be used to validate our thermal storage models for Sandia's Gen3 Particle Pilot Plant. See the NSTTF Funding Post for more information.

Updated 06/08/2021

Congratulations to Qifan and Amir for successfully defending their dissertations!

An Advanced Hydraulic-Thermal Model for Drilling & Control of Geothermal Wells

Amir’s work advances our knowledge in the field of oil & gas and geothermal drilling operations. He developed an advanced model that characterizes the hydraulic and thermal dynamics with a high temporal resolution, making it possible to identify the complex physics associated with multi-stage drilling procedures. In addition to advancing fundamental knowledge in this area, Amir’s work sets a platform for improving the safety and reliability of drilling procedures.

Amir will be joining Xecta Digital Labs in Houston, TX to work as a full-time Senior Research Engineer. His primary focus will be on developing physics- and ML-based models for drilling automation and optimization.

A Comprehensive Deepwater Well Control System for Riser Gas Unloading Mitigation

Qifan’s research advances our knowledge of off-shore drilling with the development of new models, control algorithms, and event detection methods. His control algorithm increases the speed and safety of drilling operations by detecting and responding to deep-water disturbance events efficiently and reliably. In addition to detecting these events, a classification procedure provides a way for operators to better understand drilling procedures in real-time and to adapt accordingly, which increases safety, reliability, and efficiency.

Qifan will be joining Apple to work as a Hardware Test Engineer, contributing to the quality control of Apple products.

Updated 06/07/2021

Gen 3 Particle Pilot Plant Awarded Phase III DOE Funding

Sandia National Laboratories was recently awarded $25 million by the DOE to fund the Phase III testing and construction of the Gen 3 Particle Pilot Plant. Our lab is working with SNL to develop component and system-level models, perform component-level testing, and develop operational controls for the G3P3 project. For more info visit the SNL G3P3 Website or watch the video below, where Cliff Ho (G3P3 PI) introduces the novelty of the G3P3 system.

Updated 04/14/2021

Welcome to a New Lab Member

Joey Huang has joined our lab as an undergraduate researcher from the CS department. He will be conducting research on the control of automated ground vehicles, further developing our research in the field of path planing and optimization.

Updated 04/14/2021

Updated 01/27/2021

ACC Paper Accepted

Our paper on “Risk-Aware Path Planning with Uncertain Human Interactions” has been accepted by ACC 2021, congratulations to Jian, Soovadeep, and Zeyu!

Updated 01/27/2021

New Funding

Dr. Chen received an award from the NSF to conduct research on “Modeling and Control of a Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Process for Dry Transfer of Two-Dimensional Materials and Printed Electronics”

Updated 01/27/2021

New Publications

S. Bakshi, T. Feng, Z. Yan, Z. Ma, and D. Chen, “Energy-Conscientious Trajectory Planning for an Autonomous Mobile Robots in an Asymmetric Task Space,” Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

Q. Gu, A. Fallah, T. Feng, S. Bakshi, D. Chen, P. Ashok, D. Moore, and E. van Oort, 2021, “A Novel Dilution Control Strategy for Gas Kick Handling and Riser Gas Unloading Mitigation in Deepwater Drilling,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, p. 107973 (January 2021), DOI:

A. Fallah, Q. Gu, Z. Ma, A. Karimi Vajargah, D. Chen, P. Ashok, E. van Oort, and R. May, “Temperature Dynamics and Its Effects on Gas Influx Handling During Managed Pressure Drilling Operations,” accepted, Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering

Kaden Plewe, J. N. Sment, M. J. Martinez, C. K. Ho, and D. Chen, “Transient Thermal Performance of High-Temperature Particle Storage Bins,” 26th SolarPACES Conference, Albuquerque, Nex Mexico, September 29 – October 2, 2020

Q. Zhao, T. Feng, W. Li, and D. Chen, "Power Management for a Fuel Cell/Battery/Supercapacitor Hybrid Locomotive,” Proceedings of ASME Dynamic Systems and Control conference, Pittsburgh, Pa, October 4 – 7, 2020

Jian Chu, Hansen Qin, Zeyu Yan, Soovadeep Bakshi , and D. Chen, “An Integrated Hardware and Software Platform for Control of Automatic Ground Vehicles,” Proceedings of ASME Dynamic Systems and Control conference, Pittsburgh, Pa, October 4 – 7, 2020

A. Fallah, Q. Gu, D. Chen, P. Ashok, and E. van Oort, A. Karimi Vajargah and R. Banirazi, “Hole Cleaning Case Studies Analyzed with a Transient Cuttings Transport Model,” Proceedings of 2020 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Virtual, October 27-29, 2020

Q. Shen, D. Chen, and W. Li, “Controlling Peeling Front Geometry in a Roll-to-Roll Thin Film Transfer Process,” Proceedings of 2020 MSEC Manufacturing Science & Engineering Conference, Cincinnati, OH, June 22-26, 2020

Updated 01/27/2021

Dr. Alex Headly Awarded Faculty Position at The University of Memphis

Our group alumnus, Dr. Alex Headley, will join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Memphis as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020.

Updated 03/29/2020

Congratulations to Soovadeep for successfully defending his dissertation!

On-Demand Planning of a School of Autonomous Mobile Robots for Prioritized Task Completion

Soovadeep's work has advanced the field of planning and control for autonomous mobile robots by introducing novel algorithms that optimally cluster AMRs to navigate the task space in an economical and energy-efficient way. His algorithms support real-time route planning with an emphasis on task priority─something that existing state-of-the-art methods overlook─and have paved the way for major improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of real-world autonomous processes. During his time at UT, Soovadeep has also made significant contributions in medical signal processing, modeling of physical systems, and drilling optimization.

Beyond his fundamental contributions to the field of Mechanical Engineering, Soovadeep has been a critical player in the Cockrell School of Engineering through his numerous teaching positions, peer-to-peer interactions, and mentorships. His time spent at UT will surely go on to impact the reality and standards of what it means to study science and engineering here.

After graduating, Soovadeep is joining the Level 5 (Autonomous Driving) team at Lyft as a Hardware Engineer in Motion Controls, where he will work on vehicle modeling, HIL simulation, and control design, testing and verification. He will be based out of their Palo Alto office.

Updated 03/07/2020

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