This research focus deals with the computational aspects of complex systems, covering areas of modeling, simulation, control and optimization. As such, it helps build critical interfaces with other research programs within and outside the Department, evidenced by the number of collaborative projects. Currently, there are four faculty members (El-Farra, Faller, Miller, and Palazoglu) in this research focus.
Professor El-Farra studies the dynamics and control of nonlinear and hybrid processes, including those that exhibit spatio-temporally varying dynamics, such as protein crystallization and emulsion polymerization. This is a new field of research that will benefit significantly from campus initiatives in genomics, nanotechnology and computational sciences and engineering, and currently, he is collaborating with Professor McDonald. He also works on networked process control and monitoring with applications to large-scale chemical plants and distributed energy systems; model-based fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant control of nonlinear distributed parameter systems with applications to transport-reaction processes, fluid flows and particulate processes; model-based control and monitoring of hybrid process systems with applications to chemical processes and biological networks; computational modeling and simulation.
Professor Faller uses computer simulations to understand how microscopic properties of materials influence macroscopic behavior. He is investigating the properties of polymers, lipid bilayers, and glasses. He is also studying the interactions between lipid membranes and small molecules such as sugars and alcohols. He has substantial interactions with several faculty members within the program (Longo, Kuhl, Risbud, Stroeve, Palazoglu, Moule) as well as with colleagues outside UC Davis. A recent focus has been on organic photovoltaic systems.
Professor Palazoglu’s research program focuses on control and dynamics of nonlinear systems, especially the distributed parameter systems. In addition, he is using systems engineering tools to bring new understanding to the fields of AFM image analysis as well as dynamic characteristics of protein folding and pattern formation in lipid bilayers, in collaboration with Professors Faller and Stroeve. His recent focus is on uncovering the relationships between meteorology and air pollution using statistical modeling techniques.
The group of Miller focuses on the development of numerical models for continuum problems in fluid and solid mechanics, with emphasis on irregular and time-dependent geometry. He also develops constitutive models for transport and physical properties.