Control Room--> Bioreactor Process Oil Refinery

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at Tufts are strongly encouraged to inquire about research possibilities in their junior year. We aim to attract 2-3 juniors each year to do a single semester project. Some of these students might continue with a project in the senior year, possibly working on an honors thesis. We are particularly interested in students that have a strong mathematical and computational inclination, as most of our projects are not experimental in nature. Several, but not all, of the potential projects are linked to a new methodology recently postulates in the following publication:

  • Georgakis, C., (2013): "Design of Dynamic Experiments (DoDE): A Data-Driven Methodology for the Optimization of Time-Varying Processes" Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Publication Date (Web): May 3, 2013, DOI: 10.1021/ie3035114

This paper extends the classical methodology on the Design of Experiments (DoE) for dynamic batch processes, especially for pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals. To be most effective, juniors interested in our research are recommended to consider taking the ChBE 170 course offered each spring semester. This course is on the Design and Analysis of Experiments. The related textbook has the same title and is authored by Professor Montgomery.

If you are interested in exploring a research engagement in the activities of the Systems Research Institute, please contact Professor Georgakis for an appointment to explore the available possibilities.

In the past several years we have involved several Tufts undergraduate students in research activities. We note here only two very exemplary cases:

Gene Bunin
  • Degree: B.S., Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts University
  • Degree: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University

Profile: Gene graduated from Tufts in 2007 with a double B.S. major in Chemical and Biological Engineering as well as in Mechanical Engineering. He authored a honors thesis with title: Model Predictive Control of Temperature in a Crystallizer: A Path to Automated Crystal Growth and Dissolution. After graduation, he spent two years in China (Zhejiang, Xinjiang) teaching English and learning Mandarin/Uyghur. He is presently pursuing a PhD at the Laboratoire d'Automatique of EPFL in Switzerland, with specialization on Optimization and an expected completion in 2014.


  • Bunin, G. A., F. V. Lima, C. Georgakis, et al.: "Model Predictive Control and Dynamic Operability Studies in a Stirred Tank Reactor: Rapid Temperature Cycling for Crystallization." Chemical Eng. Communications, 197 (5) pp. 733-752 (2010)
  • Detailed publication list from Gene Bunin.
W. Alex Marvin
  • Degree: B.S., Chemical Engineering, Tufts University

Profile: Alex graduated from Tufts in 2009 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He authored an honors thesis with the following title: “Using Design of Dynamic Experiments (DoDE) & Design of Experiments (DoE) to Optimize Batch Processes”. Alex started his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, in the research group of Professor Daoutidis. He graduated in 2013 and has accepted an offer with BASF, starting in Iselin, NJ.


  • Marvin, W. A., S. Rangarajan, P. Daoutidis (2013): "Automated Generation and Optimal Selection of Biofuel-Gasoline Blends and Their Synthesis Routes" Energy & Fuels, (in print)
  • Marvin, W. A., L. D. Schmidt, P. Daoutidis (2013) "Biorefinery Location and Technology Selection Through Supply Chain Optimization ", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 52 (9).
  • Daoutidis, P., W. A. Marvin, S. Rangarajan et al. (2013): "Engineering Biomass Conversion Processes: A Systems Perspective", AIChE Journal 59 (1) pp. 3-18.
  • Kelloway, A., W. A. Marvin, L. D. Schmidt et al. (2013): "Process Design and Supply Chain Optimization of Supercritical Biodiesel Synthesis from Waste Cooking Oils", Chemical Engineering Research and Design.
  • Daoutidis, P., A. Kelloway, W. A. Marvin et al. (2013) "Process Systems Engineering for Biorefineries: New Research Vistas", Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering.
  • Marvin, W. A., L. D. Schmidt, S. Benjaafar et al. (2012) "Economic Optimization of a Lignocellulosic Biomass-to-Ethanol Supply Chain", Chemical Engineering Science 67 (1) pp. 68-79.
SRI Director
Dr. Christos Georgakis
Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Gordon Senior Faculty Fellow of Systems Engineering
Tufts University
Affiliated Faculty at Tufts
Dr. Kyongbum Lee
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Tufts University
Dr. Nikhil Nair
Asistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Tufts University
Affiliated Faculty Outside Tufts
Dr. Bhavik Bakshi
Professor , Departmants of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio State University
Dr. Dominique Bonvin
Professor, Automatic Control Laboratory École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL) Switzerland
Dr. B. Erik Ydstie
Professor, Departmant of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Professor of Electrical Engineering by Courtesy, CMU , and Professor II of Electrical Engineering at NUST, Trondheim, Norway
Contact SRI
Tufts University
Science and Technology Center
4 Colby Strett, Room 273
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-2573
(617) 627-3991 [FAX]