Christos Maravelias on the Computing & Systems Technology Division (CAST)

Christos Maravelias joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2004, where he is currently the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor. He also currently serves as chair of the Computing & Systems Technology Division (CAST). We got a chance to catch up with Christos to learn more about the CAST division, and what keeps him involved.

Generally, what industries are your members involved in?

One of the advantages of the division is that the research we carry out has applications in a wide range of sectors, from oil & gas to food, and from chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Thus, our membership comes from academia, national labs, and a variety of industries.

What has been the greatest benefit of joining this division for you personally?

For me it has been the opportunity to meet colleagues from academia and industry and discuss recent developments in their fields; exchange ideas about common interests; and in general learn from them. Meeting graduate students is also one of the highlights of the CAST events.

Can you describe the biggest success that has come out of your division membership? For example, meeting mentors/mentees, networking, starting a new project that went beyond the division.

When I was starting my career as an independent faculty member (many years ago), meeting and discussing with some senior colleagues was very useful.

What is your favorite community activity that the members of your division work on together? For example, creating topical conferences/sessions, division dinners, hosting networking events, etc.

For me, it is the organization, and attendance, of our flagship conferences: Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design (FOCAPD), and Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Operations / Chemical Process Control (FOCAPO / CPC). These conferences take place once every five years and are quite different from regular conferences, in that they aim to provide a critical review of the advances in the field over the previous five years, and, importantly, at the same time identify open research problems and emerging areas. The quality of the presentations is high and the discussions we have during these meetings are thought provoking.

I had the pleasure and responsibility to co-organize the joint 2017 FOCAPO / CPC meeting and I really enjoyed the process of deciding the structure of the meeting, and then selecting the covered topics and the speakers. Our annual banquet, during the AIChE Annual Meeting, is also a great event.

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Christos Maravelias

Christos obtained his Diploma in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, an MSc in Operational Research from the London School of Economics (London, UK), and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. Read more