The Chemical Institute of Canada has awarded Professor Luis Ricardez Sandoval the D. G. Fisher Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of systems and control engineering. This prestigious award celebrates the lifetime achievements of exceptional researchers in Canada.

Ricardez-Sandoval spearheads research initiatives focused on optimal integration of planning, scheduling, control, and process design decisions for chemical and manufacturing systems in the presence of uncertainty. His pioneering work on CO2 capture and conversion technologies aims to mitigate carbon emissions thus promoting sustainability and circular carbon economy and employing first-principles modelling couples with multiscale modelling techniques for the design of novel catalyst materials and valuable chemical products, e.g. thin films. This research is supported through the development of theoretical and computational tools aimed to predict the behaviour of complex and emerging systems.

“I feel humbly honoured to be the recipient of this award. It makes me reflect on my career, my industrial collaborators, and more importantly, remember all my students whom I have collaborated with who have made significant contributions to my research. I feel blessed that they passed through my life and are like family to me now. I’m also grateful to my own family and for the support of my colleagues within the Department of Chemical Engineering and abroad,” says Ricardez-Sandoval, Canada Research Chair in Multiscale Modelling and Process Systems (Tier II).

Industry collaboration

Demonstrating the direct relevance of his work, Dr. Ricardez-Sandoval has successfully secured over $3.6 million in funding from industry and government sources. He has collaborated with entities such as Mitacs, NSERC, OCI, Activation Laboratories, Sartorius, Cooper-Standard, and Sinopec. His projects bridge the disciplines of computer science, combinatorics, optimization, and chemical engineering.

Supported by the Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Mitacs, one of his current projects has led to the establishment of a multidisciplinary research group at UW. This group focuses on machine learning, materials design, and optimization to develop catalysts for CO2 transformation, thus advancing circular carbon economy initiatives.

His research group, Chemical Process Optimization, Multiscale Modelling and Process Systems, collaborated with Natural Resources Canada to develop a comprehensive mathematical model to improve operations management and design decisions of pilot and industrial-scale gasification units.

Advancing engineering research

Ricardez-Sandoval also has an extensive publication record, authoring over 200 journal articles, 50 conference papers, four book chapters, and a book. His research papers include research topics such as optimization of CO2 capture technologies, like chemical looping combustion (CLC), as well as machine learning applications for nano- and macro-scale systems and product design.

Ricardez-Sandoval has delivered research seminars, keynote speeches, and plenary lectures at international conferences and symposiums. His aim in these addresses is to discuss critical social challenges such as climate change, integration of decision-making strategies in chemical and manufacturing systems using advanced optimization and machine learning techniques, and promoting the sustainability of emerging systems, e.g., recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).

In October, Ricardez-Sandoval will receive the award and deliver a symposium award lecture at the 2024 Canadian Conference of Chemical Engineering (CSChE 2024).