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Doctoral degree awarded to the former DYN researcher, Lukas Samuel Maxeiner

On September 29, 2020, Lukas Samuel Maxeiner who had been supervised by Prof. Engell, finished the procedures for his doctoral degree with the oral examination at TU Dortmund.

Lukas Samuel Maxeiner, from 2014 to 2020 a member of the DYN group at TU Dortmund and now with Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH obtained the Dr.-Ing degree for his dissertation “Dual-based methods for distributed optimization of interconnected systems”, with the following brief abstract:

Many large-scale challenges can be described as the optimal allocation of resources between individual systems that are interconnected and coupled via these shared resources. Even though the different systems may be administratively distributed or autonomous, they must interact and agree in order to perform their tasks or satisfy their needs. A chemical site is such a challenge that consists of many interconnected systems that share resources, as energy and material, via networks. In this case, the optimal allocation of resources enables more efficient production. However, optimization across system boundaries, in the example of the chemical site across the business unit or company boundaries, is one of the main challenges towards a more economical and ecological operation, since such problems are usually not tackled efficiently. The conventional approach, monolithic optimization, is mostly not possible, since the different systems act autonomously and require a certain degree of confidentiality, especially when different systems compete with each other. To overcome this, dual-based distributed optimization methods can be applied. Instead of solving the problem directly, the optimal solution is iteratively determined via optimization on the system level as well as communication of marginal information between the systems and a neutral coordinator. In this thesis, extensive overviews of such methods as well as of their domains of application are given. A newly proposed method, analytical extrapolation, reduces the effort to solve quadratic problems with relatively few overarching constraints. Distributed optimization methods are applied and compared for static and dynamic optimization problems. In the static case, the optimal allocation of resources in a chemical park is investigated. In the dynamic case, the optimal distribution of resources between inherently discontinuous processes using the example of chemical semi-batch reactors is analyzed. Resulting economic benefits are analyzed, and practical considerations for the implementation of dual-based distributed optimization are outlined.

After the doctoral exam, he and the Examination Committee celebrated outside the building, obeying the rules for social distancing. The thesis resulted from the EU project CoPro that was coordinated by Prof. Engell. Congratulations to Lukas Samuel Maxeiner!