Ignacio E. Grossmann

DBR Distinguished Speaker Series 2015-2016

"The Increasing Scope of Optimization in the Oil and Gas Industry"


The oil and gas industry has traditionally relied on mathematical optimization, by starting early on using liner programming for optimizing the planning of refineries. Much progress since then has taken place in the development of mathematical programming techniques since they can currently handle discrete variables, nonlinearities, nonconvex functions and uncertainties.

As we will show in this presentation, this has led to an increase of the scope that can be handled in the oil and gas industry. We first describe mixed-integer optimization models for the design and planning of offshore oil and gas infrastructures, and their extension to account for uncertainties in the size and deliverability of reservoirs, which gives rise to challenging multistage programming problems. We next describe how mixed-integer nonlinear programming models can be developed for the multiperiod planning of refineries with crude sequencing, to the scheduling of crude oil deliveries to refineries, and to multiperiod blending of final products. Finally, we also show that design and operating decisions for shale gas production are amenable to modeling with mathematical programming techniques. For the former, we describe a nonconvex optimization model for the design and planning of supply chains for shale gas that includes multiwall pads, pipelines, and natural gas plants. For the latter we describe a scheduling model for optimal water management in the fracturing operations.


Professor Grossmann is the Dean University Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. He has been Department Head (1994-2002), and director of the Center for Advanced Process Decision-making (2005-2015).

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he has received the following AIChE awards, Computing in Chemical Engineering, William H. Walker for Excellence in Publications, Warren Lewis for Excellence in Education, and Research Excellence in Sustainable Engineering.

In 2015 he was the first recipient of the Sargent Medal by the IChemE. He has honorary doctorates from Abo Akademi in Finland, University of Maribor in Slovenia, Technical University of Dortmund in Germany, and University of Cantabria in Spain. His research interests are in the areas of mixed-integer, disjunctive and stochastic programming, energy systems including petroleum, shale gas and biofuels, water networks, and planning and scheduling for enterprise-wide optimization.

He has over 400 publications and has graduated over 50 PhD students.

Ignacio Grossman

Ignacio E. Grossmann

Center for Advanced Process Decision-making
Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University


Feb. 26, 2016


3:30 - 4:30 p.m.


CCIS L2-190