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David Miller, a Caucasian man with short brown hair, wire frame glasses, a light blue button up shirt, navy suit jacket, yellow tie, and khaki pants sitting in front of a screen that reads "AMPc: Advanced Manufacturing Processing Conference"
NETL’s David Miller Addresses 2022 Advanced Manufacturing & Processing Conference

NETL’s David Miller, Ph.D., senior fellow for Strategic Systems Analysis and Engineering, delivered a keynote address to kick off the 2022 Advanced Manufacturing & Processing Conference (AMPc) in Bethesda, Maryland, sharing the Lab’s perspective on optimizing decarbonized industrial and energy systems.

Miller, who also leads NETL’s Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES), provided the national laboratory perspective, with thought leaders from academia and industry rounding out the three conference keynotes.

“Over the next two decades, hundreds of billions of dollars will be invested in new, 21st century industrial and energy systems to meet goal of decarbonizing the energy sector by 2035 and greater economy by 2050,” Miller said. “These new processes and systems will be more dynamic and interconnected than ever before, offering unprecedented opportunities for innovation and the development of novel integrated systems.”

Miller discussed how new approaches for the design and integration of complex, interacting multiscale systems will be needed to ensure holistic understanding of the opportunity space and to accelerate development of the best technology options.

During the talk, he also highlighted how the IDAES process systems engineering framework and the Design Integration and Synthesis Platform to Advance Tightly Coupled Hybrid Energy Systems (DISPATCHES) enable the optimization of new designs and dynamic operations. These advancements will support process innovation that bridges multiple scales, including interactions among industrial processes and the bulk power system.

On the second day of the conference, NETL researchers led a workshop that served as an introduction to the IDAES process systems engineering framework, which was developed to address the gaps between state-of-the-art commercial simulation packages and general algebraic modeling languages by creating an extensible, equation-oriented process model library using Pyomo. The workshop covered the basics of IDAES and a brief introduction to Pyomo. Attendees learned how to set up a unit model, optimize flowsheets and estimate parameters associated with a property package within IDAES.

During the two-and-a-half day conference, NETL researchers also presented some of the Lab’s cutting-edge systems analysis and engineering work, including research on digital twins, which are virtualizations of physical plant assets and that mirror the structure and behavior of those assets in real life, and reinforcement learning, which allows a computer program to learn without user input.

“AMPc was a great opportunity for NETL to share what we are doing in the research space to help solve industry-relevant manufacturing challenges,” Miller said. “Working together with industry and academia, we are helping accelerate development and deployment of tomorrow’s energy and industrial systems to enable rapid decarbonization.”

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.