Mayuresh Kothare, the R.L. McCann Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering, was invited to China and Singapore recently to share his expertise in multivariable constrained control systems with students and faculty.
In June, Kothare gave a dozen hours of lectures to seniors and graduate students in an advanced automation course at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai. He delivered a seminar to faculty and doctoral students titled “Control of constrained multivariable systems using Linear Matrix Inequalities.”
Automation, Kothare says, involves developing ways to make manual operations automatic, thereby optimizing productivity and making processes more efficient. While automation research is conducted in several engineering disciplines in the United States, ECUST has a separate automation department in its School of Information Science.
After his visit to ECUST, Kothare traveled to Singapore, where he delivered an invited keynote talk titled “Dynamics and Control of Integrated Microchemical Systems” at the International Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes (ADCHEM.) He was one of several invited keynote speakers at this conference, which included eight additional contributed keynotes, three invited plenary lectures and about 150 regular contributed papers.
The opportunity to lecture at ECUST resulted from Kothare’s appointment there as visiting professor in the automation department. Lehigh and ECUST have developed a collaborative relationship that Kothare believes will be beneficial for both schools.
“The collaboration allows us to recruit students, develop an ongoing relationship with professors from ECUST and share ideas,” said Kothare, who joined the Lehigh faculty in 1998.
International experiences are important to a student’s overall academic experience, says Kothare. His own students have embarked on research trips and taken internships at universities and labs around the world. And junior chemical engineering majors recently spent a summer doing research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
“Universities are getting more and more global, and with ECUST, we hope to see if we can find synergy for research,” he said.
Kothare enjoyed working with the students and faculty at ECUST, describing the interactions as positive and educational. The ECUST faculty is invested in instructing students from a global perspective and is looking to incorporate American instruction techniques. Recently, two ECUST professors, Zhiqiang Sun and Wang Huazhong, spent a sabbatical at Lehigh, working with Kothare in his research group.
Kothare, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), studies microchemical systems, feedback control and neuroengineering. His current projects include a collaboration with neurologists at Johns Hopkins University to measure the effect of sensory feedback on the transmission of brain signals and a project with Prof. Shivaji Sircar, an adsorption expert at Lehigh, to make a lighter medical oxygen concentrator.
In September, Kothare will join a Lehigh delegation including President Alice P. Gast and Mohamed S. El-Aasser, vice president for international affairs, on a 10-day trip to six universities in China. These are ECUST, Southeast University, Tongji University, Beijing Normal University, East China Normal University and the University of Science and Technology of China.