It is as the old saying goes: “One’s knowledge increases when it is given away.”
It is for this reason that LIINES graduate students are often encouraged to become TA’s as part of the graduate program. One good example is first year graduate student is Steffi Muhanji who was recently featured as a Teaching Assistant in an article in Dartmouth Engineering Magazine. As a Thayer B.E. graduate, Steffi has intimate knowledge of the undergraduate engineering major and has TA’d ENGS 73 (Materials Selection and Processing) under the guidance of Prof. Harold Frost and Prof. Ulrike Wegst. Steffi is also TA’ing ENGS 22 (Systems) this Fall 2016.
See what Steffi and other Thayer students had to say about the best part, hardest part, and lessons learned of the TA’ing experience.
Prof. Amro M. Farid joins the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center as an affiliated Researcher
On Tuesday May 17, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid presented at the Third International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy Systems in Portland, Oregon. The presentation entitled: “Microgrids as a Key Enabling Transactive Energy Technology for Resilient Self-Healing Power Grid Operation” featured some of the LIINES’ recent research on resilience in power systems.
Building upon the recent IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Controls, the presentation advocated the concept of resilience self-healing operation in future power grids. This continues to be an important area of LIINES research and has been the subject of several recent blogposts. (See here, here and here). The concept of resilient power systems effectively means that healthy regions of the grid can continue to operate while disrupted and perturbed regions bring themselves back to normal operation. A key technology enabling this resilience is microgrids because they are often able to island themselves from the rest of the grid and continue to operate successfully. In this presentation, the microgrids were controlled with a transactive energy control architecture that couples several control layers to achieve both technical reliability as well as cost effectiveness. Furthermore, the presentation showed the ability for several microgrids to self-coordinate so as to demonstrate “strength-in-numbers” when adverse power grid conditions like net load ramps and variability arise. The presentation concluded with the need for significant new research where transactive energy control concepts are intertwined with recent work on power grid enterprise control.
In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.
On April 27th, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid gave an invited lecture at the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) Spring Technical Workshop held in Sacramento, CA. The presentation entitled: “Enterprise Control as a Holistic Assessment Method for Variable Generation & Demand Response Integration” featured many of the LIINES’ research on renewable energy integration assessment methodologies.
The presentation advocated the concept of “Power Grid Enterprise Control” which has been the subject of several recent blogposts. (See here and here). Traditionally, power system operation & control methods are conducted individually. In contrast, “Power Grid Enterprise Control” integrates these methods into a single simulation of how a power system enterprise behaves as a physical power grid tied to multiple layers of control, optimization and market behavior. Such an integrated approach provides techno-economic performance results of the power grid. Furthermore, it highlights trade-off decisions between technical reliability and cost performance. The presentation showed how enterprise control simulation can be used to study renewable energy, energy storage, and demand-side energy resources.
In depth materials on LIINES smart grid research can be found on the LIINES website.
Journal Paper accepted at IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics – An Axiomatic Design of a Multi-Agent Reconfigurable Mechatronic System Architecture
The LIINES is pleased to announce the acceptance of the paper “An Axiomatic Design of a Multi-Agent Reconfigurable Mechatronic System Architecture” to the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. The paper is authored by Prof. Amro M. Farid and Prof. Luis Ribeiro.
Recent trends in manufacturing require production facilities to produce a wide variety of products with an increasingly shorter product lifecycle. These trends force production facilities to adjust and redesign production lines on a more regular basis.
Reconfigurable manufacturing systems are designed for rapid change in structure; in both hardware and software components to address the required changes in production capacity and functionality.
Qualitative methods have recently been successful in achieving reconfigurability through multi-agent systems (MAS). However, their implementation remains limited, as an unambiguous quantitative reference architecture for reconfigurability has not yet been developed.
A design methodology based on quantitative reconfigurability measurement would facilitate a logical, and seamless transition between the five stages of the MAS design methodology, as shown below.
Previous work on the reconfigurability of automated manufacturing systems has shown that reconfigurability depends primarily on architectural decisions made in stages 1, 2, 3, and 5. Operational performance of the manufacturing system after the reconfiguration is also important, but is often overlooked by the existing literature. As a result, it’s not clear:
- The degree to which existing designs have achieved their intended level of reconfigurability.
- Which systems are quantitatively more reconfigurable.
- How these designs may overcome their inherent design limitations to achieve greater reconfigurability in subsequent design iterations.
In order to address the previously mentioned issues with existing design methodologies, this paper develops a multi-agent system reference architecture for reconfigurable manufacturing systems driven by a quantitative and formal design approach, directly in line with the above Figure.
The paper uses Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Engineering Systems to support a well-conceptualized architecture, which is necessary for excellent production system performance. Additionally, Axiomatic Design highlights potential design flaws at an early conceptual stage. This results in the first formal and quantitative reference architecture based on rigorous mathematics.
About the Author
Wester C.H. Schoonenberg completed his B.Sc. in Systems Engineering and Policy Analysis Management at Delft University of Technology in 2014. After his bachelors’ degree, Wester started his graduate work for the LIINES at Masdar Institute, which he continues as a doctoral student at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 2015. Currently, Wester is working on the integrated operation of electrical grids and production systems with a special interest in Zero Carbon Emission Manufacturing Systems.
The LIINES wants to congratulate Deema F. Allan with a successful defense of her master thesis entitled: “Enhance Electric Vehicle Adoption Scenarios for Abu Dhabi Road Transportation”. Deema joined the LIINES in 2014 to work on transportation electrification. The past two and a half years Deema has progressed the research in the lab incredibly as a result of her admirable dedication and perseverance. We wish Deema all the best in her future work and we are confident that her passion will lead to great achievements.