Professor David Littlejohn is the Philips Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a Special Advisor to the university’s Vice Chancellor. Previous leadership roles at Strathclyde have included Executive Dean of Science, Associate Principal, Associate Deputy Principal for Research, and Head of the Chemistry department. Professor Littlejohn is also the Operations Director of the Centre for Process Analytics and Control Technology (www.cpact.com), which he co-founded as a multi-disciplinary industry-university consortium in 1997. CPACT currently has 46 company and academic/research organisations located worldwide. Professor Littlejohn has published widely on various topics in analytical chemistry from atomic spectroscopy to process analysis. He currently serves on a number of external bodies in the UK including the National Physical Laboratory’s Science and Technology Advisory Council, and the Technical Advisory Committee and Advisory Board of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
The petrochemical and oil sector has a well-established practice of integrating process analysers into processing and manufacturing plants for control of operations. The industry’s use of real-time or close to real-time measurements for process optimisation and control pre-dated similar developments in other sectors and has continued to advance. This talk will reflect on developments in analyser and related technologies that offer advantages to process analysis and control in the petrochemicals and oil sector. The complementary benefits of process modelling through “soft sensors” will also be covered, with examples taken from projects undertaken by the Centre for Process Analytics and Control Technology (www.cpact.com) in conjunction with petrochemical partners. CPACT, formed in 1997, is an international industry-academic multi-disciplinary community of practice which promotes the development and use of advanced technological solutions for in situ measurements, data analysis, modelling, and control in different process industries. Developments in visualising process data cleansing and modelling based on CPACT research focussed on petrochemicals applications will also be mentioned to indicate the importance of maximising the extraction of information from large process data.