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Energy Institute Celebrates Prestigious Faculty Awards for Contributions to Multi-Scale Systems Engineering

Published: June 23, 2020
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Professor Mahmoud El-Halwagi, the Deputy Chair of the Texas A&M Energy Institute’s Interdisciplinary Academic Council, a Professor of Chemical Engineering, the Bryan Research and Engineering Chair in Chemical Engineering, and the Managing Director of TEES Gas and Fuels Research Center; along with Professor Efstratios N. Pistikopoulos, the Director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and a TEES Eminent Professor; have each been selected to receive prestigious international awards for their research and scholarship contributions to multi-scale systems engineering.

Mahmoud El-Halwagi

Mahmoud El-Halwagi

El-Halwagi has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award from the Computing & Systems Technology Division (CAST) of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). This award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of computing and systems technology to chemical engineering.

Typically, the award is presented at the CAST Division dinner at the AIChE Annual Meeting in the late fall, where the recipient addresses the community. The award is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, and notable past recipients from Texas A&M University include Professor Efstratios Pistikopoulos, who received the award in 2012, and the late Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas, who received the award in 2006.

El-Halwagi’s main areas of expertise are sustainability, process integration, synthesis, design, operation, and optimization. He is the author of three textbooks, the co-author of more than 450 refereed papers and book chapters, and the co-editor of 10 books. El-Halwagi has served as a consultant to a wide variety of chemical, petrochemical, petroleum, gas processing, pharmaceutical, and metal finishing industries. Recognized internationally, he is the recipient of several awards including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Sustainable Engineering Forum Research Excellence Award, the National Science Foundation’s National Young Investigator Award, and the Fluor Distinguished Teaching Award, and he is also a fellow of the AIChE. El-Halwagi received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.S. and B.S. from Cairo University.

Stratos Pistikopoulos

Stratos Pistikopoulos

Pistikopoulos has been selected to receive the 2020 Sargent Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). This honor is in recognition of outstanding and significant global contributions in the pioneering and advancement of research in the area of Process Systems Engineering (PSE).

Named after Roger Sargent, former president of IChemE and Courthaulds professor of chemical engineering at Imperial College, the medal was launched in 2014 to recognize a major contribution to research in the area of computer-aided product and process engineering. Sargent, thought by many to be the founding father of process systems engineering, had a huge influence both through his research and his many students.

Notable past recipients of the Sargent Medal include the late Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas, who received the award posthumously in 2016, as well as both Professors Floudas and Pistikopoulos’ own doctoral advisor, Professor Ignacio Grossmann, who was the inaugural recipient in 2014.

Professor Pistikopoulos is the Director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and a TEES Eminent Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He was a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, UK (1991-2015), and the Director of its Centre for Process Systems Engineering (2002-2009). At Texas A&M Energy Institute, he is also the Course Director of the Master of Science in Energy, the co-director of the Gulf Coast Smart Manufacturing regional center, the director of the Data Sciences Core of the Texas A&M SUPERFUND research center, and the Texas A&M Principal Investigator of the RAPID Institute on process intensification, co-leading the Modeling & Simulation Focus Area.

He holds a Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University and he worked with Shell Chemicals in Amsterdam before joining Imperial. Pistikopoulos has authored or co-authored over 450 major research publications in the areas of modeling, control, and optimization of process, energy, and systems engineering applications, 10 books, and 2 patents. He is a co-founder of Process Systems Enterprise (PSE) Ltd, a Fellow of AIChE and IChemE and the current Editor-in-Chief of Computers & Chemical Engineering. He is a past Chair of the Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division of AIChE and he serves as a trustee of the Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE) Organization.

In 2007, Prof. Pistikopoulos was a co-recipient of the prestigious MacRobert Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Computing in Chemical Engineering Award of CAST/AIChE. He received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University Politehnica of Bucharest in 2014 and the University of Pannonia in 2015. In 2013, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK.

About AIChE’s Computing & Systems Technology Division

The Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division is responsible for the wide range of activities within AIChE that involve the application of computers and mathematics to chemical engineering problems including process design, process control, operations, and applied mathematics.

About AIChE

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities, and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at

About IChemE

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) advances chemical engineering’s contribution worldwide for the benefit of society. IChemE supports the development of chemical engineering professionals and provides connections to a powerful network of around 35,000 members in 100 countries.

IChemE supports members in applying their expertise and experience to make an influential contribution to solving major global challenges, and are the only organization to award Chartered Chemical Engineer status and Professional Process Safety Engineer registration. More information about IChemE is available at