UTC-IASE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Stuber


This week’s faculty spotlight is on Dr. Matthew Stuber, an assistant professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Stuber received his Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research focuses on Process Systems Engineering topics of (1) Global Optimization, (2) Process Improvement and Intensification, (3) Renewable Energy and Process Integration, (4) Model Validation, and (5) formal Robust Design Under Uncertainty. Over the course of the summer, Dr. Stuber, and his students will be participating in a variety of conferences, presentations, and research projects across the country and internationally.


One of Dr. Stuber’s co-advised students, William Hale, will be presenting at the American Controls Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 27th-29th. The presentation is titled “Design of Built-In Tests for Robust Active Fault Detection and Isolation of Discrete Faults in Uncertain Systems”. Dr. Stuber will also be chairing the session titled “Fault Detection 1”, Friday June 29th. Another one of Dr. Stuber’s students, Matthew Wilhelm, will be presenting at the second annual JuMP-dev Workshop on June 27th-29th, at the Institut de Mathematiques de Bordeaux, Universite de Bordeaux, in France. The talk is titled “EAGO: A Deterministic Nonconvex Optimization Package for Julia”.


In addition, Dr. Stuber’s lab is hosting a student this summer as part of the UConn eREU program. UConn’s Entrepreneurial Research Experience for Undergraduates program (eREU) aims to immerse students in an integrated program containing entrepreneurship training and fundamental engineering research experience. This student will help to develop a new software and controls technology for significant energy-savings in municipal wastewater treatment and help develop a business and commercialization model around the technology.


Dr. Stuber and his students are also involved in conducting cancer research, using a new mathematical and numerical analysis approach. They will apply first-principles spatiotemporal conservation and transport equations to model solid tumors, an example being malignant breast tumors. With data that is supplied by the lab’s experimental and clinical collaborators at the University of Cyprus and the University of Tokyo, they will apply novel methods in global optimization to validate the models, and then use these models to understand the phenomena and limitations behind drug and nutrient transport in tumors. They will also use these models to understand the effects of certain drug therapies. More specifically, they are using the validated models to better understand how using certain drug therapies to modify the tumor microenvironment can enhance patient outcomes. They are hoping to publish this work and its findings in about a month.


Dr. Stuber is currently in the process of judging the Water Abundance XPrize. This is a $1.75 million dollar competition for innovators and start-up companies to prove significant cost savings and efficiency improvements in atmospheric water generation to solve the ultimate challenge of broad water security. In terms of upcoming publications and research, he has recently submitted a paper for the upcoming special issue of “Modeling and Simulation of Energy Systems” for the journal Processes. This paper discusses the development of a new dynamic model of concentrated solar thermal energy systems for hybridizing industrial process heat application. This is a first-of-its-kind model, constructed for optimizing the design of the hybrid solar industrial process heat system from a new-technology investment perspective. Finally, the lab’s advanced deterministic global optimization software, written in the Julia programming language is up and published (https://github.com/MatthewStuber/EAGO.jl). The objective of this project is to provide users with advanced methods and algorithms for deterministic global optimization in an easy-to-use language (which is very similar to MATLAB or Python), but that also has the computing power of C and FORTRAN. New features are continuously being added to and developed for the new program.


Dr. Stuber was recently named the recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Computing and Systems Technology Division “W. David Smith, Jr. Graduate Publication Award”.  He was nominated for this award based on his paper “Convex and Concave Relaxations of Implicit Functions” published in 2015 in the journal Optimization Methods and Software.