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Center of Excellence

Companies Sponsor Center of Excellence in Chemical Engineering


Y.A. Liu


September 2016    China National Petroleum Company ("PetroChina"), Beijing, China, and Aspen Technology, Inc., ("AspenTech"), Bedford, Massachusetts, have signed a multi-year agreement with the Virginia Tech Foundation to sponsor a Center of Excellence in Process System Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The goal of the Center is to promote industrial training and graduate education in process system engineering for optimizing process manufacturing. Y. A. Liu, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, directs the Center.

PetroChina, FORTUNE's global top three corporation in terms of revenues in 2016, is the number one oil company in the world. AspenTech is the world's leading supplier of software that optimizes process manufacturing. The world’s leading oil and gas, chemical, engineering and construction, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods companies all rely on AspenTech software to run their business.

The process system engineering team in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech has a successful record of accomplishments in helping with technology development and engineering training for large global corporations such as Honeywell Specialty Materials and Technologies, Formosa Petrochemical Corporation, and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC). Over the past 20 years, Professor Liu and his graduate students have trained over 7,000 practicing engineers in the U.S., Taiwan and China to use advanced software tools to minimize costs and maximize profits in petrochemical operations. They have also published five pioneering textbooks in process system engineering that help with intelligent manufacturing, energy and water savings, and simulation and optimization of polymer plants and petroleum refineries.