Carnegie Mellon University

Arthur Westerberg

Arthur Westerberg

University Emeritus Professor, Chemical Engineering


Professor Westerberg retired as of June, 2004.  He is no longer carrying out an active research program.  Brief descriptions of the last three research projects on which he worked before retirement are as follows:

Professor Westerberg, with PhD student Lifei Cheng (co-directed with E. Subrahmanian), created a simulation/ optimization/ design/ operation capability for stochastic models that describe the long-term future behavior of a process. This work showed how to formulate a problem with multiple objectives so it can be properly decomposed using a dynamic programming based algorithm. It also demonstrated, with a small problem, the very significant impact on solutions one will find that trade off present worth and risk.

PhD student John Siirola (co directed with Steinar Hauan) demonstrated the synergy of using many types of collaborating agents to solve complex single and multi-objective optimization problems.   This work demonstrated that the approach truly parallelizes - using 100 computers solved problems, such as designing a chip-based chemical separator, 100 times faster than using one computer.  Collaborating diverse agents solved problems seven to eight times faster still, while including multiple formulations enhanced performance by another factor of two to three.

Work in the n-dim group has developed information modeling environments and LIRE' . These systems support collaboration, history-keeping, design environment evolution, and event-handling for distributed teams of engineers carrying complex work processes such as design.


Ph.D. 1964, Imperial College, University of London, England
M.S, 1961, Princeton University
B.S. 1960, University of Minnesota


Representative Publications

Siirola, J.D., S. Hauan and A.W. Westerberg, "Toward Agents-Based Process Systems Engineering:Proposed Agent Framework," Comp. Chem. Engng., 27(12), 1801-1811 (2003).

Subrahmanian, E., A.W. Westerberg, S. Talukdar, J. Garrett, A. Jacobson, C. Paredis, C. Amon, P.M. Herder, A. Turk, "Integrating Social Aspects and Group Work Aspects in Engineering Design Education," International Journal of Engineering Education, 19(1) (2003) .

Westerberg, A.W., "Unsolved Problems in Process/Product Systems Engineering,"   Proc. Ohio State University Chemical Engineering Centennial Symposium, April 24 and 25 (2003).

Westerberg, A.W., "A Retrospective on Design and Process Synthesis," Comp. chem.. Engng, 28, 447-458 (2004).

Cheng, L., E. Subrahmanian, and A.W. Westerberg, "Multiobjective Decision Processes under Uncertainty: Applications, Problem Formulations, and Solution Strategies," Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 44, 2405-2415 (2005).

Davis , J.G., E. Subrahmanian, and A.W. Westerberg, "The 'Global' and the 'Local' in Knowledge Management," J. Knowledge Management, Special Issue on Technology, 9(1), 101-112 (2005).