Douglas Cooper

Professor, University Teaching Fellow


Ph.D. University of Colorado (1985)

Current Research

  • Advanced Process Modeling, Monitoring and Control
  • Software Tools for Process Control System Analysis, Design, Tuning and Training
  • Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Life-Long Learning

Professional Activities

Member: International Society of Automation (ISA)
Member: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
Member: American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)

Research Statement

Research Interest: Process Control Analysis, Tuning and Training
Research efforts focus on new methods and procedures for process control system analysis, tuning and training. Current research efforts include such important areas as:

  • whole-plant modeling, simulation and control
  • automated controller design and tuning
  • dynamic matrix control (DMC) design and tuning
  • multivariable process identification and control

Research Interest: Adaptive Process Control
Adaptive controllers maintain performance by automatically adjusting their design as process conditions change. For adaptive controllers to make a major impact on industrial practice, however, they must be made easy for nonexperts to use and they must be made stable and robust over a broad range of applications. Lab research focuses on methods for automating the design, validation and implementation of adaptive controllers. Also under study are methods for automatically supervising controller performance after implementation to ensure the controller remains stable and robust while it is online.

Research Interest: Pattern-Based Control
The patterns exhibited in the recent history of certain process variables indicate the effectiveness of a controller in maintaining desired performance. This research explores how pattern analysis tools can be used for the online evaluation of controller performance. The pattern analysis results are then used to adjust the controller design or tuning to restore desired performance if it has degraded.

Previous Positions

2009-2011 Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Regional Campuses, University of Connecticut
2004-present Founder and Board of Directors member of Control Station, Inc., Tolland, CT
2004-2006 Department Head & Program Director of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut
2001-2004 Director of Engineering Computing Services, University of Connecticut
1997-2004 Director of the Process Control Consortium, University of Connecticut

Awards & Honors

2008 Excellence Award for Conference Publication, ISA Honors & Awards Committee
2005 Outstanding Paper in Division Award, ISA Automatic Controls Division
2004 Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Induction
2004 Connecticut Professor of the Year (Carnegie Foundation)
2003 Teaching Fellow of the University of Connecticut
2001 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, UConn Alumni Association

Recent Publications

“Practical Process Control – Proven Methods and Best Practices for Automatic PID Control,” e-textbook published on (2008).

Burns, J. W., and D. J. Cooper, “Active NOx Control of Cogen Gas Turbine Exhaust Using a Nonlinear Feed Forward with Cascade Architecture”, Proc. 54th ISA POWID Symp., 487, 285 (2011)

Howard, R., and D. J. Cooper, “A Novel, Pattern-Based Approach for Diagnostic Controller Performance Monitoring”, Control Engineering Practice, 18, 279 (2010).

Howard, R., and D. J. Cooper, “Performance Assessment of Non-Self-Regulating Controllers in a Cogeneration Power Plant”, Applied Energy Journal, 86, 2121 (2009).

Arbogast, J. E., B. M. Beauregard and D. J. Cooper, “Intuitive robust stability metric for PID control of self- regulating processes”, ISA Transactions, 47, 420 (2008).

Rice, R., and D. J. Cooper, “Improved Control of Liquid Level Loops,” Chem. Engr. Progress, 104, 54 (2008).

Arbogast, J. E., B. M. Beauregard and D. J. Cooper, “Controller Tuning For Performance And Robust Stability”, Proc. Annual ISA Analysis Division Symposium, 1, 136 (2007).

Arbogast, J., R. Rice and D. J. Cooper, “Graphical Technique for Modeling Integrating (Non-Self Regulating) Processes without Steady-State Process Data”, Chem. Eng. Communications, 194, 1566 (2007).

Dougherty, D., and D. J. Cooper, “Tuning Guidelines for DMC of Integrating (Non-Self Regulating) Processes”, Industrial & Engr. Chem. Research, 42, 1739 (2003).

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4020
Mailing Address191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222 Storrs, CT 06269-3222
Office LocationUTEB-254