Optimization Techniques for Complex Energy Infrastructure Systems

Date: November 7, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm
Room: DBH 4011
Speaker: Russell Bent 
(Los Alamos National Lab)

Modern social and economic systems critically rely on the energy provided by complex, networked, systems such as electric power grids and natural gas pipeline systems. Although the functions of these systems are typically very robust, significant disruptions, such as those caused by extreme events, like Hurricane Maria and Superstorm Sandy, can have enormous societal impact. In this talk we discuss some of the key problems facing the nation’s energy infrastructure systems, computational and algorithmic challenges associated with solving these problems, and approaches we have developed to address this challenges.


Russell Bent received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Brown University in 2005. Since then he has been a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, USA. He is currently in the Applied Mathematics and Plasma Physics Group (T-5), where he leads LANL’s inter-organizational Advanced Network Sciences Initiative (ANSI)—https://lanl-ansi.github.io/.  ANSI is an interdisciplinary initiative that enables fundamental and applied research to address long-term challenges in critical infrastructure design, operation, and security. The primary philosophy of ANSI is that combining insights from Theoretical Physics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering can result in novel computational methods that address a variety of emerging challenges in infrastructure networks. Dr. Bent is the principal or co-principal investigator for DOE projects in critical infrastructure systems research and development that focus on improving robustness of infrastructure systems to extreme events, increasing resilience of distribution networks, modeling interdependencies between systems, managing disasters that impact critical infrastructure, modeling smart grid technologies, and developing methods for mixed-integer, non-linear optimization. He is also the lead developer for the software Alpine, A Global Solver for Nonconvex MINLPS (https://github.com/lanl-ansi/Alpine.jl) and the software GasModels.jl, a toolbox for modeling natural gas systems (https://github.com/lanl-ansi/GasModels.jl)  He is the author of one book, Online Stochastic Combinatorial Optimization, and over 80 peer reviewed journal and conference publications.

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