Professor Roger W.H. Sargent Lecture
Professor Roger W.H. Sargent has had an unparalleled influence in the world of Process Systems Engineering through his vision, his leadership and his numerous technical contributions. 


Professor Roger W.H. Sargent is the founding director of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial College from 1989 to his retirement in 1992. Professor Sargent has played a unique role in shaping the future of systems engineering research. His contributions have been recognized by many awards, most recently by IChemE. In 2015, IChemE created the Sargent Medal for research in computer aided product and process engineering in honour of Professor Sargent. The medals are designed to recognise the work of members of the chemical engineering academic community, who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession and society.

“We are very pleased to announce the names behind our new medals and celebrate some of their iconic achievements and contributions stretching back nearly a hundred years...IChemE is looking forward to celebrating their historic achievements and perpetuating their names in the future by awarding their medals to the next generations of chemical engineers for decades to come.” Claudia Flavell-While, IChemE Director of Publications. 

In 1994, we inaugurated an annual lectureship as a tribute to Roger Sargent’s excellence and his legacy in the field of Process Systems Engineering. The Lectures are free and open to the public.

The 25th Professor Roger Sargent Lecture will be delivered by Professor Babatunde A Ogunnaike, University of Delaware on Thursday 6 December 2018. More details can be found below.


Biological Control Systems: Systems Biology of Diseases and the Design of Effective Treatments

The mammalian organism maintains stable, efficient and “near-optimal” performance and homeostasis in the face of external and internal perturbations via distinct biological systems ranging from the large-scale physiological (nervous, endocrine, immune, circulatory, respiratory, etc.), to the cellular (growth and proliferation regulation, DNA damage repair, etc.), and the sub-cellular (gene expression, protein synthesis, metabolite regulation, etc). “Biological Control Systems,” a sub-topic of Control Theory, arises from a control engineering perspective of the function, organization, and coordination of these multi-scale biological systems and the control mechanisms that enable them to carry out their functions effectively.

In this presentation, we will provide an overview of how physiological life is made possible by control, and demonstrate the usefulness of a control engineering perspective of pathologies for diagnosis, design, and implementation of effective treatments. The concepts and principles will be illustrated using three specific examples with significant research and clinical implications: Ca++ Regulation (see Fig 1); TGF-β and prostate cancer; and Platelet Deficiency Control.

Fig 1: The Calcium Regulation Control System.
Fig 1: The Calcium Regulation Control System.


Babatunde A. Ogunnaike is the William L. Friend Chaired Professor of chemical engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware. He received the B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; the M.S. degree, in Statistics and the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering both from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The Ogunnaike group is interested in understanding the dynamic behavior of complex systems through mathematical modeling and analysis, and then exploiting this understanding for postulating novel designs and improved operation. Specific systems of interest range from polymer reactors, particulate processes and extruders, to biological processes at the cellular and physiological levels.

He is the author or co-author of four books including a widely used textbook, Process Dynamics, Modeling and Control, and Random Phenomena: Fundamentals of Probability and Statistics for Engineers. His awards include the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 1998 CAST Computing Practice Award, the 2007 ISA Eckman Award, and the 2008 AACC Control Engineering Practice award. He was named a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2009, and elected a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering in 2012, and of the US National Academy of Inventors in 2014. He is a 2016 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a 2017 fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2012.

Date and Venue

  • Thursday 6 December 2018  ·  17:30
  • Lecture Theatre 3 (Room 333), Department of Chemical Engineering, Roderic Hill Building, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ.
  • Tea and coffee will be served before the lecture from 16:30  in the Common Room (Room 228), Department of Chemical Engineering, Level 2, ACE Extension Building