AVESTAR Center for Operational Excellence of Clean Energy Plants


Dr. Stephen E. Zitney, Ph.D.
Director, AVESTAR Center
Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research
U.S. Department of Energy
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Morgantown, WV

Abstract:  To address challenges in attaining operational excellence for clean energy plants, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched a world-class facility for Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (AVESTARTM). The AVESTAR Center brings together state-of-the-art, realtime, high-fidelity dynamic simulators with operator training systems (OTSs) and 3D virtual immersive training systems (ITSs) into an integrated energy plant and control room environment. This presentation will highlight the AVESTARTM Center simulators, facilities, and comprehensive training, education, and research programs focused on the operation and control of high-efficiency, near-zero-emission energy plants.

Bio:  Dr. Zitney has over 20 years experience in process systems engineering R&D, with a strong emphasis in the areas of steady-state and dynamic process simulation and optimization; real-time operator training systems (OTS) and 3D virtual immersive training systems (ITS); process/equipment co-simulation and computational fluid dynamics (CFD); and advanced numerical methods and high-performance computing.

At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Dr. Zitney serves as Director for the Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training And Research (AVESTAR) Center which provides R&D, education, and training for the operation and control of advanced energy systems. Launched in March 2011, the AVESTAR Center offers full-scope, real-time dynamic simulators with combined OTS/ITS capabilities, including gasification with carbon capture, combined cycle power generation, and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) with carbon capture.

Dr. Zitney also directs Process & Dynamic Systems Research under NETL’s Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA) with Carnegie Mellon University, the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and West Virginia University. This collaborative R&D program addresses the computational and optimization challenges arising in all major phases of the energy plant lifecycle from process design and optimization to plant operations and control.

Before joining NETL in 2004, Dr. Zitney held senior consulting and R&D management positions at Fluent, a leading provider of CFD software, Aspen Technology, a major supplier of process simulation software, and Cray Research, a leading provider of supercomputing tools to the process industries. He received M.S./Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Zitney has authored and co-authored over 70 publications, 120 conference presentations, and 40 invited presentations in process systems engineering. He is currently a Trustee of the CACHE Corporation, member of the West Virginia Academy of Science, and an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) including Meeting Programming Co-Chair for the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting to be held in Pittsburgh, PA. He has also chaired and co-chaired numerous technical conference sessions and served as the Director of AIChE’s Computing and Systems Technology (CAST) Division. In addition, Dr. Zitney is the winner of numerous awards including four prestigious R&D100 Awards and six Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Sponsored by the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and cSEND.