Our Legacy and Mission

The Center for Process Analysis and Control (CPAC) was established in 1984 at the University of Washington as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). CPAC is now a self-sustaining organization, with a successful consortium of sponsors recruited from all sectors of industry, as well as maintaining contact with several government agencies. The CPAC program can be summarized by three main components:

  1. the investigation of new measurement approaches based on the miniaturization of traditional instrumentation and the development of new sensors and non-traditional instruments based on fundamentally different sensing mechanisms, often not associated with traditional analytical chemistry techniques
  2. the investigation of issues related to the integration of process measurement with process modeling and control, including: process analyzer and process model robustness, process sampling, improved analyzer data treatments, and cross-cultural education between measurement and control communities
  3. The improvement of mechanisms for interaction, collaboration, and communication of Center activities, research programs, government agencies, and the general measurement and control community. This activity has resulted in the creation of several working forums to increase the multi-disciplinary interaction.

In addition, CPAC is also involved in a variety of initiatives for enhancing the development of measurement strategies that complement new directions in manufacturing technology, including: combinatorial approaches and high throughput screening for new materials discovery (ranging from catalysis to biological materials), issues of process optimization (including development and diagnostics), and the concept of just-in-time manufacturing.

CPAC has an established track record in fostering academic/industrial/national laboratory interactions, which aim at bridging the gap between basic research and full-scale process/product development. The CPAC Rome, Italy (March) Workshop and CPAC Summer Institute (July) are part of this mission to provide continuing education opportunities in the areas of Process Analysis and Control. The workshops are held in an informal format, with technical presentations, and time allotted for both open discussion of the presentations and general brainstorming on topics that arise from this interaction. The overall focus of these gatherings, Topics in Process Analysis and Control, has from its onset placed special emphasis on developing trends in micro-instrumentation. The informal environment has created a successful format for bringing together measurement scientists and process engineers from industry, government, and academic institutions drawn from both CPAC and non-CPAC sponsors.