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The Texas A&M Energy Institute hosted a one-day conference on Monday, April 4, 2016, to create an opportunity for researchers across the state to share their research and educational developments in the field.

Texas Optimization Day, made possible by sponsorships, provided a chance for researchers, practitioners and policymakers in the state of Texas to collaborate and, as a result, build a community to promote fundamental and applied optimization research in the region.

Dr. Sergiy Butenko, professor and Donna and Jim Furber ‘64 Faculty Fellow in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, was one of the organizers of the inaugural event.

“Since this is the first year for this event, a goal of ours is to decide on the format, locations and potential sources of funding for the Texas Optimization Day in the future,” Butenko said.

Dr. Christodoulos A. Floudas, director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and Erie Nye ‘59 Chair Professor for Engineering Excellence in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M, was pleased with the response they received for the event.

“I am excited to see so many people from the various institutions around the state,” Floudas said. “We were pleased to welcome representatives from The University of Texas at Arlington, Prairie View A&M University, Houston Baptist University, Rice University, The University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University, the University of Houston and Texas A&M University.”

Presentations covered topics from improving the flow of the shipping industry to finding cohesive groups within graphs to social media advertisement costs.

Dr. Stratos Pistikopoulos, associate director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and TEES Distinguished Research Professor in chemical engineering, was impressed with the vast range of topics that were presented.

“It was very interesting to hear the kinds of things our peers are working on,” he said. “I am excited to see the partnerships that develop as a result of the event today.”

Floudas is passionate about impacting society through energy research and looks forward to the future of the event.

“The Energy Institute is focused on important scientific and technological energy challenges that impact our society,” he said. “With events like the Texas Optimization Day, we are creating relationships among researchers that will help conquer those challenges.”