The State Key Laboratory of Synthetical Automation for Process Industries (SAPI) pursues fundamental research and advanced cutting-edge technology development to meet the requirements on high automation performance, intelligent and optimal manufacturing in process industries under green environment. Technically, SAPI focuses on the development of data-driven control theory and technology, including intelligent data modelling, advanced control and smart decision-making techniques for complex process industries. SAPI promotes automation technology with national characteristics and keeps the top international and national reputation in mind and establishes an innovative-talent-cultivation mechanism through combining scientific researches with teaching and talents training programs.
SAPI has very strong leadership in the working field and attracted many outstanding academics around the world to work in the lab, including 4 Academicians (including 2 overseas Academicians), 12 IEEE Fellows and 7 IFAC Fellows, 11 “Thousand Talent Plan” scientists, 15 Distinguished Young Scholars of Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Chair Professors of Cheung Kong Scholars Program, 4 NSFC innovative research groups, and 2 Discipline Basements of Innovation and Talent Recruitment (111 Plan).
With the excellent research environment and opportunities, SAPI has established experimental platforms for teaching and research on the following specific topics such as intelligent data modelling, control and decision-making; smart control system design for process industry, big data processing for industrial monitoring systems, networked control systems and cloud computing; and integrated automation system design.
Along with the associated National Engineering Research Center, SAPI continuously renovates itself and opens a door for rapidly transferring fundamental research outcomes to advanced technologies with real world applications. Over the past years, SAPI has devoted to developing a theoretical framework for operational optimization and control, which is well recognized nationally and internationally. Its technical contributions have been awarded as the best papers for many times in top journals and prestigious international conferences. Its synthetical automation system with effective energy saving outcome has received considerable attention over the world and have received National Science and Technology Award for many times. On September 11th, 2013, Vice Premier of China, Yandong Liu, visited SAPI and made the following comments: In regard to the great demand for production automation, the lab has deeply integrated industrialization with information technology, academic study with talent training, and scientific research with industrial applications, and has achieved great innovative accomplishments with great reputation and recognition by international experts. These contributions substantially support the national goal of industrial production automation, which could play an important role in implementation of the ‘Four Modernizations’ of China.
SAPI carries out extensive and comprehensive international collaboration, having a great impact on the global research and engineering community. The two presidents of IEEE Control Systems Society have visited SAPI and expressed their great appreciation on their “President’s Message” in the top journal IEEE Control Systems Magazine. The present president Prof. Maria Elena Valcher made the following comments: “the State Key Lab is just astonishing for the number of people working there (after 9 p.m.), the research funds it is able to attract, and the number of science and technology awards it has received......I believe that what Prof. Chai has been able to achieve has no equivalent in the academic world of automation.”