Chris Boljkovac


Process Modeling


Online Crude Column Relief Load Estimation

Shell (Canada)

Implementation of a model-based relief load estimator for a crude column. Online estimation of combined feed composition changes allowed maximum feed diet flexibility while ensuring continued safe operation.


Online Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning Benefit Estimation

Shell (Canada)

System to estimate heat exchanger fouling rates, flow maldistribution, bypass rates, and online/offline status of site heat exchangers. Economic analysis produced one-shot and aggregate cleaning benefits.


Online Safeguarding of a Fired Heater

Shell (Canada)

Development of an adaptive crude furnace model to improve firing limit prediction. The system ensured safe on-going operation while maximizing product yields.

Process Optimization


Optimal Heat Exchanger Bypass using Hydraulic Models

Shell (Canada)

Addition of network hydraulics to an existing online process model to support generation of optimal heat exchanger bypass flow targets. The system resulted in significant increases in feed preheat and reduced energy costs.


A&V Unit Real Time Optimization System

Shell (Canada)

Design and implementation of a real time optimization (RTO) system for a 155,000 bbl/d Upgrader A&V unit. Generated 36 advanced control (APC) targets with tools to monitor target utilization and constraint relaxation economic opportunities.


Energy Optimization System

Dow (USA)

Online optimization of a steam-power system using HYSYS.RTO. System included equipment selection/line-up optimization and offline what-if cases.


Refinery Steam Real Time Optimization System

Repsol (Spain)

Real time optimization system for a refinery steam/power facility. Operating targets included changes to boiler status and drive selections.


Hydrocracker Unit Real Time Optimization System

Petrochemia Plock (Poland)

Real time optimization system for a new hydrocracker unit (HCU) at a 200,000 bpd refinery. Delivered as part of an advanced control and automation project.


Energy Management System

Samsung Chemicals (South Korea)

Real time optimization system for the steam/power facility at a large petrochemical complex.


Energy Optimization Feasibility Study

Dow-Bayer-NOVA (Canada)

Study of the potential economic benefits of a multi-site steam/power optimization system.

Dynamic Simulation


Nickel Smelter Dynamic Model

Falconbridge (Canada)

Dynamic model of a 45MW electric furnace to predict matte, slag, and off-gas compositions. Used to investigate alternative operating conditions and evaluate process design changes.


Water Reservoir Management Study

SA Water (Australia)

Water reservoir process model and case study to determine the feasibility of developing a real time inventory management system.


Refinery Steam System Dynamic Model

Exxon (USA)

Dynamic fired boiler process model with advanced steam drum controls. Used to evaluate process modifications and control designs to improve disturbance rejection.



Correction and Compensation of Orifice Meter Flows

Shell (Canada)

Tool to improve the accuracy of measured vent gas flows used in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting.


Reconciled Flow Measurements for Emissions Reporting

Shell (Canada)

Incorporation of flow meter health and reconciled measurements for Refinery greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting.

Process Control


Model-Based Control of Diluent Production

Shell (Canada)

Development of a non-linear control method to produce high quality C5-C6 diluent with existing advanced control (APC) and optimization (RTO) applications.


Batch Control of Kraft Pulp Digestors

Domtar (Canada)

Enhancement of a large-scale batch digester advanced control program. Resulted in reduced cycle time and improved product quality.


Advanced Control of a Utility Boiler

Domtar (Canada)

Performance analysis, modification, and tuning of the advanced control system for a 230 tph utility boiler to improve load disturbance rejection.

Software Development


Mixed Integer Nonlinear Programming (MINLP) Algorithm

Aspen Technology (Canada)

Development of an object-oriented mixed integer optimization algorithm (MINLP) for HYSYS.RTO. The algorithm was required to support selection optimization in a steam/power real time optimization (RTO) project.


Dynamic Process Model Interface for Simulink

Open Models (Canada)

Development of a real-time interface between MASSBAL dynamic process models and Simulink for use in control design and operator training (OTS) projects.


Open Equation Kinetic Reactor Models for Refining

Honeywell (Canada)

Creation of equation-based refinery reactor kinetic models from closed-form versions. Hydrotreating/hydrocracking (HTR/HCR), Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), and HF-Alkylation reactors were required for real time optimization (RTO) projects.


Online Process Modeling System

Honeywell (Canada)

Development of the OPTIMIZER platform for use in online process monitoring and optimization systems. Components included online executive, real-time data interfaces, steady-state detection, and data screening.


Equation-based Process Simulator Hydrocarbon Processes

Honeywell (Canada)

Modification of the MASSBAL process simulator to support hydrocarbon process models, data reconciliation and gross error detection, and optimization. Developed distillation models, physical property packages, real time process data interfaces, and solution algorithms.

Data Reconciliation


Refinery-wide Data Reconciliation System

Shell (Canada)

Implementation of a Refinery-wide data reconciliation system for 430+ flow measurements and 120+ mass balances across 21 operating units. Reconcilied flows adopted by Business, Technical, and Environment groups for reporting and analysis.


Plant-wide Data Reconciliation System

Shell (Canada)

Implementation of a multi-Upgrader data reconciliation and mass balance system for 560+ flow measurements and 150+ mass balances across 16 operating units. System used daily to determine flow meter health and mass balance troubleshooting.

Process Economics


Pricing Method for Intermediate Process Streams

Shell (Canada)

System to estimate intermediate stream prices for use in real time optimization (RTO) systems. Method utilized linear programming (LP) volumetric yields, variable unit production costs, and fence-line product prices to produce back-blended break-even values.

Process Data


Web-Based Client Rollout

Shell (Canada)

Managed PI-Vision rollout for a site of 400+ PI users. Developed standards, site-wide navigation pages, and conversion of existing displays (10,000+).


Archive Performance Assessment

Shell (Canada)

Evaluation of archive read performance for a new regional PI system. Developed test cases using standard clients and custom applications. Poor performance results led to system architecture changes.


Calculated Point Platform Migration

Shell (Canada)

Conversion of 8000+ PI performance equations to PI-AF Analytics. Project methodology developed was subsequently used for sites world-wide.