Contact Dr Yi Cao

Areas of expertise


Yi Cao obtained his MEng degree in Industrial Automation from Zhejiang University in China in 1985 and his PhD degree in Control Engineering from the University of Exeter in 1996. Before joining Cranfield, he worked as a Research Associate in Loughborough University from 1996 to 1998 and the University of Leicester from 1998 and 2000.

Current activities

Dr Cao's main research interests are in advanced process control, including nonlinear system identification, nonlinear model predictive control, plantwide process control, self-optimising control and statistical process monitoring. He has published one monograph in Optimal Control Theory and Applications and over 120 refereed journal and conference research papers. One of these papers has been awarded as the best industrial application paper at the conference Control'96 by the journal of Control Engineering Practice in 1996.

Yi Cao was the main inventor of the patented technology, Inferential Slug Control (ISC), which received the East England Energy Group (EEEgr) Innovation Award in 2010. He successfully conducted a field trial on the ISC in North Sea in 2011. A field trial showed the ISC is able to increase oil production by 9.6% in addition to suppressing slugging.


Current projects:

  • Chevron Further Study on Inferential Slug Control 
  • EU H2020 on PRONTO
  • Caltec / Petrofec on Multiphase Jet Pumps

Previous projects:

  • EPSRC, plantwide control, 2002 - 2004
  • CORAC, Flow Loop Control, 2006
  • BP Slug Control 2006
  • Yorkshire Water, DO Control, 2007
  • TSB Optimal Slug Control for Brown Oil Fields, 2006 - 2008
  • Transcient Multiphase Flow Consortium, Plantwide Slug Control, 2007 - 2010
  • Honda, Recurrent Neural Networks for Optimal Blade Design, 2007 - 2009
  • Royal Veterinary College, Biological Systems Modelling and Control, 2009 - 2011
  • DONG Energy, Slug Control Field Trial, 2010 - 2011
  • Caltec/Petrofec on Mutliphase In-Line Separator Test, 2010 - 2013
  • EPSRC ICASE with Caltec on Slug Control using I-SEP, 2011 - 2015
  • Chevron, Slug Control Field Trial 2012 - 2015
  • EU FP7 ITN on ENERGY SMARTOPS, 2011 - 2015  


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers