UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Andres Joaquin Calderon Vergara

Andres Calderon received his BSc in Chemical Engineering at the Industrial University of Santander in Colombia. In 2009 he joined the Colombian Petroleum Institute (ICP - ECOPETROL) where he worked on unconventional hydrocarbons exploration; his work was focused on CoalBed Methane (CBM) and Shale gas. In 2011 Andres joined the Modelling and Optimisation Group at ICP - ECOPETROL, where he gained experience in advanced process engineering, specifically in supply chain optimisation for oil field operations. In 2013 Andres decided to start his PhD studies and joined the Product and Process Systems Engineering (PPSE) group at UCL.

Research project

Title: Supply Chain Optimisation of Energy Systems

The development of alternative energy resources implies technical and economic challenges that have prevented the renewables to scale up in the global energy market. A successful implementation of renewable technologies in a regional context would require a fully integration of three main components: feedstock procurement, production and transportation while taking into account regional targets and government policies.

Therefore, this research focuses on the development of optimisation-based approaches for the optimal use of biomass for biofuel production and energy generation based on mathematical programming techniques. Forestry residues, second generation energy crops and residual waste are investigated as potential sources to meet future biofuel demand based on environmental targets.
In addition, the increasing exploration of new sources of fossil fuels has led to the development and exploitation of unconventional reservoirs previously regarded as non-profitable. Specifically, Shale gas resources can play an important role in the expansion of chemicals production and electricity generation. Accordingly, this research also tackles the optimal design of the Shale gas supply chain in a regional and national context. The high complexity in development and production of Shale gas presents important challenges for water management, gas treatment and distribution. Decisions concerning capacities and locations of gas treatment plants, waste water pre-treatment and its subsequent recycling are studied. The optimal design of the gas and water distribution networks is regarded as an important component of a comprehensive approach.

In conclusion, the main goal of this research is to provide a mathematical framework that incorporates important decision variables in order to enable researchers, policy makers and shareholders to achieve a better understanding of the system under study, identify key elements and disclose synergies inherent to the nature of the problem.


B.Sc  in Chemical Engineering, Industrial University of Santander, Colombia 2009