Skip to main content

Montrose thesis defense – April 30

Thesis Defense

Decentralized and Centralized Optimal Control of HVAC Systems

ME Masters student Ryan Montrose will be defending his thesis on Friday, April 30 at 12:00 PM. This will be a virtual event, but attendees will be able to ask questions about Ryan’s work.

Join the Zoom presentation here

Public defense: 12 – 1pm
Closed-door committee sessions: 1 – 3pm

Advisor: Dr. John Gardner, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Co-chair: Dr. Aykut Satici, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Committee: Dr. John Chiasson, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. Zhangxian Deng, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering


Utility service providers are often challenged with the synchronization of thermostatically controlled loads. Load synchronization, resulting from naturally occurring or demand response events, can damage power distribution equipment and reduce the grid’s efficiency. Because thermostatically controlled loads constitute most of the power consumed by the grid at any given time, the proper control of such devices can lead to significant energy savings and improved grid stability. The contribution of this thesis is developing optimal control algorithms for both single-stage and variable-speed heat pump HVAC systems. Our control architecture allows for regulating home temperatures through selective peer-to-peer communication while simultaneously minimizing aggregate power consumption and aggregate load volatility. For comparison purposes, various low-level and centralized optimal controllers are explored and compared against their decentralized counterparts.

About the presenter

In 2019, Ryan received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and is now finishing up a Master of Science degree in the same field of study. Currently, Ryan works in Boise State’s Robotics Lab where he is researching optimal control frameworks for communicating HVAC systems. Some of his noteworthy accomplishments are the development of an air hockey playing robot, building a differentially geared industrial robot, and being a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma and Tau Beta Pi honor societies. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys Jiu-Jitsu and building a wood-carving CNC machine.

Ryan Montrose