Christopher Laughman

Christopher Laughman
  • Biography

    Christopher's interests lie in the intersection of the modeling of physical systems and the experimental construction and testing of these systems, including simulation, numerical methods, and fault detection. He has worked on a variety of multi-physical systems, such as thermo-fluid systems and electromechanical energy conversion systems.

  • News & Events

    •  NEWS   MERL collaborates with MIT on heat management in compact fusion reactors
      Date: October 11, 2018
      MERL Contacts: Piyush Grover; Christopher Laughman
      Research Area: Multi-Physical Modeling
      • A new approach to heat management in compact fusion reactors that emerged from a class at MIT, developed by graduate student Adam Kuang and 14 other MIT students, engineers from Commonwealth Fusion Systems as well as Piyush Grover and Chris Laughman from MERL, and Professor Dennis Whyte, was recently published in Fusion Engineering and Design. This solution was made possible by an innovative approach to compact fusion reactors, using high-temperature superconducting magnets. This method formed the basis for a massive new research program launched this year at MIT and the creation of an independent startup company to develop the concept. The new design, unlike that of typical fusion plants, would make it possible to open the device's internal chamber and replace critical components; this capability is essential for the newly proposed heat-draining mechanism.

        In the one-semester graduate class 22.63 (Principles of Fusion Engineering), students were divided into teams to address different aspects of the heat rejection challenge. These teams evaluated alternate concepts and subjected candidate designs to detailed calculations and simulations based, in part, on data from decades of research on research fusion devices such as MIT's Alcator C-Mod, which was retired two years ago. C-Mod scientist Brian LaBombard also shared insights on new kinds of divertors, and two engineers from MERL worked with the team as well. Several of the students continued working on the project after the class ended, ultimately leading to the solution described in this new paper.
    •  EVENT   MERL hosts Workshops for 2018 American Modelica Conference
      Date & Time: Monday, October 8, 2018 - Thursday, October 11, 2018; 8am-5pm
      MERL Contact: Christopher Laughman
      Location: MIT Samberg Conference Center, Cambridge, MA
      Research Areas: Control, Multi-Physical Modeling
      • The 2018 American Modelica Conference, the first North American conference focused on the Modelica multiphysics modeling language, will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 9-10, 2018 at the Samberg Conference Center at MIT in Cambridge, MA. Chris Laughman, a team leader in the Multiphysical Systems and Devices group, is the local chair for the conference.

        This conference will feature over 40 papers and user presentations on the Modelica language and its application to a wide variety of problem domains, including thermofluid, aerospace, automotive, and energy systems. There will also be 2 keynote addresses by John McKibben (Proctor & Gamble) and Hilding Elmqvist (Mogram AB). Nearly 100 attendees from 11 different countries have already registered for the conference, and it promises to be a very educational experience.

        MERL is also hosting two free workshops on October 8 to provide opportunities to engineers looking to increase their familiarity with the language and its applications. An introductory workshop will be led by engineers from Modelon during that morning, and then a second workshop on the application of Modelica to building systems will be led by Michael Wetter from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs in the afternoon. MERL will also host a Modelica user meeting on October 11 that will provide more details and discussion about trends in the use and development of Modelica in the larger engineering community.

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  • Internships with Chris

    • MP1317: Simulation and Optimization of Multiphysical Systems

      MERL is seeking a motivated graduate student to investigate new methods for the simulation and optimization of large-scale systems of differential algebraic equations generated by equation-oriented model descriptions. Representative targets include the simulation of multiphysical systems that incorporate dynamics over a wide range of timescales and parameter identification for these systems. The ideal candidate would have a solid background in numerical methods, partial differential equations, and optimization; strong programming skills in Julia are preferable, while experience with C/C++/Matlab/Python is also valuable. Knowledge of the fundamental physics of thermofluid flows (e.g., thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics), nonlinear dynamics and control methods, or equation-oriented languages (Modelica, gPROMS, Aspen HYSYS) is a plus. The expected duration of this internship is 3 months.

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  • MERL Publications

    •  Kuang, A., Cao, N., Creely, A., Dennett, C., Hecla, J., LaBombard, B., Tinguely, A., Tolman, E., Hoffman, H., Major, M., Ruiz, J., Brunner, D., Grover, P., Laughman, C.R., Sorborn, B., Whyte, D., "Conceptual design study for heat exhaust management in the ARC fusion pilot plant", Tech. Rep. TR2018-186, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Cambridge, MA, January 2019.
      BibTeX Download PDFAbout TR2018-186
      • @techreport{MERL_TR2018-186,
      • author = {Kuang, A. and Cao, N. and Creely, A. and Dennett, C. and Hecla, J. and LaBombard, B. and Tinguely, A. and Tolman, E. and Hoffman, H. and Major, M. and Ruiz, J. and Brunner, D. and Grover, P. and Laughman, C.R. and Sorborn, B. and Whyte, D.},
      • title = {Conceptual design study for heat exhaust management in the ARC fusion pilot plant},
      • institution = {MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories},
      • address = {Cambridge, MA 02139},
      • number = {TR2018-186},
      • month = jan,
      • year = 2019,
      • url = {}
      • }
    •  Laughman, C.R., Qiao, H., "On Closure Relations for Dynamic Vapor Compression Cycle Models", American Modelica Conference, December 2018.
    •  Qiao, H.., Laughman, C.R., "Numerical Modeling of Fin-and-Tube Condenser with Wet-wall Desuperheating", International Refrigeration and Air conditioning Conference at Purdue, August 2018.
    •  Qiao, H., Laughman, C.R., "Comparison of Approximate Momentum Equations in Dynamic Models of Vapor Compression Systems", International Heat Transfer Conference, August 2018.
    •  Bortoff, S.A., Burns, D.J., Laughman, C.R., Qiao, H., Danielson, C., Goldsmith, A.M., Di Cairano, S., "Power Optimizing Control of Multi-Zone Heat Pumps", IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications, August 2018.
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  • Videos

  • MERL Issued Patents

    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Multi-Zone Vapor Compression Systems"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Di Cairano, Stefano; Bortoff, Scott A.; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 10,174,957
      Issue Date: Jan 8, 2019
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Jain, Neera; Laughman, Christopher; Di Cairano, Stefano; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 9,625,196
      Issue Date: Apr 18, 2017
    • Title: "Method For Reconstructing 3D Scenes From 2D Images"
      Inventors: Ramalingam, Srikumar; Taguchi, Yuichi; Pillai, Jaishanker K; Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 9,595,134
      Issue Date: Mar 14, 2017
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Vapor Compression Systems"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 9,534,820
      Issue Date: Jan 3, 2017
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Temperature and Humidity in Multiple Spaces using Liquid Desiccant"
      Inventors: Laughman, Christopher; Burns, Dan J; Bortoff, Scott A.; Waters, Richard C.
      Patent No.: 9,518,765
      Issue Date: Dec 13, 2016
    • Title: "Adaptive Control of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 9,182,154
      Issue Date: Nov 10, 2015
    • Title: "Controlling Operation of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Laughman, Christopher; Burns, Dan J
      Patent No.: 8,793,003
      Issue Date: Jul 29, 2014
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Operations of Vapor Compression"
      Inventors: Bortoff, Scott A.; Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 8,694,131
      Issue Date: Apr 8, 2014
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