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About APCI

Advanced Process Combinatorics, Inc. (APCI) was formed in 1993 using technology initially developed at Purdue University in close partnership with industry. Our specialty is the application of mathematical programming-based optimization to the process industries. Our products are unique and reflect the unique skill set of our personnel who are highly trained and experienced in both optimization and process engineering.

We have invested decades of research and development efforts into the solution of time-based resource management problems. We routinely solve difficult problems to help customers manage complexity in a way that is intuitive and promotes constant improvement. Over time this leads to a modeling culture and an approach to business that quickly takes advantage of opportunities and routinely overcomes challenges. If you want to use data to make decisions, be goal oriented, and take intuitive control of your business, you will choose APCI.



Joseph Pekny, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and CEO

Joe Pekny co-founded APCI in 1993. Dr. Pekny is also a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, and was the Founding Director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering in 2005. For over twenty years he has been a leader in the application of industrial engineering techniques to complex industrial challenges, and has been a key leader in the development of products and services for combinatorial optimization for process design, planning, and scheduling. Pekny earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989.

Donald Miller, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and CFO

Don Miller co-founded APCI in 1993 after working for 16 years as an Optimization Engineer with DuPont. The seminal research of Drs. Miller and Pekny on the exact solution of large asymmetric traveling salesman problems (Science, 251, p754-761, 1991) led to the founding of APCI. Dr. Miller has been a lead developer in the algorithms which form the basis of the VirtECS scheduling engine. While at DuPont he developed steady-state simulation and optimization methods for production scheduling and process optimization. Miller earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from University of Texas at Austin in 1985.

Stephen Harding, Ph.D.


Steve Harding joined APCI in 1999 while completing his doctoral thesis in the area of optimization-based process design. Dr. Harding has led the design and implementation of VirtECS tools to aid scheduling of many types of processes. Through his expertise in industrial engineering and optimization techniques he has helped transform VirtECS from an analytical tool into a business-critical application used on a daily basis at large manufacturing facilities. Harding earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 2000.

Derrick Schertz, Ph.D.

Vice President

Derrick Schertz joined APCI in 2000 after completion of his doctorate in the area of advanced process scheduling. Dr. Schertz has worked extensively with pharmaceutical and biologics facilities, leading scheduling implementations as well as performing design/retrofit analysis integrated with scheduling considerations. He has also designed robust scheduling algorithms in the presence of process variability and led integration of customer data systems with VirtECS. Schertz earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1999.