Georgakis received his Chemical Engineering Diploma (1970) from NTU-Athens; his MS (1972) from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. (1975) from the University of Minnesota. Starting in 1975, he served as du Pont Assistant Professor and Edgerton Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, and as Professor of Measurement and Control at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece where he initiated the Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute. He joined Lehigh University in 1983 where he founded and directed the Chemical Process Modeling and Control Research Center. Lehigh honored him in 2001 with the Iacocca Professorship. After two years as the Othmer Distinguished Professor at the Polytechnic University, in New York City, Georgakis joint Tufts in 2004.
The two major approaches available, data-driven and knowledge-driven, in the generation of quantitative mathematical models describing the behavior a chemical or biological process are examined. We elucidate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach either inherent or because of the way it is practiced. We pay special attention to the newly proposed data-driven approach of the Design of Dynamic Experiments. We conclude with arguments for the need of a hybrid modeling approach utilizing partial knowledge of the process’s inner workings and the availability of data to model what is not understood in detail.