Unocity, LLC is a UNO-affiliated company created by Parviz Rastgoufard, Ph.D., Ittiphong Leevongwat, Ph.D., and Rastin Rastgoufard, three of the core members of UNO's Power and Energy Research Lab (PERL). We primarily provide electrical engineering consulting, and we can create custom products to solve your engineering problems.
We invite you to examine the services that we offer, products that we have developed, capabilities that we bring from our PERL experiences, and research that we have performed in our time at UNO.
Our goal in creating this company is to strengthen engineering in New Orleans by keeping talent in the area, helping to automate and modernize the city, and making engineering more approachable by everyone. If you align with our goals and find our skills useful, please contact us to find projects that benefit everyone.
Unocity provides consulting in the fields of machine learning, power systems, and general electrical engineering. Additionally, we provide training in those same areas. We have a long history of consulting, performing research, and teaching, as can be seen on our capabilities and our publications pages. We can create a curriculum designed for any skill level between high school and doctoral.
Here we will elaborate on some services that we provide. If you are interested in any of these, or if you have ideas and needs for new ones, feel free to contact us !
If you have a large amount of data and need help making sense of it, then our machine learning knowledge may be useful for you. We can use deep learning for classical problems like regression and classification, but we enjoy cutting-edge problems such as semi-supervised learning, a set of models and constraints that are especially suited to big data. We can consult with you on your specific problem, data, and pipeline in order to obtain the best results.
Additionally, we believe visualization using machine learning is very valuable. Being able to perform extreme and nonlinear dimension reduction on data allows us, as humans, to clearly see relationships between data points that were previously invisible. Trained machine learning models can process new data very quickly, therefore these models can be used for interactive visualization. Real time, interactive visualizations can provide novel yet powerful ways of understanding data and making decisions.
Unocity provides several services in the power systems area. If you already have a working system but need a additional, knowledgeable helpers, we can provide them. If you want a working system but are unsure how to create one, our advice can point you in the right direction. If you had a working system but something went wrong, our consultation can aid the situation. If you want to expand your system to new horizons, our research expertise can show you the way.
One of our most cherished resources is the group of students who go through UNO's Power and Energy Research Lab. Over the course of their Master's and PhD degrees, they learn many valuable skills and are exposed to real engineering problems. Unocity as a company employs those skills to help you with any engineering problem you may have.
And just how we trained those students, we can train you or your organization as well. We are professional educators, after all.
Sometimes you have a piece of equipment that does not quite work the way you want, and your only clue to fixing it is a Programmable Logic Controller's (PLC) ladder diagram provided to you by the manufacturer. We can help you track down the problem as well as provide advice on how to fix it. Or if you would like to be able to fix it yourself, we can provide training and instruction to improve your skills.
Maybe you want to better integrate different pieces of equipment into your workflow. Hardware PLCs can communicate over the network using the Modbus protocol, but the protocol is not just limited to hardware PLCs. We can create visualizations and dashboards to help you monitor your devices, or we can teach you how to create them yourself. It might be possible to create an overarching flow to your process that no single PLC could control on its own. Our consulting services can help you automate the automation.
Unocity relies heavily on automation to solve problems. Often organizations will have data neatly bundled together, but the bundles are scattered across different areas based on the data's usage in the organization. We can build software products that bridge gaps, and because we have expertise in engineering (see our capabilities and our publications ) we can create new applications that open novel possibilities in your organization.
On this page you will find several products that we have developed. If you are interested in any of these, or if you have ideas and needs for new ones, feel free to contact us !
Many power system analysis tools such as Aspen, PSS/E, Hypersim, and EMTP offer programmatic interfaces for controlling them. Programming them to do common engineering tasks not only removes guesswork and human error, it can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to obtain results.
This time-saving benefit can result in a massive safety increase. For example, we developed a product to automate the process of finding all of the locations in a power system where fault current is above a specific level using an Aspen system model. Transmission line segments with high fault current require special protective measures when being serviced, and so field technicians need a list of these locations. Before our program, the location list was updated once every year, but our program can update the list every day using the most up-to-date system information.
Another new opportunity made possible by increased time efficiency is the ability to play what-if scenarios. We connected PSS/E transmission network data with a database that contains physical pole locations to find where electrical nodes are located geographically. Then we linked those locations to a hurricane simulation program to find how much wind can be expected at each location due to a hurricane. The amount of wind can be used to predict transmission line outages, and those outages can affect a manufacturing plant's decision to remain in operation or to close due to an incoming hurricane. Automation allows the testing of many possible hurricane scenarios resulting in a clear map that removes a lot of decision-making guesswork.
While power system automation can improve safety and protect lives, not all automation needs to involve high-risk situations. Nevertheless, automation can bring enough of a speed increase to make some tasks real time.
The front desk system of any event needs to be fast enough to register new attendees, print name tags for them, and print customized attendance certificates for all. In order to scale, such a system needs to be able to handle multiple printers and paper types flawlessly, and it needs to be able to provide both manual and automatic access to the registrant database and art assets. A small event could handle some of these requirements by hand, but an automated system is absolutely necessary for any larger event.
With our system, automation extends to the artistic vision. A fixed template can be designed for a consistent look, and custom elements can be randomized or procedurally decided. For example, sponsor logos can be arranged randomly for fairness and uniquely for each individual, but company affiliation arrows still are drawn precisely each time. Any additional custom information, such as unique login names or passwords, can be added, too.
Starting from a master database file (including simple ones such as spreadsheet files), our automation can create a fully interactive web version of the schedule as well as a professionally-typeset printed version. Each time the master is changed, the web version can receive the updates immediately without needing to be redesigned.
The print version, too, will receive the updates, but printed materials obviously will need to be reprinted in order to see the updates...
This automation allows all of the information to remain correct and timely. Last-minute changes to the schedule can be included without worry. Designing a printed schedule takes a long time, but that design can be done in advance so that the actual printing can take place as close as possible to the day of the event for the most accurate possible printed schedule.
Unocity conducts electrical engineering, research, and consulting services in the fields of electric power and industrial plants. Parviz Rastgoufard and our colleagues worked on 100 projects over the last 30 years, and we now bring our skills to Unocity. We have trained more than 75 graduate students (Master's and Ph.D.) and many more undergraduate students serving the professional engineering community.
The following is a list of some of our recent power systems project areas.
Real Time Modeling and Simulation of Electric Power Systems
Unocity has expertise in power systems, pattern recognition, and machine learning both in a research context as well as an industrial, applied context. Here you can find a list of some of the publications and projects that our team's members created before coming to or while in Unocity.
The core members of Unocity are actively involved in UNO's Power and Energy Research Lab (PERL). Some highly research-oriented projects may be suited to a university environment while more applied projects are a better fit for a standalone company. Unocity's affiliation with UNO allows us to create the right team for any project.
If any of these interest you, do not hesitate to contact us.