||In this dissertation, the actuator-valve systems as a critical part of the automation system are analyzed. Using physics-based high fidelity modeling, this research provides a set of tools to help understand, predict, optimize, and control the real performance of these complex systems. The work carried out is expected to add to the suite of analytical and numerical tools that are essential for the development of highly automated ship systems. We present an accurate dynamic model, perform nonlinear analysis, and develop optimal design and operation for electromechanical valve systems. The mathematical model derived includes electromagnetics, fluid mechanics, and mechanical dynamics. Nondimensionalization has been carried out in order to reduce the large number of parameters to a few critical independent sets to help carry out a parametric analysis. The system stability analysis is then carried out with the aid of the tools from nonlinear dynamic analysis. This reveals that the system is unstable in a certain region of the parameter space. The system is also shown to exhibit crisis and transient chaotic responses. Smart valves are often operated under local power supply (for various mission-critical reasons) and need to consume as little energy as possible in order to ensure continued operability. The Simulated Annealing (SA) algorithm is utilized to optimize the actuation subsystem yielding the most efficient configuration from the point of view of energy consumption for two sets of design variables. The optimization is particularly important when the smart valves are used in a distributed network. Another aspect of optimality is more subtle and concerns optimal operation given a designed system. Optimal operation comes after the optimal design process to explore if there is any particular method of the valve operation that would yield the minimum possible energy used. The results of our model developed are also validated with the aid of an experimental setup including an electrically actuated butterfly valve. Several pressure sensors are employed to measure the pressure drop across the valve in addition to a torque sensor to determine the total torque acting on the valve motion.