On Thursday, 18 October, DISC awarded PhD Research grants to four highly talented recently graduated MSc students. Each grant is part of the NWO Graduate Programme for which the Graduate School in Systems and Control has been selected in 2010. The aim is to strengthen the development of MSc/PhD graduate schools and to stimulate young people to develop their own research skills and profile. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) developed the programme at the request of former Minister Ronald Plasterk. Ten of the best national students within the MSc programmes in the area of Systems and Control have been selected to enroll in a Pre-PhD track as an honours class in their MSc programme.
During this track students were offered traineeships and research visits to different research groups, and were more particularly prepared to continue as a PhD researcher after completing their MSc programme. Research proposals written by students themselves were evaluated by a jury that selected four grant winners. The PhD research grants include the full budget for a four-year PhD research project to be performed in a research group chosen by the candidate.
Alina Doban (Eindhoven University of Technology) who recently has completed her MSc in Electrical Engineering cum laude. The grant allows Alina to perform a PhD research projected that she has formulated herself, entitled: “Stabilization of Set-Dynamics“, and that she will perform under supervision of Dr. Mircea Lazar (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Prof. Jan van Schuppen (Delft University of Technology).
The jury thinks Alina is a top student, very dedicated, with a strong theoretical background in the area of the proposal. Her project aims at developing a stability theory and control synthesis for set dynamics.
Geert Folkertsma (University of Twente) who also recently has completed his MSc in Mechatronics cum laude. The grant allows Geert to perform a PhD research projected that he has formulated himself, entitled: “Fast-Running Energy-Efficient Quadruped (FREEQ)“, and that he will perform under supervision of Prof. Stefano Stramigioli (University of Twente) and Prof. Arjan van der Schaft (University of Groningen).
The jury sees in Geert an excellent student with a broad background and diverse interests. He delivered an inspired presentation. The project aims at using the theory of port Hamiltonian systems to advance the field of morphological computation.
Sofie Haesaert (Delft University of Technology) who is going to complete her MSc in Systems and Control on November 9, 2012. The grant enables Sofie to perform a PhD research projected that she has formulated as: “Identification for Control of Dynamic Networks in Biology “, and that she will perform under supervision of Prof. Paul Van den Hof (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Dr. Alessandro Abate (Delft University of Technology).
The jury sees in Sofie a top student who wrote a well thought out proposal. It introduces the concept of “Identification for Control” in the area of dynamic networks. The project is innovative, timely, with possible applications to the promising area of systems biology.
Hidde-Jan Jongsma (University of Groningen) who has completed his MSc in Applied Mathematics. The grant allows Hidde-Jan to perform a PhD research project that he himself has formulated, entitled: “Robust Synchronizatiion of Networked Multi-Agent Systems“, and that he will perform under supervision Prof. Harry Trentelman (University of Groningen) and Prof. Maurice Heemels (Eindhoven University of Technology).
The jury perceived Hidde-Jan to be a good student with previous research experience in the area of his proposal. His project aims at developing a robust synchronization theory to handle heterogeneity in multi-agent systems. The stated objectives seem well within reach.
Besides the four awards, DISC certificates were awarded to the other students that completed the DISC Pre PhD Track, including Mohsin Siraj and Edwin Insuasty Moreno (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Mark van Logtestijn (University of Groningen).