DISC unites all academic research in the Netherlands in the field of systems and control, ranging from mathematical systems theory research to technology-driven control engineering. Mechanical manipulation of hard-disk heads, developing energy-efficient greenhouses, designing cars that drive-by-wire, autonomously walking or flying robots, operational strategies in process industry …. in all these examples systems and control theory plays a crucial role.
By exploiting the fundamental principle of feedback, control systems enable the realization of high-tech systems in all domains of engineering science with fascinating performance in terms of speed, accuracy, autonomy and adaptability to varying circumstances. Without feedback man would literally fall down.
As a field of generic tools that facilitate modelling, control, design and optimization of technological dynamical systems, the systems and control field is providing a strong enabling technology that plays a central role in very many disciplines in science and engineering.
Controlling the positioning and motion of objects with high speed and ultra-high precision (up to nanometers) is crucial in storage equipment as dvd’s, hard disk drives, in IC manufacturing and in scientific imaging instruments as AFM’s. Without feedback control this technology would not exist.
Industrial production processes in (petro)chemical, food and energy industry are dependent on appropriate control technology for designing operations that are economically efficient, safe, with optimal usage of resources and minimal environmental load. Model-based control technology provides the tools for achieving this.
Future automotive systems will show vehicles where comfort and driving conditions are highly automated while they are intelligently supervised to keep optimal distance and to optimize route planning. In this development distributed sensing and control is a key technology.
Guidance and navigation of airplanes and spacecrafts highly depends on automatic control systems. This dependency is even more pronounced when steering unmanned vehicles, e.g. for inspection tasks, or controlling (micro) sattelite formations in space. Aerospace applications have been important drivers for developing advanced and robustly operating control systems.