Newsletter April 2016

message from the DISC office

Dear DISC colleagues,

Welcome to the April edition of the DISC newsletter. The DISC courses 2015-2016 are winding down and we are working hard to prepare an interesting program for 2016-2017, more on that soon!

We are also looking forward to the DISC Summer School on “A Systems and Control Perspective in Human Robot Environment Interaction”, which is scheduled to take place from June 14-17, 2016, at “Centerparcs park Zandvoort”, Zandvoort. The early registration closes on May 6, 2016 so make sure you register on time.

From this place we would also like to congratulate the Robotics and Mechatronics group from the University of Twente. on winning the EU-Robotics Technology Transfer Award and  Jacquelien Schwerpen and.Kanat Camlibel on their  NWO ESI grant. You can read more about this  achievement further on in the newsletter.

Last but not least, welcome to the new members and a new group and good luck to those who will be defending their theses in the coming months!

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

course program 2016-2017

We are working on the course program 2016-2017. The program is taking shape but suggestions for 4- week courses (3ECTS) are still welcome. If you are a staff member and would like to teach a course please let us know. We also value input form PhD students about which course they like to see included in the course program. Email your suggestions to

summer school 2016



Raffaella Carloni, Jens Kober, Manuel Mazo Espinosa and Alessandro Saccon have the pleasure to invite you to participate in the DISC Summer School on “A Systems and Control Perspective in Human Robot Environment Interaction”, which is scheduled to take place from June 14-17, 2016, at “Centerparcs park Zandvoort”, Zandvoort, The Netherlands.

The invitation is aimed at research students, staff members, researchers and engineers engaged in the systems and control area. Distinguished speakers will each present a series of tutorial lectures.

Human Robot Environment Interaction
Robotics is moving away from strictly controlled factory floors and slowly entering our daily lives. Examples include industrial production, household assistance, care, medicine, and agriculture. Next generation of robots will need to interact with their environment, with each other, and with humans. This transition is driven by emerging societal needs and will be enabled by advances in perception, actuation, and computational power, but also by suitable modeling and control aspects tailored to robotic systems. This poses challenging questions to the research community that still require fully satisfying answers.

In this summer school, particular attention will be given to:

  • Modeling and Control of Fix-Based and Free-Floating Robots
  • Control of Robot-Environment Physical Interaction
  • Stability and Performance of Human-Robot Physical Interaction
  • Multi-Robot Coordination and Control

The main program will consist of various speakers. Keynote lectures will be given by:

  • Bruno Siciliano, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  • Roy Featherstone, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
  • Jorge Cortes, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Aaron D. Ames, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA
  • Bert Kappen, Radboud University, NL
  • Arjan van der Schaft, University of Groningen, NL
  • Ming Cao, University of Groningen, NL
  • Stefano Stramigioli, University of Twente, NL

The registration fee, which includes full board and lodging, is

  • 800,- euro for DISC students/members (until May 6, 2016 -early bird) and 950,- euro (after May 6)
  • 1000,- euro for non-DISC members (until May 6, 2016 – early bird) and 1150,- euro (after May 6)

You will be staying in a comfort cottage with two or three people. You will have your own bedroom. Sheet package, towel package, kitchen package and swimming pool access are included.

The school is limited to 75 participants based on a first-come first-serve policy. The registration deadline is May 31, 2016 (Early bird deadline May 6, 2016).

Registration is now open. Register on the forum website or send an email to

UTwente’s Robird wins EU-Robotics Technology Transfer Award

Wessel Straatman, former student of RaM and now R&D engineer at CFS, and Geert Folkertsma, PhD candidate at the group, joined to write the application. Stefano Stramigioli, chair of RaM, and Nico Nijenhuis, CEO of CFS, presented the application at the EU-Robotics Forum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, held 21 – 23 March 2016. The jury rewarded the close cooperation during start-up of the company and the success of the company, with ongoing collaboration between the university and CFS, with the prestigious award.

The team from the University of Twente beat big competitors such as a team from the ETH Zürich and from DLR, the German Aerospace Center. This is for a large part due to the ongoing shared research activities: currently, five students are conducting their BSc or MSc research on the Robird, working at CFS and at various research group at the UT (RaM, Mechanical Automation, Engineering Fluid Dynamics). The future holds promises of exciting research and business output.

NWO-ESI grant for Jacquelien Scherpen and Kanat Camlibel

The awarded projects are: acceptable and sustainable integration of energy systems (Jaquelien Scherpen together with prof. Linda Steg)  and optimum control of integrated energy systems.(Kanat Camlibel together with Jacquelien Scherpen).

Read more about the projects here.

group Biomechanical Engineering of University of Twente joins DISC





The DISC board has recently approved the admittance of the department of Biomechanical Engineering from the university of Twente. The Biomechanical Engineering group is specialised in the application area of Biomedical Technology, integrating the tools of several engineering disciplines to analyse aspects of human functioning. They study the special mechanical properties of living biological tissue and the dynamics of the human system and apply this in the development of instruments and methodologies that support daily life functioning of individuals.

Biomechanical Engineering has  approx. 15 research staff, among whom are three full professors: prof.dr. ir. Bart Koopman; prof. dr. ir. Herman van der Kooij and prof.dr. Sarthak Misra; 11 postdocs/researchers and 25 Phd students.

We welcome them in our midst and we look forward to a pleasant collaboration!



Hans Stigter new DISC board member





On March 22, 2016 Hans Stigter from Wageningen University joined the DISC board. We thank Hans for be willing to devote time to DISC and we wish him good luck.

new people

Eindhoven University of Technology

Hi everybody, my name is Nelson Chan. I am 26 years old and originally from Suriname. After obtaining my Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS), I moved to the Netherlands and embarked on a journey as a MSc. student at the University of Twente (UT). Recently, I completed the MSc. program in Systems & Control working on the topic of robust estimation from relative measurements. The project was carried out at the Hybrid Systems Group within the Applied Mathematics department.

Starting in May 2016, I will be a Phd candidate at the University of Groningen (RUG) working in the RoSF project. In this project, the aim is to develop novel methods which can handle the system complexity in future smart factories. First, passivity preserving model reduction methods will be developed. Hereafter, we will look at control methods based on the concept of Control Lyapunov-Barrier Functions for obtaining a guaranteed safety of the whole process while also achieving a prescribed performance measure.

Groningen University


Hello, my name is Oscar Portolés  Marín and I come from Teruel, a remote region of Spain. From the first of May I am a PhD candidate at University of Groningen. I will work on a challenging multidisciplinary project. It is a collaboration between the ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen (ENTEG), the Johan Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Sciences (JBI) and the Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering Institute (ALICE).

During the last three years I was an Early Stage Researcher in an Initial Training Network from the Marie Curie Actions called ACT. I was hosted in the company Brain Products GmbH, Germany. I did research on electroencephalographic (EEG) signal processing methods focused on the needs of developmental psychology researchers, and brain computer interfaces. During my MSc thesis, I analysed EEG signals from epileptic children. As undergraduate, I won the MotoStudent competition. I hold an MSc on Biomedical Engineering and a double bachelor degree on Electrical and Electronic Engineering



PhD defenses

Groningen University

Candidate: Héctor Garcia de Marina Peinado
Thesis: : Distributed formation control for autonomous robots
Promotor: prof. dr. M. Cao, prof. dr. B. Jayawardhana, prof dr. J. Scherpen
Date: 24-06-2016
Location: Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Time: 09.00 a.m.

Candidate: Desti Alkano
Thesis: Two-layer distributed optimal control for energy system integration
Promotor: prof. dr. J.M.A. Scherpen
Date: 09-09-2016
Location: Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Time: 12.45 p.m.

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Subramanya Nageshrao
Group: DCSC
Thesis: Online learning algorithms for passivity-based and distributed control
Promotor: Prof.dr. R. Babuška and Dr. G.A. Delgado Lopes
Date: 18-04-2016
Location: Aula Senaatszaal, Mekelweg 5, Delft
Time: 12.30-14.30 p.m

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: Frank Nobel
Group: Control Systems group
Thesis: On balancing market design
Promotor: prof. P.P.J. van den Bosch
Date: 17– 05-2016
Location: TU/e – Auditorium
Time: 16.00 uur


next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in May 2016.
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