Newsletter April 2017

Message from the DISC office

Dear all,

Welcome to the April edition of the DISC newsletter. Last month the 36th edition of the Benelux Meeting took place in Spa, Belgium. It was well attended and of course we awarded the DISC certificates and announced the winner of the Best Thesis Award 2016. Read all about that further on in the newsletter.

The early registration for the DISC Summer School is closing on May 1, so please register in time!
We are working on the new DISC course program for 2017-2018 and in the coming period we will share more of that with you.

Best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

Upcoming DISC courses

In May the following DISC course will start:

Automatic Verification and Synthesis of Complex Systems
(M.Mazo and A.Abate)

Register via the DISC course platform or email

This Academic year the following courses are scheduled:

Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control
Computational Linear Algebra, A least squares perspective
Mathematical Models of Systems
Modeling and Control of Hybrid Systems
Nonlinear Control Systems
Design Methods for Control Systemss
Distributed Parameter Systems
Automatic Verification and Synthesis of Complex Systems


The courses are taught at cursus en vergadercentrum Domstad in Utrecht, location Koningsbergerstraat 9. For more information see their website.

DISC Summer School 2017 (early registration closes May 1!)

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.

Privacy, Safety, and Security in Large-Scale Cyber-Physical Systems

The increasing adoption of cyber-physical systems (CPS) and internet-of-things (IoT) introduces new control problems beyond the traditional tasks of stabilization and optimization. Some of the control challenges are related to the operation of future, highly interconnected CPS in a safety- or mission-critical environment, and to the protection of security and privacy where sensor and actuator data, and other control parameters are communicated in a networked CPS. Recent denial-of-service attacks to critical infrastructure and several accidents involving autonomous cars are some of the instances where new theoretical developments in the systems and control field are needed.

In this summer school program, we will present recent developments towards this endeavor and particular attention will be given to:

  • differential privacy concept in a control and networked systems context
  • analysis and design of resilient and secure control systems
  • safety control of CPS

The lectures contain both recent control theoretical development, as well as, applications.


The main program will consist of a number of international and national speakers. Keynote lectures will be given by:

  • Jerome Le Ny, Polytechnique Montreal, Canada
  • Fabio Pasqualetti, University of California, USA
  • Rafael Wisniewski, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Yiannis Papadopoulos, University of Hull, United Kingdom
  • Henrik Sandberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

and complemented by talks given by various DISC lecturers:

  • Manuel Mazo, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani, Delft University of Technology, NL
  • Claudio de Persis, University of Groningen, NL


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

  • 800,- euro for DISC students/members (until May 1, 2017-early bird) and 950,- euro (after May 1, 2017)
  • 1000,- euro for non-DISC members (until May 1, 2017-early bird) and 1150,- euro (after May 1, 2017)

For more information about the accommodation arrangements please refer to the website

The school is limited to 45 participants based on a first-come first-serve policy. The registration deadline is June 19, 2017 (Early bird deadline May 1, 2017).

You can register at the following website: Non DISC members can also send an email to: (Please mention your full name and university including address).

For further information, contact the DISC administrative office: Martha Otte ( or the organizers: Bayu Jayawardhana (; Ming Cao ( and Tamas Keviczky (

36th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

From March 28-30, 2017 the 36th edition of the Benelux Meeting took place at “Sol Cress”, Spa, Belgium. It was a very successful event attended by approx. 175 participants. The organisers were Paul van Dooren and Julien Hendrickx from Université catholique de Louvain.
Frank Allgöwer (University of Stuttgart) and Mario Sznaier (Northeastern University) gave a plenary talk and Pablo Parrilo (MIT) gave a mini-course.

Behind the scenes we will start preparing for the Benelux Meeting 2018, when we hope to greet you all somewhere in the Netherlands!

Best Junior Presentation Award








More than 100 junior presenters participated in the Best Junior Presentation Award.
The jury, (Bayu Jayawardhana, Joseph Winkin and Wim Michiels) selected 5 finalists who are all from the Technical University of Eindhoven (!)

1. Enzo Evers (TU/e)
2. Yanick Douven (TU/e)
3. Timo Ravensbergen (TU/e)
4. Wouter Kuipers (TU/e)
5. Lennart Blanken (TU/e)









The winner was Yanick Douven. He will receive the DISC trophy for one year!

DISC Best Thesis Award 2016








The DISC Thesis Award 2016, for the best thesis defended in 2016 by a DISC PhD student, has been awarded to dr. Frank Boeren for his thesis titled “System Identification for Feedback and Feedforward Control, with Application to Semiconductor Manufacturing”. Frank defended his thesis at the Technical University of Eindhoven and was supervised by prof. Maarten Steinbuch and dr. Tom Oomen.

The jury, consisting of Hans Hellendoorn, Kanat Camlibel and Marcel Heertjes, selected the winner from a group of seven finalists:

1. Desti Alkano (RUG-ENTEG, Two Layer Distributed Optimal Control for Energy System Integration
2. Frank Boeren (TU/e- ME) , System Identification for Feedback and Feedforward Control, with Application to Semiconductor Manufacturing
3. Handian Chen (TU/e-EE), Game-Theoretic Solution Concept for Complete Vehicle Energy Management
4. Alina Doban (TU/e-EE) , Stability Domains Computation and Stabilization of Nonlinear Systems: Implications for Biological Systems
5. Hector Garcia de Marina Peinado (RUG-ENTEG) , Distributed Formation Control for Autonomous Robots
6. Renshi Luo (TUD-DCSC), Multi-agent Control of Urban Transportation Networks and of Hybrid Systems with Limited Information Sharing
Subramanya Nageshrao (TUD-DCSC), Online Learning Algorithms for Passivity-based and Distributed Control

DISC certificates

During the Benelux Meeting certificates for a completed PhD course program were awarded to:

Alain Govaert (RUG-ENTEG)
Yuhzen Qin (RUG-ENTEG)
Mingming Shi (RUG-ENTEG)
Pooya Monshizadeh Naini (RUG-JBI)
Rodolfo Reyes Baez (RUG-JBI)
Harm Weerts (TU/e-EE)
Michiel Beijen (TU/e-ME)

During this year certificates were also awarded to:

Tjerk Stegink(RUG-ENTEG))
Monika Jozsa (RUG-JBI)
Farid Alavi (TUD-DCSC)
Anqi Fu (TUD-DCSC)
Arman Sharifi Kolarijani (TUD-DCSC)
Ruxandra Bobiti (TU/e-EE)
Mohamed Darwish (TU/e-EE)

Congratulations to all!

The 7th oCPS PhD School on Cyber-Physical Systems

From Monday June 12 to Thursday June 15, 2017 the “7th oCPS PhD School on Cyber-Physical Systems” will take place in Lucca, Italy.

The school is targeted at graduate students and researchers who want to learn the main concepts of cyber-physical systems (CPSs), as well as at graduate students and postgraduate researchers already working in the area. The school is an event organized by oCPS, which is a Training Network (Marie Curie) receiving funding from the European Union’s 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, see more on

Confirmed tutorial speakers at the moment are:

  • Prof. Alf Isaksson, ABB Corporate Research
  • Prof. Dimitri Bertsekas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Prof. Christos Cassandras, Boston University, USA
  • Prof. Joost-Pieter Katoen, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Prof. Samarjit Chakraborty , TU Munich, Germany
  • Prof. Maurice Heemels, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL
  • Prof. Henrik Sandberg, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
  • Prof. Alberto Bemporad, IMT Lucca, Italy
  • Prof. Magnus Egerstedt , Georgia Tech, USA
  • Prof. Marios Polycarpou , University of Cyprus, Cyprus

These and other speakers will lecture during the school covering the basic concepts and results on
– Discrete-event and hybrid systems techniques for CPS
– Resource-aware control
– Formal methods for embedded control
– Security in control of CPS
– Model predictive control
– Approximate dynamic programming
– Fault-tolerant control of distributed CPS
– Multi-agent systems
– Industrial perspectives on CPS.

The program of the school includes four full days of lectures, interleaved by enough time slots to allow scientific discussions among the participants and with the speakers.

Registration deadline: April 15, 2017. First-come-first-serve basis. Registration fee: EUR 290 (including coffee breaks, banquet, etc).

The full program of the school, other information and the registration procedure can be found soon at


Flanders Make, a research institute for the manufacturing industry, currently has job opportunities that are interesting for research engineers who like control, modeling and measuring systems, from concept to application, for products like smart machines and robots, green and autonomous vehicles or for the assembly process.
Check their website for more information.

New people

Twente University

Introduction: Massimo Sartori received the M.Sc. degree in computer engineering (2007) and the Ph.D. degree in information and communication science and technologies (2011) from the University of Padova (Italy). From 2011 to 2015, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Neurorehabilitation Systems, University Medical Center Goettingen(Germany) where he became Junior Research Group Leader in 2016. He was a Visiting Scholar at the School of Sport Science, Exercise, and Health, University of Western Australia, (WA, Australia, 2009-2010), at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at Griffith University, (QLD, Australia, 2011) and at the NIH National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research (NCSRR) at Stanford University (CA, USA, 2010 and 2013). In 2017 he was appointed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomechanical Engineering, within the Institute of Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, at the University of Twente (The Netherlands).

Delft University of Technology

Hello, I am Fan Zhang. I received the PhD degree from University of Groningen on networks and control, and got the bachelor and the master degrees both from Harbin Institute of Technology, China. I am working on cooperative control of smart grids with Prof. Tamas Keviczky in the Delft Center for Systems and Control. Besides cooperative control, I am also interested in robust control and event-triggered control. Before moving back to the Netherlands, I held a Senior Research Associate position at the City University of Hong Kong.

Hi everybody, I am Stefano and for me is a very pleasure to be at DCSC. I am born and raised in the town of Lecce, south-east of Italy.In my academic career, I highly orientated my curriculum towards the Systems Theory and Control techniques by means of the Msc in Automation & Control Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, and the Bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering in the same university.

I am supervised by Dr. Simone Baldi, and co-supervisised by Prof. Marco Lovera (Politecnico di Milano) and aim to implement a new adaptive path tracking technique in unknown wind environments on a real and small plane. In the last three years, I have been involved with Skyward Experimental Rocketry, a student research association aimed at building probe rockets, working on the automatic re-entry to the launch area through an autonomous parawing. I recently contributed into the R&D for Collaborative Robotics, and I was co-author of a paper proposing an automatic and affordable way for the IMUs calibration. My passions are playing drums, playing football and chess, travels, space engineering and cinema

Hello, my name is Peter Prins. I started in March with a PhD in the field of nonlinear Fourier transforms, joining the ERC Starting Grant project NEUTRINO of Dr. Sander Wahls. The goal is to develop fast algorithms for these transforms — similar to the fft in the linear case — and to apply them to water wave analysis. Previously, I’ve studied electrical engineering at the University of Twente and I recently finished the master Systems and Control here at the TU Delft. Currently I live in Leiden with my girlfriend Rianne.

Hi, my name is Riccardo (M.G.) Ferrari. After one and a half year as a Postdoctoral Researcher here at DCSC I will continue as an Assistant Professor in Fault Tolerant Control, in the group of Prof. Jan-Willem van Wingerden. I can’t be more excited about this new opportunity! My present research interests are in Fault Diagnosis and Cyber-attack detection and identification for large-scale, distributed systems. I am currently supported by a MSCA grant called “SURE: safe unmanned robotic ensembles”. The goal of this project is to make groups of cooperative mobile robots, such as tomorrow’s fleet of cooperative self-driving vehicles, safe with respect to faults and malicious cyber-attacks.

Before coming to Delft, I worked for six years in industrial R&D in an Italian company providing instrumentation and control systems for the steel industry. I am original from Trieste, Italy, a windy city where I received my M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Electronic and Information Engineering respectively, as well as a B.A. in Classical Piano.

If you are interested in Fault Diagnosis and Cyber-attacks detection and/or have some interesting application in mind, in any industrial field, please contact me!

PhD defenses

University of Twente

Candidate: Geert Folkertsma
Group: Robotics and Mechatronics, CTIT Institute, UT
Thesis: Energy-based and biomimetic robotics
Promotor: Stefano Stramigioli; Co-promotor: Arjan van der Schaft (RuG)
Date: Friday 21 April 2017
Location: Berkhoffzaal, Waaier 4
Time: 16:45

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Jan Smisek
Group: Aerospace design, Integration and Operations (TUD-AE)
Thesis: Systematic Framework for Teleoperation with Haptic Shared Control
Promotor: M. Mulder
Date: Wednesday April 12, 2017
Location: Auditorium TU Delft
Time: 15.00

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in May 2017.
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