Newsletter April 2019

Message from the DISC office

Dear all,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat


Upcoming DISC courses

In May 2019 the following class will start:

T. Oomen
J.W. van Wingerden

Energy Based Modeling and Control
S. Stramigioli
A. van der Schaft

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

38th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

From March 19-21, 2019 the 38th edition of the Benelux Meeting for Systems and Control took place at “Centerparcs de Vossemeren”, Belgium.

Best Junior Presentation Award

The best junior presentation award has become a longstanding Benelux tradition. The prize commissionaires were Bart Besselink (University of Groningen), Nicolas Gillis (University of Mons) and Marija Ishteva (Vrije
Universiteit Brussel). They called the top five finalists to the stage (all DISC members!):

Henk van Waarde was pronounced the winner!



DISC Best Thesis Award 2018



Prof. Jan Willem van Wingerden (TUD), Prof. Bart Koopman and prof. Raffaella Carloni were this year’s jury and with nine contestants they had their work cut out for them:

  • Xiadong Cheng (RUG) . Model Reduction of Network Systems with Structure Preservation: Graph Clustering and Balanced Truncation
  • Anqi Fu (TUD) . Efficient wireless networked control: towards practical event-triggered implementations
  • Jurre Hanema (TU/e) . Anticipative model predictive control for linear parameter-varying systems
  • Mark Rijnen (TU/e). Enabling motions with impacts in robotic and mechatronic systems
  • Vahab Rostampour (TUD) . Distributed Data-Driven Decision Making in Uncertain Networked Systems with Applications in Smart Energy Systems
  • Tjerk Stegink (RUG). Energy-based analysis and control of power networks and markets, Port-Hamiltonian modeling, optimality and game theory
  • Hadi Taghvafard (RUG). Modeling, Analysis, and Control of Biological Oscillators
  • Harm Weerts (TU/e). Identifiability and Identification Methods for Dynamic Networks
  • Jurgen van Zundert (TU/e). Resource-Aware Motion Control. Feedforward, Learning, and Feedback

DISC certificates

Another annual tradition is the DISC certificates award ceremony. During the meeting certificates for a completed PhD course program were awarded to:

  • Jiajia Jia (RUG)Certificaten
  • Junjie Jiao (RUG)
  • Carlo Cenedese (RUG)
  • Lulu Gong (RUG)
  • Henk van Waarde (RUG)
  • Hongyu Zhang (RUG)
  • Dhruv Khandelwal (TU/e)
  • Zuan Khalik (TU/e)
  • Wouter Kuijpers (TU/e)
  • Wouter Schinkel (TU/e)

Not present at the meeting, but also to be congratulated are:

  • Mahya Adibi (TUD)
  • Ioannis Proimadis (TU/e)
  • Robbin van Hoek (TU/e)

DISC Winter Course Reinforcement Learning






The Wintercourse took  place from March 27-29 2019, at Delft University of Technology. Prof. Anne Nowé and prof. Lucian Busoniu offered an introduction to reinforcement learning, starting from the basics and ending up with advanced topics like deep RL.

Summer School DISC 2019 “When Game Theory meets Systems and Control”




Jacob Engwerda and Dario Bauso have the pleasure to invite you to participate in the DISC Summer School “When game Theory meets Systems and Control”, which is scheduled to take place from June 17-20, 2019, at NH Leeuwenhorst, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.The invitation is aimed at PhD and research students, staff members, researchers and engineers engaged in the systems and control area. Distinguished speakers will present a series of tutorial lectures.

Since 1990, DISC has successfully organized yearly summer schools on various topics pertinent to theoretical and practical aspects of systems and control, with an international audience of about 40-60 participants. Together with the graduate course program that is maintained by DISC, the summer schools form part of the educational facilities that DISC offers to PhD students in systems theory and control engineering. The main goal of the summer schools is to familiarize young researchers with recent developments in systems and control as well as in neighboring disciplines, and to provide them with the opportunity to enjoy, in an informal atmosphere, discussions with top researchers in systems and control. The summer schools also provide an opportunity for DISC staff members and others to upgrade their knowledge of specific areas of interest.

Game Theory
This summer school aims to provide on the one hand an overview of different types of modeling approaches and tools which have been developed in game theory for various kind of coordination and allocation problems. On the other hand the aim is to show the ways in which, within different areas of control engineering, multi-actor problems are dealt with.

Three main objectives of this Summer School are:

  • To expose the students to a variety of modeling approaches to simulate competition in engineering systems
  • To provide the students with a better understanding of analysis and design of multi-agent systems
  • To improve the students’ coding capabilities and numerical/analytical insights in game theoretic engineering applications.

The class will be a mix of lectures and tutorials. The Summer School ends with a project on consensus and opinion dynamics. Students may hand in a report on this project for an informative assessment. The lectures will include examples of applications, demonstrations and hands on exercises, wherever possible. Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their own research with the speakers and amongst each other.

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

  • Tamer Basar, University of Illinois, USA
  • Fabio Fagnani, Politechnico di Torino, IT
  • Herbert Hamers, Tilburg University, NL
  • Ming Cao, University of Groningen, NL
  • Dario Bauso, University of Groningen, NL

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

  • 800,- Euro for DISC students/members (until May 5, 2019-early bird) and 950,- Euro (after May 5, 2019)
  • 1000,- Euro for non-DISC members (until May 5, 2019-early bird) and 1150,- Euro (after May 5, 2019)

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

The school is limited to 50 participants based on a first-come first-serve policy. The registration deadline is June 3, 2019 (Early bird deadline May 5, 2019).

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

For further information, contact the DISC administrative office: Martha Otte ( or the organizers: Jacob Engwerda ( and  Dario Bauso (

New people

University of Groningen

Hello, I’m Gregorio Tagliabue and I come from Italy. I got my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan (Italy) while I got my master’s degree at the University of Bologna (Italy). For my master thesis I have been engaged in the study and design of an artificial ankle joint for a transfemoral prosthesis. This study enabled me to obtain my PhD from the University of Groningen and to be part of the European project MyLeg. I started my PhD on March 1st and the main subject of my study will be the design and control of variable stiffness actuators. I like any kind of outdoor sports but my true love is skiing and hiking.

PhD defences April

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: E. Sunil
Group: AE
Thesis: Analyzing and Modeling Capacity for Decentralized Air Traffic Control
Promotores: J.M. Hoekstra and J. Ellerbroek
Date: 01-04-2019
Location: Aula, Senaatszaal
Time: 15:00

Candidate: Farid Alavi
Group: DCSC
Thesis: Model Predictive Control of Fuel-Cell-Car-Based Smart Energy Systems in the Presence of Uncertainty
Promotores: B. De Schutter and N. van de Wouw
Date: 03-04-2019
Location: Aula, Senaatszaal
Time: 12:30

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