Newsletter February 2019

Message from the DISC office

Dear DISC member,

Benelux Meeting is coming close. We are organising the DISC MT meeting on Wednesday March 20 and all staff members are cordially invited.

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

Upcoming DISC courses

In April 2019 the following class will start:

Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control
S. Weiland

In May we will offer:

Design Methods for Control Systems
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.

DISC Winter Course reinforcement Learning

We are pleased to announce that we have already reached the maximum number of participants for the the DISC Wintercourse 2019 on “Reinforcement Learning”. The Wintercourse will take place from March 27-29 2019, at Delft University of Technology.

Prof. Anne Nowé and prof. Lucian Busoniu will offer 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”

We are preparing the  DISC Summer School 2019. The topic is “When Game Theory meets Systems and Control”. The organisers are dr. Jacob Engwerda (Tilburg University) and prof. Dario Bauso (University of Groningen). The Summer School is tentatively planned for June 17-20, 2019. We will keep you updated on the DISC website:

38th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

The organizers have the pleasure of inviting you to participate in the 38th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control. The meeting will be held from March 19 – 21, 2019 in  “Center Parcs De Vossemeren”, Lommel, Belgium,

The aim of this meeting is to promote research activities and cooperation between researchers in Systems and Control. It is the thirty-eighth in a series of annual conferences that are held alternately in Belgium and The Netherlands. The meeting is organized by KU Leuven.

Abstract submission opens: December 16, 2018
Deadline abstracts submission: January 26, 2019

You will find more information on the website: which is continuously updated.

4th Edition of the Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks

The organisers are happy to invite you to the 4th Edition of the Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks held at the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, 10-12 April 2019 (link). The workshop is also preceded by a mini-course on nonlinear system identification, 08-09 April 2019 (link).

This year again, the workshop is building upon its basic ingredients;

It stands as a forum facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge between the control, machine learning and mechanical communities.

A selection of renowned keynote speakers from the same 3 communities are invited to share with the audience their views on the future trends in nonlinear system identification. A preliminary list of this year’s speakers is:

(1) Gianluigi Pillonetto, University of Padova, Italy
Keynote: Kernel-Based Methods for Nonlinear System Identification
(2) Oliver Nelles, University of Siegen, Germany
Keynote: Challenges in Nonlinear System Identification
(3) Fredrik Lindsten, Uppsala University, Sweden
Keynote: To be announced
(4) Lizzy Cross, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom Keynote: To be announced

Attendees are challenged to apply their favourite system identification tool to a carefully established list of benchmark systems. This list has recently been upgraded, and today 9 different benchmarks are proposed, addressing a wide range of state-of-the-art challenges in the field with various levels of difficulties.

A 2-day course on nonlinear system identification precedes the workshop (08-09 April). The workshop is open to both presenting and non-presenting participants, registration can be completed through this link. Visit to get full information about the workshop!

Farewell address Jacob Engwerda (Tilburg University)

Jacob will give his  farewell address on Friday March 29 entitled “30  jaar tussen Wiskunde en Sociale wetenschappen, rekening en verantwoording”.

The address starts at 16.00 and will be held in the Simon Building, S 8. After the address will be an informal reception at approximately 16.45 at the same location.

You are cordially invited to this address and informal reception.
Please let us know before March 15 if you will come to the Farewell address and/or reception. (e-mail address:

At the request of Jacob no speeches please.

Maarten Steinbuch (TUe-ME) becomes IEEE fellow

The IEEE is the world’s largest association of technical professionals with more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines.

Becoming an IEEE Fellow is IEEE’s highest honor. Steinbuch received the honor because of his contributions to motion control and mechatronics.

European Commission invests €16 million into the Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics

The European Commission announced that it would be investing €16 million into the Digital Innovation Hubs in Healthcare Robotics (DIH-HERO). Over “€8 million of this will go to commercial companies,” according to Professor of Robotics at the University of Twente, Stefano Stramigioli.

Led by the University of Twente, 17 partners across 10 countries will serve to connect businesses, academics, investors and other relevant parties. From summer 2019, SMEs and midcaps across Europe will be able to apply for funding to accelerate innovation in the area of healthcare robotics.

Researchers from TU Delft CoR win Taxify Self-driving Fleet Optimisation Challenge

An international team from TU Delft and the Czech Technical University (CTU) based in Prague have won the Taxify Self-driving Fleet Optimisation Challenge. Representatives from TU Delft included researchers Javier Alonso Mora and Michal Cap, who work at the Department of Cognitive Robotics (CoR) at the Automated Mobility-on-Demand with Ride-sharing (AMR) research group. The aim of the challenge was to optimise the operation of a fleet of self-driving passenger service vehicles, for example taxis in an urban environment.

Read more inTU Delft and CTU win Taxify Self-driving Fleet Optimisation Challenge

New people

Eindhoven University of Technology

Moormann, LarsName: Lars Moormann
Starting date: 01-12-2018
Function: PhD
Group: CST
Supervisor: Asia van de Mortel-Fronczak en Pascal Etman

My name is Lars Moormann, I’m 24 years old, and I started this December as PhD candidate in the Control Systems Technology group at the University of Technology in Eindhoven. I did both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering here, starting in 2013 with my Bachelor’s, followed by my Master’s in the CST group with a specialization in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. For my Master’s graduation project I worked on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat, during which I investigated the control systems of tunnels, specifically using Supervisory Control Synthesis and Dependency Structure Matrices. The PhD project that I recently started is a continuation on this graduation project, so still in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, during which I will further investigate the possibilities of Supervisory Control Synthesis for the control system of tunnels.

Yutao Chen received B.S. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2012 from Hunan University, China. From 2012 to 2014, he was with School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, as a Ph.D student in Master period. He received the Ph.D degree at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova. He is now a post-doc researcher in Eindhoven University of Technology. His research interests are numerical optimization, optimal control, real-time model predictive control algorithms. He is also interested in the development of fast mpc solvers and vehicle control applications.

University of Groningen

My name is Ningbo Li. I am a new Ph.D. student at the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen, under the supervision of Jacquelien M.A. Scherpen and A.J. van der Schaft. Before pursuing the Ph.D degree, I was studying at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. My research interests include formation control and Port-Hamiltonian systems. I think it is both a great challenge and a promising opportunity for me.

Delft University of Technology

Hi, my name is Mattia Bianchi.  I graduated with a Master’s in Systems and Control from University of L’Aquila, Italy, with a thesis titled “Offset-Free MPC for Resource Sharing on a Nonlinear SCARA Robot”. I am working as a PhD candidate on monotone game theory and dynamic control for complex network games, under the supervision of Dr. Sergio Grammatico. I love sports and playing chess. I also like cooking, but I prefer eating.

Hi, my name is Pascal de Koster and I have recently started as a PhD student supervised by Sander Wahls. I have done a BSc. in both Mathematics and Physics, and for my MSc., I continued with applied mathematics, all at the TU Delft. In my master, I did a specialisation in numerical analysis and computational science. In my PhD research, I will investigate a general method to identify Lax-pairs of non-linear differential equations, which has applications in fiber-optic communication.

Hi everyone,I am Vinod and I joined the department as a PhD student. I am working in supervision of Dr. Sander Wahls. I have a Bachelor degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering and Master degree in Electrical Engineering. Before starting for my PhD I worked as research engineer in Sterlite Technologies Limited, India. My research interests lie in area of fiber optic communication and signal processing.

Hi everyone! My name is Yvo Putter and I will be working as a research assistant until July 14th on the ATES-SG+ project under the supervision of Professor Tamás Keviczky. I graduated in 2018 here at DCSC, with my thesis “Distributed Control Design for District Heating Networks”. Although related, the focus will be on integrating a higher level stochastic model predictive controller (Matlab) with a building simulation model (TRNSYS) for the Van Gogh Museum as the case study. Personally, I enjoy playing the drums, where I am currently playing with comedy-duo Joosen & De Jager. I also like take a swim now and then, play board/card games and I’m always in for a quick Mario-Kart challenge.

Hello, everyone, My name is Ximan Wang. I am a PhD student at the Delft Center for Systems and Control, under the supervision of  dr. Simone Baldi.  I received  the B.Sc. degree from Taiyuan University, China, in 2014, and the M.Sc. degree from University of Sheffield, in 2016. I was a Senior Engineer at Systems Engineering Research Institute, Beijing, China from 2016 to 2018. My research interests include adaptive optimization for control, UAV adaptive control and UAV formation control.

My name is Alfiya Kulmukhanova, I am  from Kazakhstan. I got my Bachelor degree at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, and my Master’s degree at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, both in Electrical Engineering. For my Master’s thesis I worked on mechanism design for virtual power plants  and developed interest for the Systems and Control. I joined TU Delft as a PhD student under supervision of Professor Sergio Grammatico starting on February 1st.  Here I will work on game-theoretic control for multi-agent systems in the presence of stochastic variables.

Hi everyone, My name is Twan Keijzer and as of January 17th I started as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Riccardo Ferrari. I did my Master in Control & Simulation at the Aerospace Engineering faculty at TUDelft. For my Master Thesis I worked at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and implemented and flight tested incremental control laws on the PH-LAB research aircraft. For my PhD project, I will be working on cyber attack detection for distributed systems, with the main application on platooning cars. In my free time, I am training to become a glider pilot and I like to travel, cook.

After spending seven exciting months last year, I joined the DCSC again in November.  I was born in Cecina (Li), Italy, in 1990, received the B.Sc. degree in Bio-Engineering and the M.Sc. degree in Robotics and Automation Engineering in 2012 and 2015, respectively, both from the University of Pisa, Italy. Currently, I’m waiting to defend my PhD thesis, carried out at Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa.  At DCSC, I work as a resercher under the supervision of Prof. Sergio Grammatico and my research activity revolves around mixed-integer and potential game theory with application to the control of multi-agent systems. In my spare time, I love play football, reading books and meeting up with friends.

PhD defences January/February

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Roel Kuiper
Group: CoR
Thesis: Exploring Haptics For Subsea Vehicles
Promotores: D.A. Abbink  and Prof.dr. F.C.T. van der Helm (3mE).
Date: 11-02-2019
Location: Aula, Senaatszaal
Time: 14:30

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: T.C. Blanken
Group: CST
Thesis: Model-Based estimation and control of the particle distribution and discharge supervision in nuclear fusion reactors
Promotor: Prof.dr. M.R. de Baar and W.P.M.H. Heemels
Date: 21-01-2019
Location: TU/e, auditorium, zaal 4
Time: 13:30

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