Newsletter February 2021

Message from the DISC office

Dear all,

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

DISC Course Program 2020-2021

In March the following courses are scheduled to start:

Stability, Relative Stability and Synchronization of Dynamical Systems with Time-Delay
E. Steur
W. Michiels

Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control
S. Weiland
T. Donkers

For the full list of courses offered in 2020-2021 click here

Benelux workshop for PhD students on June 29, 2021 (deadline abstract submission March 15, 2021)

Due to COVID-19, the 40th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control, which was supposed to take place in March 2021, has been cancelled. However, to facilitate the possibility for PhD students from the Benelux to meet, discuss, and present their work to fellow PhD students, we decided to organise- if the regulations permit-  a one-day Benelux Workshop on-site in Rotterdam at De Doelen, the location of the European Control Conference 2021, on Tuesday June 29, 2021.

To participate in the workshop we ask you to submit an abstract. We are organising on on-site workshop because the aim of the meeting is to meet and discuss. However, we expect that COVID-19 regulations will still be active and therefore the Organizing Committee can only select a limited number of abstracts (about 100) to be presented, and most likely also a limited number of participants will be allowed. 1st and 2nd year PhD students will be given priority.

Important dates
Abstract Submission Opens: February 1, 2021
Deadline Abstract Submission: March 15, 2021
Notification of Acceptance: April 2, 2021:
May 1, 2021: Deadline Final Abstract Submission & Registration Opens

For more information about the set-up of the meeting and the abstract submission visit the website:

DISC Summer School 2021 “Planning, Learning and Control for Multi-Robot and Multi-Agent Systems”

Javier Alonso Mora, Ming Cao and Ömür Arslan have the pleasure to invite you to participate in the DISC Summer School “Planning, Learning and Control for Multi-Robot and Multi-Agent Systems”. The Summer School will take place from June 8 to June 11, 2021. We are organizing a physical meeting on June 11, at cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad in Utrecht (if regulations allow it). In any case there will also be streaming for participants who are not able to come to Utrecht.

Multi-robot and Multi-agent Systems
In the (near) future fleets of autonomous cars will coordinate to provide on-demand transportation while making our roads safer; mobile robots will coordinate in manufacturing and logistic processes; and teams of aerial robots will provide automated inspection and surveillance. These applications require novel methods and theoretical developments in the systems and control field that account for the interaction and coordination with other agents in complex environments.

In this summer school, we will present recent developments towards the endeavour of pervasive multi-robot and multi-agent systems. The lectures and tutorials will cover the concepts of communication-based coordination (consensus, distributed optimization and formation control), interaction (decision-making in multi-agent systems), motion planning and learning. The lectures contain both recent control theoretical development, as well as, application within the robotics field. Additional, we are hoping that this summer school will serve to partially bridge the gap between controls and AI research for multi-robot and multi-agent systems.

The main program will consist of a number of international and national speakers. The following lecturers have already confirmed:

  • Dimos Dimarogonas, KTH, Sweden
  • Jenjen Chung, ETH Zurich, CH
  • Dan Halperin, Tel Aviv University, IL
  • Naomi Leonard, Princeton, USA
  • Eduardo Montijano, University of Zaragoza
  • Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania, USA (TENTATIVE)
  • Daniela Rus MIT, USA (TENTATIVE)
  • Frans Oliehoek, TU Delft, N

Complemented by talks given by DISC lecturers:

  • Javier Alonso-Mora, TU Delft, NL
  • Bart Besselink, University of Groningen, NL
  • Sergio Grammatico, TU Delft, NL
  • Zhiyong Sun, TU/e, NL
  • Manuel Mazo, TU Delft, NL

More information about the credits will be available later

The registration fees will be determined later

European Control Conference 2021

European Control Conference 2021 (virtual conference)
June 29-July 2, 2021.

The registration is now open!

Final submission papers, invited session proposals, invited papers and extended abstracts closes April 6, 2021.

There are several interesting workshops which will take place on June 29, 2021. Please click here to see the full list.

General chair
Henk Nijmeijer (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Jacquelien Scherpen (University of Groningen)
Maurice Heemels (Eindhoven University of Technology)

NOC Chair
Hans Hellendoorn (Delft University of Technology)

ECC 2021 is organised in cooperation with: EUCA, IFAC and IEEE Control Systems Society

The accepted papers will be indexed and published on the IEEE Xplore digital library. We are also working towards a stronger link with the European Journal of Control for publication of selected papers of the conference.

We look forward to welcoming you to the ECC 2021!

IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2021)

The 2021 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM 2021) will be fully virtual and held on July 12-16, 2021. The motto will be “sustainable mechatronics”.

As a flagship conference focusing on mechatronics and intelligent systems, the AIM 2021 will bring together an international community of experts to discuss the state of the art, new research results, perspectives of future developments, and innovative applications relevant to mechatronics, robotics, automation, industrial electronics, and related areas, not limited to the conference motto.

Important Dates
Submission of Special & Invited Session Proposals: 12 Feb 2021
Submission of Tutorial & Workshop Proposals: 22 Feb 2021
Submission of AIM Contributed & Invited Papers: 10 March 2021
Submission of Accepted TMECH Papers: 1 May 2021
Notification of AIM Paper Acceptance: 1 May 2021
Final Paper Submission AIM 2021: 15 May 2021

Conference website:

ENW-KLEIN grant for Dr. Monshizadeh (RUG)

The ENW-KLEIN grant offers researchers the opportunity to establish scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future. More information here.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for Matin Jafarian (TUD)





The IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award 2020

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award, for “A Robust Consensus Algorithm for Current Sharing and Voltage Regulation in DC Microgrids”, by M. Cucuzzella, S. Trip, C. De Persis, X. Cheng, A. Ferrara, A. van der Schaft

This award recognizes the paper’s originality, relevance of the application, clarity of exposition, and demonstrated impact on control systems technology. The award has been presented virtually during the Control Systems Society Awards Ceremony at the 2020 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.

New people

Eindhoven University of Technology

Hi! My name is Maurizio Clemente and I come from a small town in southern Italy. I did both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Politecnico di Torino. I wrote my master’s thesis at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. I was in the Robotics section (Modeling and Simulation – 347D), developing a simulator of the cardiovascular system in microgravity conditions. I Joined the CST group in TU/e as a Ph.D. student on January 15th as part of the NEON project.

Hi everyone! My name is Manuel Muñoz Sánchez (no middle name, both Muñoz and Sánchez are my last name :D). I am a new PhD student in the Control Systems Technology group since the first of December. However, I have already been in the TU/e for a while. I started with my Bachelor’s in Computer Science & Engineering, after which I did my Master’s (also in Computer Science & Engineering, Data Mining group).

During my Master’s I did an internship at TNO, researching and benchmarking different prediction techniques for vehicle motion prediction. Immediately following this internship I continued in TNO for my final graduation project, developing a novel model for robust drivable space estimation (i.e. if the space surrounding an automated vehicle can be driven on), resulting from the combination of several, possibly unreliable, sources of information.

As part of my PhD I will be involved in the EU project SAFE-UP. More specifically, I will investigate methods for intention and motion prediction of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Greetings! I am Peter van Dooren and I joined the CST group as a PhD student in January. To those of you around the robotics lab I might be a familiar face as I am already a member of Tech United. During my master thesis I investigated the application of planning algorithms in a household environment. The complex and often messy nature of such an environment requires careful consideration of the assumptions you can make. In the FlexCraft project I am joining I hope to find the same complexity and messiness which makes the environment challenging, but oh so exciting!”

Hello everyone, my name is Olaf Borsboom. On October 12th, I started my PhD with the Control Systems Technology group under supervision of Theo Hofman and Mauro Salazar. I will be participating in the NEON Project, which focuses on accelerating the transition to sustainable energy and mobility. More specifically, I will be researching multi-fidelity modeling methods for electric powertrain systems, with direct partners Lightyear and TNO. Although it will take some time before I will set foot on campus with the partial lockdown, you will find me in Gem.-Z 007a in the future.
I have been walking around the TU/e for quite some time. I did my Bachelor Automotive at the Department of Electrical Engineering, where I did my BEP with DAF Trucks. I attained my Master’s degree Automotive Technology at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with an internship at AVL in Graz, Austria. I did my thesis on minimal lap time control strategies for electric race cars with different transmission technologies. If you want to know anything more about it or me in general, do not hesitate to contact me. I hope to get to know you in the future!

I’m Johan Kon and I’m a new PhD student in the CST group since February 8th. I started studying at TU/e in 2015, and have completed both my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and my master’s degree in Systems and Control at this university (within the CST group). During my master, I’ve focused on learning control and machine learning: I did an internship on model free reinforcement learning at Sapienza University of Rome, and for my Master Thesis, I researched repetitive control in an intermittent sampling setting with application to industrial printers at Canon Production Printing in Venlo. My PhD project on machine learning for control focuses on combinations of concepts from learning control methods (e.g. iterative learning control) and machine learning (e.g. neural networks), with applications at Philips and ASML.

My name is Merlijne Geurts and I am a new PhD student in the CST group since February 15th. I graduated at TU/e for my double master “Mechanical Engineering” (specialization: Dynamics and Control) and “Industrial and Applied Mathematics” (specialization: Computational Science and Engineering) at the beginning of 2019, and for my bachelor “Mechanical Engineering” in 2015. After my masters I worked for two years at TNO (department: Integrated Vehicle Safety), where I have been developing and researching self-driving vehicles. During my PhD at the AMADeuS project, I will continue the research in self-driving vehicles, by developing multi-lane dynamic motion planners and control systems.

My name is Aykut Isleyen. In January, I started with my PhD studies on Motion Prediction for Motion Planning of Autonomous Mobile Systems under the supervision of Ömür Arslan and Nathan van de Wouw at Dynamics and Control Group of Eindhoven University of Technology. I completed my MSc degree in mechanical engineering at Koc University, Istanbul in June 2019. My master research mainly revolved around the theory and application of surface haptics. Before master’s, I graduated from mechanical engineering and physics programs of Bogazici University, Istanbul. I can speak English, Turkish, and German. I enjoy cycling and DIY projects.

University of Groningen

My name is Shengxian Wang. My current supervisor is Prof. Ming Cao, and I work on Evolutionary Game Theory. I will study here for two years from Dec.2020 to Dec. 2022 as a visiting PhD

My name is Jin Chen and I come from China. I just graduated from Shanghai JiaoTong University, majoring in vehicle engineering. My former research focuses on autonomous driving, including perception based on Lidar data, target tracking.

Zhongjie Hu is a PhD student in Faculty of Science and Engineering at University of Groningen. He received the Bachelor degree in Automation in 2017 from North China Electric Power University and the Master degree in Control Science and Engineering in 2020 from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. His research interests include data-driven control, Koopman operator theory, dynamic mode decomposition, and reinforcement learning.

Hello everyone! My name is Yanxin Li and I just joined the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (BI) at the University of Groningen as a Ph.D. Candidate. During the PhD, I will be working on adaptive optimal congestion control for TCP/AQM network under the supervision of Prof. Stephan Trenn.

Delft University of Technology

My name is Mubariz Zaffar and I am an electrical engineer, a computer vision and embedded systems researcher, specifically interested in robotics and generally in engineering-related research and development. I worked at the UK-National Centre for Nuclear Robotics between 2018-2021, where I worked primarily within visual localisation for robots and studied the effects of nuclear radiation on visual sensors and embedded systems. Prior to that, I worked for 2 years in a high-paced energy systems start-up, namely Skyelectric, where we developed the world’s smartest energy system. I am from Pakistan, a beautiful country, full of all the experiences life can offer.

I am starting my PhD at TU Delft within the Intelligent Vehicles Group led by Dr. Dariu Gavrila, where I will be supervised by Dr. Julian Kooij. My research will explore deep-learning from unlabeled sensor data for large-scale urban environments. As a part of this we’ll be focusing on the applications of semi-supervised and unsupervised learning for Visual Place Recognition, while also focusing on other vision-related tasks for intelligent vehicles.

I love playing badminton and have represented my allegiances at various platforms. I also enjoy watching seasons, anime, travelling and reading books on geo-politics.

My name is Dhurai Prabhahar. I am originally from India. I am a graduate with a Masters degree in Automotive Engineering from Chalmers University, Sweden. My focus of the study was in Vehicle dynamics, Controls, modelling and simulation. For my graduation thesis, I worked on the performance analysis of Active/Semi-active suspension under the influence of signal delays and error and robust control design.

The title of my research is “motion sickness prediction in Automated Vehicles and Driving Simulators” under the supervision of Ksander de Winkel. The goal of my project is to develop techniques to quantify subjective comfort concerning vehicle and simulator motion. And then to develop/enhance empirical and biomechanical models to predict human motion perception and motion sickness.

In my free time, I like to read books(philosophy, history, biographies etc), gym, swimming and metals fabrication.

My name is Luzia Knödler and I am joining the Autonomous Multi-Robots Lab at the Department of Cognitive Robotics as a PhD student. My supervisor is Javier Alonso Mora.

I have a master degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart and a joint bachelor degree in Medical Engineering from the University of Tübingen and the University of Stuttgart.

During my PhD, I will address multi-robot motion planning and task assignment for assistive healthcare robotics within the H2020 Harmony project. I am especially interested in improving the interaction and cooperation of robots with other agents by predicting their future behaviour. Since it is the goal of the project to enable robust, flexible and safe manipulation of robots in human-centred environments, I plan on setting particular attention on interactions with humans.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking and attending movie sneak previews with friends. During lockdown, I started knitting, but I still need a bit of practice.

PhD defences February

Candidate: Timo Ravensbergen
Group: CST
Thesis: Advanced methods in control of the core density and divertor detachment in nuclear fusion devices
Promotor: prof.dr. M.R. de Baar
Location: Online via Microsoft Teams
Time: 13:30

Candidate: R. Tri Cahyono
Thesis: Discrete-event control and optimization of container terminal operations
Promotores: Prof. dr. B. Jayawardhana and Prof dr. ir J.M.A. Scherpen
Date: 12-02-2021
Location: Academy Building (online)
Time: 16:15

Candidate: A. Silani
Thesis: Distributed control, optimization, coordination of smart microgrids
Promotores: Prof dr. ir J.M.A. Scherpen (RUG) & Prof M.J. Yazdanpanah
Date: 19-02-2021
Location: Academy Builiding (online)
Time: 11.00

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in March 2021. We encourage the contributors to provide newsworthy information. In principle, we intend to publish any message offered. However, we reserve the right to edit certain parts of a submission.
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