Newsletter February 2023

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

Welcome to the February newsletter.

We are working on the 42th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control  in Elspeet. Due to the high number of participants we had to close the website. We are very pleased that it will be a very well visited congress.

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Renate Kragtwijk,
DISC secretariat

Course program 2022-2023

Course program 2022-2023
You can register for the DISC courses via the DISC course platform.

The courses are held onsite in Utrecht, at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad.

We are offering the following courses:

Design Methods for Control Systems
T. A.E. Oomen, Eindhoven University of Technology
J.W. van Wingerden, Delft University of Technology

Nonlinear Control for Performance: Frequency domain approach
M.F. Heertjes, Eindhoven University of Technology
H. HosseinNia, Delft University of Technology

New people


Eindhoven University of Technology

Name: Leonardo Pedroso
Starting date: 01-01-2023
Function: PhD
Group: TU/e CST
Supervisor: Prof. Mauro Salazar and Prof. Maurice Heemels
Project:  FISH (Fair Incentive Mechanisms for Sustainable Mobility)

My name is Leonardo Pedroso. I’m from Portugal, and I’ve just received the MSc in Aerospace Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. I worked on decentralised control over very large-scale systems with application to satellite mega-constellations for my MSc thesis. I’ll start my PhD in CST in January 2023 under the supervision of Prof. Mauro Salazar and Prof. Maurice Heemels. I’ll join the FISH (Fair Incentive Mechanisms for Sustainable Mobility) project and I am very excited to be working on aggregative game theory, which is a new topic for me.

My hobbies are trail running, cycling, and playing squash.

Name: Zhihe Zhuang
Starting date: 01-01-2023
Function: Visiting PhD Candidate
Group: CST
Supervisor: Tom Oomen

My name is Zhihe Zhuang. I’m coming here as a visiting PhD student for one year in Control Systems Technology group under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ir. Tom Oomen. I obtained my B.Sc. degree in Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, where I’m pursuing the Ph.D. degree. My research interests include iterative learning control (ILC), reinforcement learning and optimization. I’m focusing on the non-uniform trial length issue in ILC and other ILC issues with classical/non-classical design postulates. I’m also interested in the reinforcement learning in control.

Name: Paula Chanfreut
Starting date:  01-02-2023
Function: Assistant Professor
Group: CST
Supervisor: Maurice Heemels

My name is Paula Chanfreut and I will start as an Assistant Professor in the Control Systems Technology group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in February 2023. I obtained my B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Seville (Spain), where I have been working with the Department of Systems and Automation Engineering since 2017. My research works are framed within the field of model predictive control with focus on its non-centralized implementations, including applications in traffic systems and renewable energy plants.  I am very excited about this new position at TU/e and I am looking forward to be part of the CST group.

Name: Amritam Das
Starting date: 01-02-2023
Function: Assistant Professor
Group: TU/e – Control Systems Group


Amritam Das  received the BTech. degree in mechatronics engineering from India in 2014. He received the MSc. in systems and control and the PhD. in electrical engineering in 2016 and 2020, respectively, from Eindhoven University of Technology. During 2020-2021, he was a research associate at the Control Group, University of Cambridge. During this period, he was also a college research associate at Sidney Sussex college. During 2021-2022, he was an post-doctoral scholar at the division of Decision and Control Systems of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Since February 2023, he has been working as an assistant professor at the Control Systems group of EE department, Eindhoven University of Technology. His research interests are robust and nonlinear control of multi-physics systems, physics-enabled learning for control and model reduction applied to high-tech systems, power generation and neuro-engineering.


Delft University of Technology

Name: Meichen Guo
Starting date: 01-02-2023
Function: Assistant Professor
Group: TUD – DCSC

Hello everyone! My name is Meichen Guo, and I’m from Tianjin, China. I received my Bachelor Degree at Tianjin University in 2012, and my PhD Degree at City University of Hong Kong in 2017. I was a postdoc researcher at the University of Melbourne from 2017 to 2018, and then at the University of Groningen from 2018 to 2022. This February, I will join DCSC as an Assistant Professor on the topic “Networked and AI-based Control and Planning With Applications in Agriculture and Food”. I am interested in research topics including data-driven control, nonlinear control, distributed control, and network games. In my free time, I like experiencing stories in different mediums, and I also enjoy different genres of music. I look forward to joining DCSC and meeting all of you!

Name: Daniel Jarne Ornia
Starting date: 15-02-023
Function: Post-doc
Group: TUD – CoR
Supervisor: Prof. Javier Alonso Mora and Prof. Jens Kober

My name is Daniel Jarne Ornia, I recently finished my PhD in efficient control for multi-robot systems at DCSC. I am now starting a Postdoc position with prof. Javier Alonso Mora and prof Jens Kober, and I will be working on risk aware decision making for motion planning in mixed human-robot environments.  I am also interested in reinforcement learning, robustness and game theory.

I am originally from Spain but I have been in the Netherlands for around 5 years already. As hobbies I like to climb (I go often to the climbing gyms around delft), surfing and running.

Name: Gang Chen
Starting date: 15-02-2023
Function: Postdoc
Group: TUD – CoR
Supervisor: Prof. Javier Alonso Mora

I am Gang Chen from China. You can also call me by my English name, Clarence. I finished my Ph.D. at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and will work as a Postdoc at Javier’s AMR lab. During Oct. 2021 to May 2022, I was a visiting student at AMR. My research area is interaction-aware perception and obstacle avoidance in dynamic environments. Related techniques include occupancy mapping, motion planning, and deep learning. I will work on the project “Interaction-Aware Multi-robot Task Planning.” I like to go hiking, play table tennis, and FPV video games.

Name: Forough Zamani
Starting date: 15-02-2023
Function: PhD
Group: TUD – CoR
Supervisor: Dr. Carlos Corbato

My name is Forough, and I am a Ph.D. candidate at 3Me. I’ve finished my bachelor’s and master’s degree in biomechanics engineering in Iran. I was working on developing a surgery robot used in spine surgery for my master’s thesis. I enjoy using robotics in improving healthcare. I was a former member of the Amirkabir university robotic team, and my teammates and I won many international prizes in robotic competitions. I will work on the Coresense project under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Corbato. I am very excited to start my higher level of education here since it’s been one of my dreams since two years ago. I hope to be an active member and an asset in the robot dynamics group. I enjoy painting, especially watercolor, as a hobby, and it helps me feel and think better. I also love singing, making covers of popular songs, and watching movies.

Name: Luke van Eijk
Starting date: 16-01-2023
Function: PhD
Group: TUD – 3ME – PME
Supervisor: Dr. Hassan HosseinNia

I am Luke van Eijk, from the Netherlands. On January 16th I started as a PhD student in the Mechatronic Systems Design group. Here I will be working on data-based reset controller synthesis, under supervision of  Dr. Hassan HosseinNia and co-supervision of Dragan Kostić from the company ASMPT.

I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, where I focused on Dynamics & Control. I also have some experience working as a mechatronics engineer. In my free time I like swimming, listening to music, skiing, and travelling.

Name: Seyyed Ali Hosseini
Starting date: 16-02-2023
Function: PhD
Group: TUD – 3ME – PME
Supervisor: Dr. Hassan HosseinNia

Hi everyone, my name is Ali, and I come from Iran. I got my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering focused on systems and control from the Khaje Nasir University. After that, I  obtained my Master’s degree in the major of systems and control from the Sharif University of Technology.

Recently I started my PhD in Mechatronic systems design. My research will focus on frequency domain analysis of the precision motion systems using reset-based elements to improve the precision and speed of these devices.

I love Formula one racing matches.  I like to spend my leisure time with my friends in nature.


Groningen University

Name: Yangming Dou
Function: PhD
Start date:01-01-2023
Supervisor: Principal supervisor: J.M.A. Scherpen / Co-supervisor: Prof. Ming Cao
Project: Structure-Preserving Model Reduction for Large-scale Linear and Nonlinear Network Systems

My name is Yangming Dou. I was born in 1998 in Shandong Province, China. In 2019, I received my bachelor’s degree in industrial automation from the Ocean University of China, Qingdao. I got my  master’s degree in 2022 at the School of  Artificial Intelligence and Automation, Huazhong  University of Science and Technology, Wuhan. Now I am a student in Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, under the supervision of Prof. Scherpen. My research project is Structure-Preserving Model Reduction for Large-scale Linear and Nonlinear Network Systems.

Name: Muhammad Ridho Rosa
Starting Date: 01-02-2023
Function: PhD
Supervisors: Bayu Jayawardhana & Ming Cao
Project: Distributed Cooperative Multi-Robot Control with Guaranteed Safety, Optimality and Performance.

Hi everyone, I am Ridho and I come from Indonesia. I got my bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the Institute of Technology Bandung and my master’s degree in Embedded Systems (Specialization in Systems and Control) from the TU Delft. My PhD Project will focus on developing the distributed cooperative control for a multi-robot system. In this research, the controller will consider the safety of each robot during the task while optimizing it. I will be supervised by Prof. Bayu Jayawardhana and Prof. Ming Cao in this project.

I love swimming, and I enjoy traveling to new places. I am excited to meet and collaborate with all of you.

Name: Vaibhav Kumar Singh
Starting date: 01-02-2023
Function: Postdoc
Supervisor: Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen

Vaibhav Kumar Singh received the Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology Hamirpur, India in 2013 and the Master’s degree
in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in 2016. He obtained his Ph.D. in systems and control engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2021. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Groningen where he will be working in the research group of Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen. Prior to that, he was working as Senior Applied AI Scientist at Pristine Infotech.


PhD defences

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Twan Keijzer
Group: 3ME – DCSC
Thesis :Advances in Safety and Security of Cyber-Physical Systems – Sliding Mode Observers, Coalitional Control and Homomorphic Encryption
Promotores: J.W. van Wingerden and Dr. R. Ferrari
Date: 13-02-2023
Location: Senaatzaal, Aula
Time: 10:00

Candidate: Mattia Bianchi
Group: TUD – DCSC
Thesis: Equilibrium seeking in games under partial-decision information
Promotores: Dr.Ing. S. Grammatico and B. De Schutter
Date: 24-02-2023
Location: Senaatszaal, Aula
Time: 15:00

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: Patrick J.W. Koelewijn
Group: TU/e – Electrical Engineering
Thesis: Analysis and Control of Nonlinear Systems with Stability and Performance Guarantees – A Linear Parameter-Varying Approach
Promotor: Roland Toth
Date: 15-02-2023
Location: TU/e Atlas 0.710
Time: 16.00

Candidate: Alrianes A. Bachnas MSc.
Group: TU/e – Electrical Engineering
Thesis: Advancing Process Control using Orthonormal Basis Functions
Promotor: Prof dr. S. Weiland
Date: 17-02-2023
Location: TU/e Atlas 0.710
Time: 13.30

Candidate: Tom A.H. Bloemers
Group: TU/e
Thesis: Data-Driven Linear Parameter-Varying Control – A Frequency Domain Approach
Promotor: Roland Toth
Date: 03-03-2023
Location: TU/e Atlas 0.710
Time: 11:00

Groningen University

Candidate: Azka Burohman
Thesis: From data to reduced-order models of complex dynamical systems
Promotores: Prof Dr M.K. Camlibel, J.M.A. Scherpen
Date: 06-03-2023
Location: RUG
Time: 11:00

Wageningen University and Research

Candidate: Peter van Beveren
Group: WUR
Thesis: Optimal management of energy resources in greenhouse crop production systems
Promotores: E.J. van Henten, G. van Straten.
Co-promotor: Dr. J. Bontsema
Date: 31-01-2023
Location: WUR – Omnia Auditorium
Time: 16.00

You can cast your vote for one of the three finalists of Prins Friso Ingenieursprijs 2023!

Finalists Prince Friso Engineering Award 2023 announced

The three contenders for the Prince Friso Ingenieursprijs 2023 have been announced. They are Kerusha Lutchmiah, sewage water specialist at engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV, Simone de Rijke, art adviser at engineering firm Antea Group, and Jacquelien Scherpen, professor and director of the Groningen Engineering Center of the University of Groningen.

It is the first time that only women have been nominated for the prestigious award. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 15 March on Engineer Day in the Boskalis Auditorium in Papendrecht.

In addition to a jury prize, a public prize will also be awarded. Everyone can vote for his or her favorite finalist. From Tuesday 14 February, the portraits of the three finalists will be available on and the public vote will start. The polls are open until Monday 13 March.

You can cast your vote via the following link : Voting form -publieksprijs-2023 | KIVI

Vici grant awarded to Prof. Ming Cao

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Vici grant to Prof. Ming Cao, worth up to €1.5 million. With this money Prof. Cao can develop an innovative line of research in the field of the decision making process of autonomous robots. He will be able to set up his own research group for a period of five years.

Awarded research conducted by Professor of Networks and Robots Ming Cao (Faculty of Science and Engineering) concerns the decision making process of autonomous robots. With autonomous machines becoming ubiquitous in industry and daily life, we should be able to control the way these systems make decisions. This project draws inspiration from social animals (biology), competitive human behaviors (marketing), and collective opinion formation (sociology). Employing a multi-disciplinary approach, we will improve decision-making processes of autonomous robots working in teams, especially when they are frequently influenced by stochastic perturbations. The project will improve the control of autonomous robots, broaden the application of robot teams, and benefit smart factories and digital societies in the long run.


Invitation to a Symposium in Honour of Karel Keesman

It is the pleasure of WUR to invite you to a symposium celebrating the achievements of Karel Keesman throughout his long career.

This event is scheduled to commence at 13:30 on 30 March at Omnia located on the Wageningen Campus. As a colleague and/or friend of Karel, we believe that you would appreciate this opportunity to honor him for his significant contributions in the broad field of applied systems, control, and identification. More information about the symposium and the program can be found in the attachment.

Please RSVP to by 20th March if you would like to attend the symposium.

Program Symposium in honour of Karel Keesman

Call for Papers for the special issue on IEEE Control Systems Letters about “Multi-agent coordination for energy systems: From model based to data-driven methods”.

The L-CSS invites submissions for a special issue on “Multi-agent Coordination for energy systems” (to be included, tentatively, in the 2024 volume of L-CSS).

Authors are invited to submit six-page manuscripts for review on this topic.

The deadline for initial submissions is: June 30, 2023.

Submission for the special issue will be possible starting on April 01, 2023.
Submission instructions

Guest Editors:
• Luigi Glielmo, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy
• Sergio Grammatico, TU Delft, The Netherlands
• Hamed Kebriaei, University of Tehran, Iran
• Roy S. Smith, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Additional information : L-CSS Special Issue on MA for Energy 2023

Call for participation in NMC-2023 – Join the Netherlands Mathematical Congress 2023, 11-12 April, Utrecht 

The Netherlands Mathematical Congress (NMC-2023) will be organized again,
in Van der Valk Hotel Utrecht on  April 11-12, 2023.

After the successful NMC’s of 2018 and 2019 and the careful but successful post-pandemic restart of 2022, we hope for a very successful NMC-2023.

Please check out the website for more information.

EECI M16 – Control of Soft and Articulated Elastic Robots by Cosimo Della Santina (TU Delft), Alessandro De Luca (UniRome)

Cosimo Della Santina (TU Delft) and Alessandro De Luca (UniRome) give a course on
Control of Soft and Articulated Elastic Robots in Rome from 22/05/2023 – 26/05/2023

Early registration deadline: 19-03-2023

Program EECI M16
Complete EECI doctoral program


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The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in March 2023.

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