Newsletter January 2018

Message from the DISC office

Dear DISC member,

First of all we would like to wish you all the best for 2018! We hope that have enjoyed the holidays and that you are ready for the new year ahead. The Benelux Meeting is approaching fast. The registration is open and keep in mind that abstract submission will close on January 22. We are also working on the Summer School (more on that further on in the newsletter) and at the end of January two new DISC courses will start. Enough to keep us busy!

The year starts well with two DISC members who have been awarded a grant: Sergio Grammatico (DCSC) receives an NWO TOP grant and Ming Cao (ENTEG) an ERC consolidator grant. Congratualations to both, and hopefully there will be more of such successes to report in 2018!

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

Upcoming DISC courses

In January 2018 the following DISC courses will start:

Mathematical Models of Systems
J.W. Polderman and H. Trentelman

Nonlinear Control Systems
B. Jayawardhana
B. Besselink

This academic year the following courses are scheduled:

Model reduction for Control, from Linear to Nonlinear Systems

Adaptive Control
Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control
Mathematical Models of Systems
Nonlinear Control Systems
Multi-agent Network Dynamics and Games
Design Methods for Control Systems
System Identification


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

37th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control – registration now open, abstract submission closes January 22

The Organizing Committee has the pleasure of inviting you to participate in the

37th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

to be held in “Kontakt der Kontinenten”, Soesterberg, The Netherlands, on March 27 – 29, 2018.

The aim of this meeting is to promote research activities and cooperation between researchers in Systems and Control. It is the thirty-seventh in a series of annual conferences that are held alternately in Belgium and The Netherlands. The Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control is an important yearly event where academics and PhD students from The Netherlands and Belgium meet each other both scientifically and socially. Additionally, the Benelux Meetings serve as a training platform for PhD students to present and discuss their work in an -informal- international setting. The meeting takes place under the auspices of the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC).


Invited speakers

Professor Dongheui Lee, Technical University of Munich, Germany will lecture on “Robot learning through physical interaction and human guidance”.




Dr. Tamas Keviczky, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands will lecture on the topic of “Distributed optimization in model predictive control and smart grid energy systems”.


In addition, there will be a Minicourse by Professor Murat Arcak, Berkeley University California, USA on “Networks of Dissipative Systems: Compositional Certification of Stability, Performance, and Safety”.



Important dates

Abstract submission opens                            December 1, 2017
Registration opens                                        January 8, 2018
Deadline abstract submission                    January 22, 2018
Notification of acceptance                             February 5, 2018
Deadline final abstract submission                 February 19, 2018
Deadline early registration                        February 7, 2018
Conference program and BOA ready              March 15, 2018

We hope to welcome you at the 37th Benelux Meeting of Systems and Control!

DISC Summer School 2018





Behind the scenes we are working on the DISC Summer School 2018. This year the organisers are Robert Babuska (TUD), Jens Kober (TUD) and Roland Toth (TUe). The subject will be “Machine learning for Control” and we plan to organise the Summer School in the week of June 18-22, 2018. More information will follow soon!

IEEE Conference BioRob 2018 athe University of Twente




The seventh IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics – BioRob 2018 –  will be held at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, August 26-29, 2018. Website:

BIOROB2018 Flyer

IFAC workshop NecSys 2018 at the University of Groningen

The 7th IFAC Workshop on Distributed Estimation and Control in Networked Systems (NecSys18) will be held at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, August 27-28, 2018.

Networked systems and complex dynamical systems can be taken as composed of a large number of simple systems interacting through a communication medium. These systems arise as natural models in many areas of engineering and sciences, such as sensor networks, autonomous and unmanned vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT), smart manufacturing systems (Industry 4.0), biological networks, and animal cooperative aggregation.

The workshop will focus on recent theoretical and experimental developments in the last few years for the analysis, design, identification, estimation and control of networked systems. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers from control, computer science, communication, game theory, statistics, mathematics and other areas, as well as practitioners in the related industrial or educational fields, to discuss emerging topics in networked systems of common interest.

For more information, see:

Jan-Willem van Wingerden (DCSC) appointed full professor of data driven control

Associate professor Jan-Willem van Wingerden has been appointed full professor of data driven control at the Delft Centre for Systems and Control as of 12 December. Jan-Willem van Wingerden’s research focuses on the measurement and control technology of large-scale mechatronic systems that are propelled by a disruption such as wind or waves. His research is unique because it is on the interface of measurement and control technology and mechanical engineering.

ERC consolidator grant for Ming Cao (RUG ENTEG)

Cao is trained as an electrotechnical engineer and is an expert in building mathematical models for complex systems. He conducts ground-breaking research in the field of control systems that allow groups of autonomous robots to work together.
In order to have autonomous cars and robots function effectively and safely, they must be able to take each other’s actions into account. Cao works on this development with colleagues from sociology, mathematics and biology. The resulting algorithms he develops for robots are partly inspired by the movements of animals, particularly fish and birds, who also act in formation.

Sergio Grammatico (DCSC) awarded an NWO TOP-Grant

Sergio Grammatico, assistant professor in the department DCSC, has been awarded a TOP-Grant for curiosity-driven research in Mathematics, module 2, for his research project “Complex Network Games: The Scenario Approach”. With this TOP-Grant, Sergio Grammatico is able to appoint a PhD candidate.

The NWO TOP Grant Module 2 applies to junior researchers at the start of their scientific career (2-10 years after their PhD defense). In this group, these scientists belong to the top of their research area. A TOP Grant Module 2 aims to be a first step towards building a research group.

New people

Delft University of Technology

Hello, my name is Linda van der Spaa. Past summer I finished my double Master degree in Biomechanical Design – Biorobotics and Systems & Control with honours at the Delft University of technology. For my graduation project on parallel elastic actuator and control design for extreme energy efficiency in robotics I was awarded Best Graduate 2016/2017 of my faculty. Now I am working on Intention-aware planning of physical human-robot interaction tasks at the department of Cognitive Robotics.

Besides engineering, I have a large passion for classical music. I play flute and percussion at a semi-professional level in orchestras, smaller ensembles and occasionally solo. Next to that, I compose and arrange music and I am currently also learning how to conduct an orchestra.

Carlos received his B.S. degree in Electronic Engineering at Universidad Distrital, Bogota, Colombia in 2012, and was doing his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at University of Chile from 2013 to 2017. He was a visiting student researcher at the CORAL group in CMU (Aug-Dec, 2016), at DCSC in TU Delft (Jan-Apr, 2017), and at the IAS group in TU Darmstadt (Jun-Sep, 2017). His research activities are mainly centered on Machine Learning applied to decision making systems for robots, especially  Reinforcement Learning, Learning form Demonstration, and other Interactive Machine Learning approaches.

University of Groningen

PhD defences January

University of Twente

Candidate: Alexander Kuck
Group: ET – BW
Thesis: Trans-Spinal Direct Current Stimulation for the Modulation of the Lumbar Spinal Motor Networks
Promotor: H. van der Kooij
Date: 24-01-2018
Location: Waaier Room 4, Prof.dr. G. Berkhoff – zaal
Time: 14.45 hrs.

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in February 2018.
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