Newsletter January 2020

Message from the DISC office

We have the Benelux Meeting coming up first in March, the abstract submission is open (and closes January 13!) and we have secured some excellent invited speakers. Many thanks to the organizing committee for that!

We are also making plans for the Summer School . This year it will be organised by Javier Alonso Mora (TUD) and Ming Cao (RUG). The  subject will be “Planning, Learning and Control for Multi-Robot and Multi-Agent Systems” and the school is scheduled tentatively for June 30-July 3, 2020. More information will follow soon!

Best wishes,

Henk Nijmeijer
Scientific director

Martha Otte
DISC secretariat

39th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control (deadline abstract submission January 13!)





The Organising Committee has the pleasure to invite you to participate in the 39th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control. The meeting will be held from March 10-12, 2020 in “Hotel Mennorode”, Elspeet, the Netherlands.

Invited speakers:

Thomas Schön, Uppsala University, Sweden
Kristin Pettersen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (winner of the Hendrik W. Bode lecturer prize 2020)
Ming Cao, University of Groningen
Marcel Heertjes, Eindhoven University of Technology and ASML

Important dates:
13-01-2020  deadline abstract submission
03-02-2020  notification of acceptance
05-02-2020  deadline early registration
17-02-2020  deadline final abstract submission

For more information  visit the website:

DISC Course Program

On January 20 the following classes will start:

Mathematical Models of Systems

Dr. J. Polderman, University of Twente
Prof. H. Trentelman, University of Groningen
Prof. K. Camlibel, University of Groningen

Nonlinear Control Systems
Prof. B. Jayawardhana, University of Groningen
Prof. B. Besselink, University of Groningen

For the full list of courses for 2019-2020 see:
Register on the DISC course platform.

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

Barbara Franci (TUD) has been awarded the 2020 Games Travel Award

Dr. Barbara Franci has been awarded the 2020 Games Travel Award! The grant will support Barbara to attend a game-theoretic related conference in 2020.

For more information:


Behnam Asadi Khashooei, Duarte Antunes, and Maurice Heemels (TUe) win IEEE Control Systems Letters Outstanding Paper Award






Maarten Steinbuch (TUe) and Bart De Schutter (TUD) receive IEEE Fellowship






ERC Consolidator grant for Sarthak Misra (UT)

EECI Graduate School on Control (EECI-IGSC 2020) – “Modeling and Control of Nonlinear and Distributed Parameter Systems: the Port Hamiltonian Approach”

From Monday 24 February 2020 to Friday 28 February 2020, the course

“Modeling and Control of Nonlinear and Distributed Parameter Systems: the Port Hamiltonian Approach ” will be held at Centrale Supelec, Paris Saclay, France in the context of the 2020 International Graduate School on Control (EECI-IGSC-2020). The course is intended for PhD students and young researchers.

More information can be found on the website

If you are interested in following this course please register through the website

5th Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks & Doctoral Course on Nonlinear System Identification

The organisers are pleased to invite you to the 5th Edition of the Workshop on Nonlinear System Identification Benchmarks held at the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, 20-22 April 2020. The workshop is preceded by a doctoral course on nonlinear system identification, 14-17 April 2020.

The workshop is open to both presenting and non-presenting participants. Visit to get full information about the workshop!

Important dates:

  1. Registration deadline: February 01, 2020, register here
  2. Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2020 – 1-page abstract template available here
  3. Notification of acceptance: March 22, 2020

PhD position at KU Leuven

In the MECO Research team at KU Leuven (Belgium), Department of Mechanical Engineering, we are looking for an excellent PhD candidate on Multi-agent learning and control for mechatronic systems. More information can be found at

Assistant professor position at WUR

Wageningen University & Research has a position open for an Assistant professor position in Self-learning control for autonomous agricultural production systems (Tenure Track)

New people

Delft University of Technology

Darko Bozhinoski is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Cognitive Robotics, Delft University of Technology.  He will be working together with Dr. Carlos Hernandez Corbato on MROS: Metacontrol for ROS2 systems ( He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Gran Sasso Science Institute in 2017.

In his Ph.D. thesis, he proposed a formal modeling framework that enables Mobile Multi-Robot systems (MMRSs) to perform collective adaptation in a decentralized-fashion at run-time, guaranteeing preservation of safety constraints. As a postdoctoral researcher at IRIDIA, ULB, Brussels, he worked on the DEMIURGE Project – project sponsored via advanced ERC Consolidator Grant that focuses on automatic design of robot swarms. There, he worked on the development of a specification language for defining swarm missions. In 2016, he was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship that gave him an opportunity to spend one year of his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University as a visiting research scholar. His research interests include software engineering, formal methods, swarm robotics and self-adaptive systems.  More info can be found here:

Personally, he is a big advocate of science communication especially towards young audience. During his time in Brussels, he regularly organized tech and scientific events tailored to general audience. He also participates in the organization and tutoring of young people that work on tech projects that have a social impact as part of the European Youth Award (EYA) (

Eindhoven University of Technology

My name Gerben Beintema. I did my Master Applied physics at the TU/e with my graduation project being in controlling turbulent flows with reinforcement learning. Due to my interesting in doing academic research I started my PhD in Machine Learning for non-linear system identification at the Control Systems research group of the Electrical Engineering department at the TU/e. Our goal with this PhD is to establish an informative link between the methods of system identification and machine learning with a focus on developing general tools for non-linear system identification. I enjoy spending my free time in the fitness, on personal programming projects and watching movies and shows

I am currently a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and affiliated with the Dynamics and Control research group. Prior joining to TU/e, I was a research scientist in the Autonomous Motion Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany (Oct. 2017–Nov. 2019) and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA (Aug. 2016 – Oct. 2017). I received my PhD degree in electrical and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, in 2016 and my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, in 2007 and from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, in 2009, respectively. My current research focuses on the algorithmic foundations of robotics. My research goal at TU/e is to integrate perception, control, and learning in the design of provably correct safe adaptive motion planning algorithms for robots operating around people. In addition to my research on safe autonomous mobility, I also conduct research on estimation and control in mobile sensor networks for active information gathering. Broadly, my research interests include robotics, motion planning, dynamical systems, control theory, sensor networks, optimization, machine learning and machine perception.

If you happen to be in Eindhoven and are enthusiastic about robotics, please drop me a line. It is always nice to meet new colleagues and discuss about robotics research and technologies.

Hi all! My name is Maurice Poot and I started as a Ph.D. student in the Control Systems Technology group this week. Since my bachelor ME at the TU/e, I’ve been fascinated by control and the applications of it, which let me pursue a masters in Systems & Control. In my master thesis, I explored the field of reinforcement learning to develop a model-free learning technique for learning feedforward signals using basis functions. I’m very excited to continue research on learning control in collaboration with ASMPT to cope with machine-to-machine differences, multivariable systems, and unmeasured performance variables in back-end semiconductor machines. Besides all the analytic thinking, I have a small sock subscription company with friends, which I use as a creative outlet. Additionally, I enjoy swimming and philosophizing about life. Hope to meet you soon.

University of Groningen

Name: M. Badillo
Starting date: 01-12-2019
Function: Guest postdoc researcher
Supervisor: Monica Acuautla
Project: Synthesis and characterization of HfO2 thin films doped with Zr, Sr and Ca, based on low toxicity chemical solutions for piezoelectric applications

Dr. Miguel Badillo obtained his Ph. D. degree in Materials Science in CINVESTAV-I.P.N in Mexico. His main research purpose is focused on the chemical synthesis of new materials to be deposited as thin films. He has worked in the development of titanium dioxide powders and thin films by the sol-gel technique for its use as catalysts in water and air decontamination processes using UV radiation. He has also worked in the physical and chemical synthesis of copper oxides, of which Cu2O stabilization in ambient conditions is his specialty. Cu2O is a cost-effective, cheap and non-toxic p-type semiconductor useful in solar cells, thin film transistors, etc. He also has experience on the synthesis of other metallic oxides such as ZnO, SnO2, CdO and CdTiO3. He is currently working on a low-toxicity chemical synthesis route for producing Zr, Sr or Ca doped-HfO2 films for piezoelectric and ferroelectric applications. His professional motivation is to gain a deep understanding of the chemical phenomena occurring at the small-scale during materials synthesis and apply it to performance improvement in devices.

Di Liu is currently pursuing the double Ph.D. degree in cyber engineering with the School of Cyber Science and Engineering, Southeast University and Bernoulli institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Groningen. Her supervisors are Prof. Harry Trentelman, Dr. Bart Besselink, Prof. Wenwu Yu and Prof. Simone Baldi, and her current research interests include adaptive and learning systems and control, with applications in intelligent transportation systems and automatic vehicles.

Introduction:Hi! My name is Anne-Men and I just joined the Systems, Control and Applied Analysis group at the University of Groningen. Before I studied Applied Mathematics, focused on Systems and Control theory, at the same university.

My research project in embedded in new multidisciplinary research group called CogniGron. In short, the goal of this group is to develop both hardware and software for a new computing paradigm called neuromorphic computing. This way of computing is inspired on the human brain and we hope to learn from the energy efficiency of it.  In my research, I will use tools from systems and control theory to study the behavior of networks of memristive devices. This in order to help the material scientist with the development of suitable hardware for neuromorphic computing.

In my free time, next to meeting up with friends, I enjoy to do a lot of sports such as rowing, cycling and climbing. Besides that you can, so now and then, encounter me as an actress in plays or outside of the Netherlands while I am traveling.

Juan E. Machado received the B.Sc. degree in electromechanical engineering in 2012 from Technological Institute of La Paz (ITLP), La Paz, México, the M.Sc. degree in applied mathematics in 2015 from Center for Research in Mathematics (CIMAT), Guanajuato, México, and successfully defended his PhD thesis in automatic control in 2019 at University of Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.

Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, department of Discrete Technology and Production Automation of the University of Groningen, where he works under the supervision of Professor J.M.A. Scherpen. His research interests are within the analysis and control of nonlinear and networked systems, with a strong emphasis on electric power grids.

University of Twente

PhD Defences December 2019 and January 2020

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Jianbing Jin
Group: Mathematical Physics
Thesis: Dust Strom Emission Inversion Using Data Assimilation
Promotor: prof.dr. H.X. Lin
Date: 3 december 2019
Location: Aula
Time: 12.30

Candidate: Hai Gong
Group: DCSC
Thesis: Optical field sampling for imaging and optical testing
Promotor: M. Verhaegen and Prof.dr. G. Vdovin
Date: 16 december 2019
Location: Aula
Time: 12.30

Candidate: Tim de Bruin
Group: CoR
Thesis: Sample Efficient Deep Reinforcement Learning for Control
Promotores: prof. R. Babuska, prof. K. Tuyls and dr. J. Kober
Date: 17 January 2020
Location: Aula
Time: 10.00

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate:         H. Xing, MSc
Group:                 Dynamics & Control
Thesis:                 Delay-aware analysis and design of cooperative adaptive cruise controllers
Promotor:          Prof.dr. H. Nijmeijer
Date:                    December 18, 2019
Location:             TU/e, Atlas, room 0.710
Time:                    4pm

University of Twente

Candidate: Mourad Jaffar-Bandjee
Group: RaM
Thesis: Pheromone transport in multiscale pectinate antennae
Promotor: G.J.M. Krijnen
Date: 12-12-2019
Location: Prof.dr. G. Berkhoff-zaal – Universiteit Twente
Time: 10.45 uur

Candidate: Vincent Groenhuis
Group: RaM
Thesis: Robotic systems for breast biopsy using MRI and ultrasound imaging
Promotor: S. Stramigioli
Date: 09-01-2020
Location: Prof.dr. G. Berkhoff-zaal – Universiteit Twente
Time: 14.45 uur

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