Newsletter January / February 2022

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

Welcome to the combined January / February newsletter.

Hopefully 2022 will offer more possibilities to meet and see each other face to face.  We decided that the two DISC courses which started in January to offer it onsite and for those who had no possibility to travel to Utrecht to follow it online.

At the moment we are busy preparing the bidbook for IFAC WC 2029. The bidbook needs to be handed in before March 24th, 2022.

In March we organise a DISC Winter School on Data Learning & Dynamics at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Control. We still have places available, please register via the Courseplatform.

We also have added a Spring DISC Course on Analysis and Control of differential-algebraic systems of 4 weeks partly taking place at Domstad ( 28-03/ 04-04/ 11-04 and 25-04). Please register via the courseplatform.

In June we organise a DISC Summer School on Security and Resiliency for Cyber-Physical Systems – foundations and recent advances. More information will follow shortly.

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Renate Kragtwijk,
DISC secretariat


Course program 2021-2022

The DISC course program 2021-2022 has been updated with an extra spring module on Analysis and Control of differential-algebraic systems. You can find it here. Registration is open on the DISC course platform.

The courses take place live in Utrecht, at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad.

We are offering the following courses:

Mathematical Models of Systems
Nonlinear Control Systems
Modeling and Control of Flexible and Soft Robots
Modelling and Control of Hybrid Systems
Design Methods for Control System
Analysis and Control of differential-algebraic systems

Winter Course Data Learning & Dynamics at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Control on March 10 and 11, 2022

The wintercourse will take place at Delft University of Technology.  We still have some places available, so please register here.

DISC Best Thesis Award 2021 & Best Thesis Award Jury 2021

In total 7 people have been nominated for the DISC Best Thesis Award.  The jury has been appointed and they will select a candidate before the end of March 2022.

New people

Twente University

Name: Yu-Hsiang Lin
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: PdD
Group: Surgical Robotics Lab
Supervisor:Prof. Sarthak Misra

I am a Ph.D. student at the Surgical Robotics Lab under the supervision of Prof. Sarthak Misra. I have received my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University and my Dipl.-Ing. degree (equivalent to a master’s degree) in mechatronics with the specialization in micromechatronics from Technische Universität Dresden. During my study at TU Dresden, I had the opportunity to do a summer internship and a mandatory internship at Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart. My research interests lie in the design and control of bio-inspired robots with applications to medicine. The research I will be focusing on during my Ph.D. study is developing new actuation and sensing methods of milli/micro-systems.

Name: Danielle Kruijver
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Precision Engineering
Supervisor: Dr. Wouter Hakvoort and Dr. Marijn Nijenhuis
Project: Algorithmic layout generation method for engineered structures

Hello, my name is Danielle Kruijver. I received my bachelor’s and recently my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente. During my master’s graduation project, I worked on the improvement of an estimation algorithm for a measurement device when multiple noise sources are disturbing the system. I just started my PhD at the Precision Engineering group at the University of Twente under the supervision of Dr. Wouter Hakvoort and Dr. Marijn Nijenhuis. My research will be focused on the use of engineered structures in flexure mechanisms and the control of the material and mechanism. Outside the university, I like to go for a run and play tennis.

Name: Silke Glas
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: Assistant Professor
Group: MAST
Supervisor: Hans Zwart

Project: Model Reduction of (port-)Hamiltonian Systems.

Silke Glas is an assistant professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Twente. Her research interests include the development and numerical analysis of (structure-preserving) model reduction methods for partial differential equations and (port-)Hamiltonian systems with applications in plasma physics and engineering.

Before her appointment at University of Twente, Dr. Glas was a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University within the Simons Collaboration on Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy. She received her PhD in numerical analysis from the University of Ulm in 2018.

Delft University of Technology

Name: Yun Li
Starting date: 15-01-2022
Function: PhD
Group: 3ME – DCSC
Supervisor:Tamas Keviczky

I was born in Gansu, China. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Automation at Beijing University of Chemical Technology and my Master’s degree in Control Science and Engineering at Beihang University. Since 2019, I have been employed as a research assistant at New York University and the University of British Columbia. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, playing badminton, and playing video games.

My research at TU Delft is about using control, optimization, and machine learning techniques to add operational intelligence to buildings. To this end, a simulation model of buildings will be developed. Then, real-time optimal control strategies will be designed by utilizing model-based and data-driven prediction models. The developed strategies will be numerically tested and experimentally validated.


Name: Omid Nejadseyfi
Starting date:01-02-2022
Function: Post-doc
Group: 3ME – DCSC
Supervisor: Dimitris Boskos

My name is Omid Nejadseyfi and I have a multidisciplinary background in mechanical engineering and materials science. I received my PhD degree from University of Twente in 2019 focusing on optimization under the influence of uncertainties in advanced manufacturing. Since then, I have been working in the 3D printing industry to realize large-scale and high-resolution 3D printers.

I will be joining TU Delft as a Postdoc researcher to work on Active Sensing & Control for Hydrofoil Craft under Uncertain Loading which will be conducted at the Data-Driven group (Delft Center for Systems and Control) and Ship Hydromechanics group (Maritime & Transport Technology)

I am looking forward to meeting the challenge of developing new scientific territories at TU Delft.

Name: Anna Meszaros
Starting date:01-01-2022
Group: 3ME – CoR
Supervisor: Dr. Jens Kober and Dr. Javier Alonso Mora

My name is Anna Meszaros. I have been pursuing the field of robotics and artificial intelligence since the beginning of my academic studies. Having completed a Bachelor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Lübeck as well as a Master in Biomechanical Design with a specialization in Bio-Robotics at TU Delft, I aim to continue the pursuit for developing intelligent systems which can match and potentially surpass our own capabilities.

During my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jens Kober and Dr. Javier Alonso Mora I will be delving into the challenge of anticipating the intentions of people, with primary focus being directed towards the enablement of autonomous vehicles. The goal is to not only anticipate intentions, but also understand the quality of such predictions and formulate this knowledge in a manner such that it can be used for effective motion planning and control. I hope that by the end of my studies I will have developed a method for more effective intention prediction and take a step closer to making it possible for autonomous systems to safely co-exist with us.

On a less career-oriented note, I have spent a good portion of my life moving from country to country, having lived in five different countries so far. This has brought with it both a fascination for languages and cultures as well as my incapacity to give an answer to the question of where I’m from. Aside from looking for opportunities to pick up new language skills, my more prominent hobbies are drawing and occasionally painting and I have recently embarked on the new venture of teaching myself how to play guitar. I am also a fan of bouldering (although I must admit I am not particularly good yet), so if there are more people interested perhaps we could see to organizing our own small climbing group!


Name:Tomás Coleman
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: PhD
Group: 3ME – CoR
Supervisor:Dr. Cosimo Della Santina, Dr. Jens Kober and Prof. Robert Babuska.

Hi Everyone,

My name is Tomás Coleman and I will be joining the Cognitive Robotics department as a PhD student. My work will focus on bimanual manipulation of variable and deformable objects and my supervisors will be Dr. Cosimo Della Santina, Dr. Jens Kober and Prof. Robert Babuska.

I’m from Wexford in Ireland and completed my undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering in University College Dublin. More recently, I completed an MSc degree in Mathematical Modeling and Self-Learning Systems in University College Cork. Prior to the MSc, I worked in design and R&D for a company building robotic systems for explosive ordnance disposal. Before coming to Delft, I was working as a researcher exploring the use of robotic systems for manufacturing applications, for the Irish Manufacturing Research lab.

Outside of work, I like to keep active with things like swimming, surfing and hiking. Moving to the Netherlands, cycling will probably be added to that. I also enjoy playing around with electronics and microcontrollers.

I’m really excited to join the CoR group and see the research being carried out here.


Eindhoven University of Technology

Name:Philipp Mitterbach
Starting date: 10-01-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Dynamics & Control
Supervisor: Irene Kuling & Sasha Pogromsky

Project: The modelling and control of flexible structures and soft robots

Under the supervision of Dr. Irene Kuling and Dr. Sasha Pogromskiy I will pursue my research in the field of Soft Robotics. I am from Regensburg in Germany and did my Master of Science at the University of Stuttgart with the main subjects Nonlinear Mechanics and System Dynamics within the branch of Technical Cybernetics. Therefore my primary research field is the modelling and control of flexible structures and soft robots.


Name:Sander Dingemans
Starting date: 01-02-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Dynamics & Control
Supervisor: Alessandro Saccon

My name is Sander Dingemans and I am 23 years old. In my spare time, I like to do sports, play video games, watch Formula 1, and meet up with friends. In January 2022, I obtained my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, specialized in Dynamics and Control.  During my graduation project I worked on the validation of an impact-aware particle filter that is used to follow the movement of parcels from frame to frame in a video, after being tossed on a conveyor belt. This project was a continuation of the work of Maarten Jongeneel.  To further improve and complete my work, Alessandro Saccon asked if I wanted to continue with the project after my graduation, to which I agreed. From February 2022, I will  start working as a research engineer in the Dynamics and Control group. I am excited for this opportunity and also curious to see what more we can achieve in the field of robotics by incorporating impact dynamics in visual object tracking techniques

Name: Canqi Yao
Starting date: 01/01/2021
Function: Visiting PhD Candidate
Group: Control Systems Engineering
Supervisor: Mauro Salazar


Project: Optimization algorithms for the control of electric autonomous mobility-on-demand systems

I received the B.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from Changsha University of Science and Technology (CSUST), Changsha, Hunan, China, in 2018. Currently, I am pursuing the PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. My current research interests include smart grid, electrified transportation systems, and optimization theory.

I will investigate optimization algorithms for the control of electric autonomous mobility-on-demand systems, with an emphasis on modeling their interaction with the urban infrastructure. I  will work under the supervision of Mauro Salazar.

Name: Sarvin Moradi
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: PhD candidate
Group: Control Systems – EE
Supervisor: Dr. ir. Roland Toth; Dr. ir. Maarten Schoukens;    Dr. ir. Nick Jaensson
Project: Learning Constitutive Laws in a Multi-Physics System

I started my job as a PhD candidate in January 2022, and now I am a member of the CS group in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the TUe. My research will be focused on the physics-informed learning framework, where the classic physics laws are embedded in the state-of-the-art machine learning tools. Starting from a data-driven modeling point of view, this project aims to learn constitutive laws in a multi-physics setting.
I have finished my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tehran, and I am really excited to follow my journey at the TUe. I have worked in the realm of active control and Bayesian filtering and more recently my research has been focused on the application of the Physics Informed Neural Networks.

Name: Francis le Roux
Starting date: 17 January 2022
Function: PhD candidate
Group: Control Systems – EE
Supervisor: Tijs Donkers
Project: Battery Competence Center

Hi everyone! My name is Francis and I recently relocated to Eindhoven from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I completed my masters degree at Nelson Mandela University in 2020 where I had an opportunity to go on exchange in Ingolstadt, Germany for 8 months. I then worked as an embedded systems software developer for a year, in 2021. I come from a close knitted family of four and have two basset hounds, Bella and Floyd back home. When I am not working I am spending time reading, hiking, being outdoors or adventuring with my friends or partner. I look forward to meeting everyone and am excited for what this new chapter holds.

Name: Mehmet Tolga Akan
Starting date: 21-01-2022
Function: PhD candidate
Group: Control Systems – EE
Supervisor: Dr. Leyla Özkan

Project: Data Enhanced Digital Twin Development for Process Control

Hello everyone! I am Mehmet Tolga Akan from Turkey. I received my BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering at Middle East Technical University Ankara and MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich. My Ph.D. project is Data Enhanced Digital Twin Development for Process Control under the supervision of Dr. Leyla Özkan in CS group at TU/e. I enjoy cooking and cycling.

Groningen University

Name: M.V. Surya Prakash
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: PhD
Group: SMS
Supervisor: prof. Claudio De Persis and dr. Nima Monshizadeh

Project: Privacy-aware control and optimization

I completed my Bachelor’s of Technology in 2015 from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in the discipline of Electrical Engineering. I received my Master of Science (Research) in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Control systems from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2019. My M.S. thesis titled “Epidemic spreading models on networks: Analysis and Control” is based on my research on the application of control techniques to the spreading processes in general, and the epidemic spreading processes in particular.


Name: Xiaoxiao Zhao
Starting date: 01-01-2022
Function: visiting PhD student
Group: DTPA
Supervisor: prof. Ming Cao

Project: Distributed multi-agent reinforcement learning

Xiaoxiao Zhao received the B.E degree in Internet of Things and the M.E degree in Control of Science and Engineering from Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, in 2015 and 2018, respectively. She is pursuing her PhD degree in Control of Science and Engineering in Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Now she pursue study at the University of Groningen as a visiting PhD student. Her current research interests include machine learning, reinforcement learning and distributed optimization.

PhD defences

Wageningen University & Research

Candidate: Caspar V.C. Geelen
Group: Mathematical and Statistical Methods – Biometris
Thesis: Smart Detection and Real-time Learning in Water Distribution: An Integrated Data-Model Approach
Promotores: prof. Karel J. Keesman, prof. Jaap Molenaar and dr. D. Yntema
Date: 25-01-2022 – 13:30

Candidate: Sara Mello Pinho
Group: Mathematical and Statistical Methods – Biometris
Thesis: FLOCponics: The integration of biofloc technology with plant production
Promotores: prof. Karel J. Keesman, prof Maria C. Portella (São Paulo State University, Brasil)
Date: 22-02-2022 – 16:00

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate:       Ir. J.M.F. Reinders
Group:             Dynamics & Control
Thesis:            Smart Mechanical Ventilators: Learning for Monitoring and Control
Promotor: N. van de Wouw
Date:               02-02-2022
Location:        TU/e hybrid – 11:00

Delft University of Technology

Candidate:      Hai Zhu
Group:            3ME – CoR
Thesis:             Probabilistic Motion Planning for Multi-Robot Systems
Promotor:        Prof. dr. R. Babuska
Date:               27-01-2022
Location:         TUD hybrid – 10:00

2022 European Control Award

The 2022 European Control Award has been awarded to Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani of Delft University of Technology – 3ME- DCSC.

The European Control Award recognizes outstanding contributions by a young researcher in the area of systems and control.

For more information, see


Vacancies at WUR

At Biometris, the integration of the chair groups Applied Mathematics and Applied Statistics and the business unit Biometris, they have a tenure track vacancy in the Applied Mathematics chair group for a quantitative academic in the field of Dynamic Systems, Signals, and Control.

Vacancy Assistant professor in Dynamic Systems, Signals and Control. The full text is available here.

Vacancy Senior researcher Dynamic System Identification and Control. the full text is available here.

WUR also has an interesting position with experts from Biometris Wageningen University & Research in collaboration with RIVM.
Vacancy Principal Investigator Quantitative Risk Assessment.
The full text is available here.


Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in March 2022.

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