Newsletter July 2023

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

The DISC Summer School will take place from 12-15 September this year. We still have places available, please register on the course platform.

We have made progress with the course program 2023-2024. Hopefully we can share the final program in the next newsletter.

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Renate Kragtwijk,
DISC secretariat

Course program 2023-2024

The DISC course program 2023-2024 is almost finalised.

We will start in October 2023 and the courses will take place in Utrecht at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad.

We will be offering the following courses:

  • System Identification
  • Learning & Adaptive Control
  • Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control
  • Mathematical Models of Systems
  • Nonlinear Control Systems
  • Model Predictive Control
  • Probabilistic Sensor Fusion

More information will follow.

Summer School “Control of Power and Energy Systems”

Ashish Cherukuri, Sergio Grammatico and Mircea Lazar have the pleasure to invite you to participate to the DISC Summer School “Control of Power and Energy Systems”, which will place from September 12-15, 2023, in NH Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.

Control of Power and Energy Systems

Control is ubiquitous in modern power and energy systems across virtually all time scales and system sizes, from high efficiency multi-level power electronics to power generation and storage in smart power grids, as well as to coordination mechanisms in day-ahead and intra-day energy markets. The 2023 DISC Summer School aims at presenting the most relevant control and optimization methodologies in these application areas via tutorial lectures and research-oriented talks.

The main topics of this Summer School are:

– Control of Power Electronics and Power-Electronics-Dominated Systems

– Analysis and Control of Power Systems

– Optimization of Power Systems

– Coordination and Optimization of Energy Markets

The class will be a mix of lectures and tutorials with hands-on implementation of state-of-the-art algorithms. Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their own research with the speakers and amongst each other.


The main program will consist of several international and national speakers. Confirmed keynote lectures are:

  • Prof. Kenneth Bruninx, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Yuri Dvorkin, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Prof. Tobias Geyer, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (online)
  • Prof. Enrique Mallada, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Prof. Aleksandra Lekic, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Nima Monshizadeh, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Phuong Nguyen, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Prof. Johannes Schiffer, Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany
  • Prof. John Simpson-Porco, University of Toronto, Canada

Program DISC_Summer_School 2023

For more information, please visit the DISC Summer School website.


Please register for the Summer School on the DISC course platform.   The maximum number of participants is 50.

The registrations will be handled in order of arrival. When the maximum number of participants is reached the registrations will be closed.

Jacquelien Scherpen to be new Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen

The UG Supervisory Board has appointed Prof. J.M.A. (Jacquelien) Scherpen (born in 1966) as Rector Magnificus and member of the Board of the University of Groningen. A positive advice has been granted by the consultative participation bodies. The appointment will cover a period of four years, starting on 1 September 2023. Jacquelien Scherpen is succeeding the current Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga.

‘Jacquelien Scherpen’s appointment gives me great joy,’ says Johan Remkes, chair of the Supervisory Board of the University of Groningen. ‘She is capable of giving attention to teaching and research in a balanced way and of maintaining the important and healthy relationship with the student community. She has already had an impressive career and has more than earned her academic spurs. With her expansive network, she is well equipped to represent the UG in various bodies.’

Jouke de Vries, President of the Board of the University of Groningen, explains why Scherpen came out as the most suitable candidate: ‘She is a leading scientist, and her work is regarded as innovative and groundbreaking both nationally and internationally. She knows our University well, and we know her as a passionate lecturer, mentor, and bridge-builder, with much managerial experience in academia. As the Board of the University, we look forward to collaborating with her to jointly strengthen the quality of teaching and research as well as the UG’s leading position.

Jacquelien Scherpen is delighted with her appointment as Rector Magnificus of the UG. ‘I look forward to contributing to the governance of this versatile University as a member of the Board. That versatility means that we have all the ingredients to come to high-quality and integrated scientific solutions to the great societal issues and transitions we are facing. I am inspired by the fact that the UG has a unique profile in the Netherlands, with international acclaim for the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and engineering sciences. In my opinion, this constitutes a solid starting point for groundbreaking multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary developments in teaching and research that contribute to solving societal issues.’

On 1 September, her first day as the new Rector Magnificus, Jacquelien Scherpen will have worked at the UG for exactly 17 years.


After finishing her studies in Applied Mathematics at the University of Twente, she worked at Delft University of Technology for almost 13 years. In 2006, she became a professor at the UG’s Faculty of Science and Engineering. She continued her career at the UG as director of the ENTEG (ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen). She has been working as Captain of Science since March 2020. She also holds several administrative functions at national and international institutions and organizations.

Jacquelien has been very active in DISC both as course lecturer as well as board member since 2015 and we do wish her all the best in her new role as rector of the University of Groningen. We thank her for all contributions to DISC.


IFAC Automatica paper prize 2023

Congratulations to Marcel Heertjes, Maurice Heemels, Henk Nijmeijer, Sebastiaan van den Eijnden, Bardia Sharif and Daniel Deenen.





Their paper “Projection-Based Integrators for Improved Motion Control: Formalization, Well-posedness and Stability of Hybrid Integrator-Gain Systems, No. 109830 ” was selected as one of the best three papers that will receive the Automatica Paper Prize 2020-2022.

The award was handed out during the Awards Ceremony at the Closing of IFAC 2023 in Yokohama, on Friday July 14, 2023.

Two workshops in Groningen

Half a century ago, Jan Willems founded the Systeemtheorie en Regeltechniek research group at the Mathematics Institute of the University of Groningen, which has since become a leading center for research and education in systems and control theory both at the national and international level. This anniversary celebration is an opportunity for us to reflect on the many achievements of the Groningen systems and control community and its impact on the field over the past 50 years.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, we are organizing a workshop titled:

Five Decades of Systems and Control Theory in Groningen

Date: September 21-22, 2023

Time: September 21 (13:00 – 17:30), September 22 (9:00 – 17:00)

The workshop will feature a series of talks by current and former members of the Dutch systems and control community, as well as keynote speeches by invited international guests.

In addition to the anniversary workshop, we are also organizing another workshop dedicated to celebrating the retirement of Harry Trentelman:

Workshop Dedicated to Harry Trentelman’s Retirement

Date: September 23, 2023

Time: 10:00 – 17:00

After more than 30 years of service at the University of Groningen, Harry retired in August of last year. This workshop will be a special occasion to honor his contributions and accomplishments.

We extend our warm invitation to you to join us at both workshops.

Those who wish to join us for either or both workshops are kindly requested to send an email to by September 1. Please indicate your attendance preference and any specific dietary requirements for the workshops.

New people

Eindhoven University of Technology

Name: Abdullah Habboush
Starting date: 15-08-2023
Function: PhD
Group: Dynamics & Control
Supervisor: N. van de Wouw & T.A.E. Oomen
Project: Learning in Motion project

Abdullah Habboush obtained his B.Sc. degree (high honor) in Mechanical Engineering from Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 2020. In 2023, he obtained an M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, where he worked on human-in-the-loop systems, memory-augmented control, and neural and adaptive control systems. Abdullah will start as a doctoral candidate at the Dynamics and Control (D&C) group of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), where he will work, under the supervision of Nathan van de Wouw and Tom Oomen, on Digital Twinning for control of web and belt handling in printing systems.

Delft University of Technology

Name: Meenaskshi Meenakshi
Starting date: 01-04-2023
Function: postdoc
Supervisor: dr. ing. R. van de Plas

I am Meenakshi, and I am currently working as a postdoc fellow at 3ME-DCSC. Prior to that, I have received my bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from Kurukshetra University, India and the MTech. degree in electronics and communication engineering from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. I have completed my doctorate degree from the Electrical Engineering Department of Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India. I have extensively worked in the field of compressed sensing, feature extraction, dimension reduction and advanced algorithms in deep learning for computer vision and pattern recognition applications. My research interests include broad areas of signal/image processing focusing on compressed sensing, sparse/low-rank representation, feature extraction, dimensionality reduction, deep learning models, transfer learning, image recognition, and classification.

Name: Imrul Qais
Starting date: 01-05-2023
Function: postdoc
Supervisor: Prof. P. Mohajerin Esfahani

My name is Imrul Qais. I am from India. I completed my PhD and M.Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India. Prior to that, I did my B.E. in Instrumentation and Electronics Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. The title of my Ph.D. thesis is “Riddles in the optimal singular LQR problem.” I am excited to join the Delft Center for Systems and Control as a postdoctoral researcher. Here I will be working with Prof. Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani. I enjoy playing cricket, fishing, and reading books during my free time.

Name: Uwe Fechner
Starting date: 01-05-2023
Function: postdoc
Supervisor: Dr. ir. S.P. Mulders

I am Uwe Fechner, originally from Germany. I started a position as “postdoc physics informed learning control” with Sebastiaan 1st of May, and I am very happy about it.
I have a PhD on the control of airborne wind energy systems from Delft University and was working the last years at ABB in Delft on chargers for electric vehicles. The focus of my research is to estimate the degradation of wind turbines due to aging. I am enthusiastic about renewable energies and climate activist. In my spare time I study philosophy and play the piano.

Name: Anuj Vora
Starting date: 01-06-2023
Function: postdoc
Supervisor: Prof. P. Mohajerin Esfahani

I am Anuj Vora and I will be a postdoctoral researcher at DCSC from June. I will be working with Prof. Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani.
I obtained my Ph.D. in Systems and Control Engineering at IIT Bombay in 2022. After my Ph.D., I was a postdoctoral researcher at the same department for a short while. I obtained my Bachelors and Masters in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Madras in 2016.
Broadly, my doctoral research was about studying the limits of communication between non-cooperative agents. I used tools from game theory to model the strategic interactions and information theory to quantify the limits of information exchange. During my postdoctoral stint at IIT Bombay, I studied a problem of adversarial hypothesis testing where a detector has to detect the true source of information in the presence of corrupted samples. Through my research, I have developed an interest in studying how decision-making is affected in multi-agent settings due to strategic nature of the agents in the presence of incomplete information and in uncertain environments. Outside my work, I like to read fiction, listen to new music and play blues on the guitar.

Name: Ioannis Panagopoulos
Starting date: 01-06-2023
Function: PhD
Supervisor: Prof. dr. ir. T. Keviczky

Hello everyone! I am pleased to introduce myself as a new addition to the DCSC team. My name is Ioannis Panagopoulos, and I have recently joined as a research assistant. With a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, I hold a diploma from the National Technical University of Athens, with an emphasis in Electronics and Systems. I also recently obtained an MSc degree in Embedded Systems from TUD, specializing in Control Design.
My primary focus at DCSC will revolve around the field of Hybrid Model-Based and Data-Driven Decision-Making for Controlled Environment Agriculture, and I anticipate that my contribution will strengthen the ongoing efforts of this team. I am deeply committed to making a meaningful impact on modern agriculture and I eagerly look forward to collaborating with each of you.
I am enthusiastic about connecting with like-minded professionals who share the same passion for agricultural transformation through control engineering and cannot wait to embark on this journey.

Next issue of the newsletter

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

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