Newsletter June 2024

Message from the DISC Office

Dear reader,

With summer ahead this is already the last DISC Newsletter of this academic year 2023-2024. The next edition will be available in September.

Monitoring, predicting and control of systems in agricultural sector require different approaches and methods than those in other sectors, such as, the semiconductor or manufacturing sectors. Systems’ uncertainties and stochastic disturbances in the agriculture systems must be taken into account in the design of state estimation, optimization and control. For dealing with this, in the recent DISC-PE&RC summer school, our graduate students learnt the latest development in this field from the invited experts and get to know each other in group works. Therefore, we thank the organizing team and all speakers for their time and contribution in this successful summer school.

While this summer school is the last DISC activity for this academic year, we are busy finalizing the DISC course program for the upcoming academic year. We have an excellent line-up of graduate courses, including topical subjects, such as, data-driven control and numerical optimization. The detailed program will be announced as soon as possible and we would welcome all DISC members and PhD students to participate in most of these courses. In the meantime, our organizing team for the Benelux meeting 2025 is busy in preparing an excellent program for next year. The precise location is currently under negotiation and following the tradition of Benelux meeting, it will be a great meeting place for all graduate students and DISC members. Please keep your best research results for this meeting and submit your abstract in time.

Finally, we would like to wish you all nice summer holidays.

With best regards,
Bayu Jayawardhana

DISC-PE&RC Summer School

The  DISC-PE&RC  Summer School on “Learning, Sensing, and Control with Application to Agriculture” was successfully organized at the picturesque Hotel de Bosrand, located in the northern part of Ede, Netherlands, near the forest. The five-day event was packed with a variety of activities designed to enhance learning and foster collaboration among participants. The summer school brought together 14 participants from six institutions, including Wageningen University, University of Groningen, TU Delft, KU Leuven, Università di Bologna, and, and the program featured inspiring talks from several domain experts, including: James Taylor (Lancaster University), Raphael Linker (Israel Institute of Technology), Congcong Sun (Wageningen University), Abeje Mersha (Saxion University of Applied Sciences), and Koty McAllister and Meichen Guo (TU Delft). These talks have provided both theoretical insights into systems and control, as well as practical applications to various agricultural problems. Participants had the opportunity to present their research through poster presentations, engaging in discussions with peers and experts. During the event, they were divided into three groups to work collaboratively on projects on the identification problem of photosynthesis models and model predictive control for greenhouse microclimate, which gave them hands-on experience of applying theoretical knowledge to practical challenges.

Xiaodong Cheng, Ph.D. WUR

Introduction Maaike Kraeger

Dear colleagues,

Just a short introduction from your new colleague at the DISC office (

My name is Maaike Kraeger and I have been working for quite some years at TU Deft at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences/TU Delft. My main roles there were exchange coordinator and internship coordinator. In the past few years I worked at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering, amongst which as coordinator of the Joint Education master program EWEM, in the field of Wind Energy.

As from the 1st of June 2024 I have started my new position as office manager DISC, and I am now being introduced into DISC by Renate Kragtwijk, who also started a new position at DCSC.I am very much looking forward to working for DISC and being part of the DCSC team.

Please feel free to contact me in case of any questions or issues regarding DISC:

Wishing you the very best.

Best regards, Maaike Kraeger

New People


Eindhoven University of Technology

Name: Adarsh Subrahamanian Moosath

Function: PhD
Group: TUe Dynamics & Control groupGroup
Supervisor: Nathan van de Wouw en Rob Fey

My name is Adarsh Subrahamanian Moosath, and I’m excited to start my PhD in the Dynamics & Control group under the supervision of Dr. Ir. Nathan van de Wouw and Dr. Ir. Rob Fey. I moved to the Netherlands in 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at TU Eindhoven, which I completed last year. During my Master’s, I worked on model structure updating using state extension and augmentation. Prior to starting my PhD, I continued the same work as a research assistant in the group for three months. During my PhD, I will be working on hybrid and modular dynamic modelling of complex high-tech systems.

Name: Artur Chaves
Starting date:17-06-2024
Function: PhD
Group: TUe RBT Group
Supervisor: Julie Legrand
Project: PhD on embodied intelligent robotic bioreactors

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining TU/e RBT in June 2024 to pursue my PhD in medical robotics under Professor Julie Legrand’s supervision. My name is Artur Chaves, and I hail from Chaves, Portugal – yes, my hometown is named after me (or is it the other way around?). I bring with me a decade-long passion for cycling, where I’ve pedaled through challenges but learned perseverance, which really helped me in my academic pursuits.

Graduating from the University of Aveiro with a background in Mechanical Engineering, I’ve delved into medical innovation, crafting an artificial cervical disc implant for my master’s thesis. Now, I’m eager to keep innovating the medical world and dive into the world of Embodied Intelligent Robotic Bioreactors.

I look forward to cycling into this new chapter, both figuratively and literally, in a new city. I can’t wait to collaborate with all of you!

Name: Mohammed Nagy Elagroudy
Starting date: 15-02-2024
Function: PhD
Group: TUe Robotics Group (Group Van de Molengraft)
Supervisor: Femke van Beek

My name is Mohammed Nagy Elagroudy, a Doctoral Candidate in the Robotics Group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). I received my bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering from Ain Shams University, Egypt, and also pursued my master’s in mechatronics engineering at the same university. For my master’s, I focused on developing and controlling an exoskeleton soft robotic glove for hand rehabilitation therapy. In February 2024, I started my Ph.D. at TU/e, under the supervision of Femke van Beek, where I will work on the 4TU Green Sensors project. My main research interest is in soft robotic systems, and I’m currently focused on exploring active soft force sensing techniques and co-designing approaches for agriculture applications.

Delft University of Technology

Name: Alexandra Ministeru
Starting date: 01-06-2024
Function: PhD
Group: TUD – ME – DCSC
Supervisor: Jan-Willem van Wingerden

Hello everyone, my name is Alexandra, and I have recently graduated with a master’s degree in Systems and Control. Now I’m excited to start as a PhD candidate in wind turbine control within the Data Driven Control group!


PhD defences

Candidate: K. Frieswijk
Group: Science and Engineering
Thesis: Modelling Population Behaviour
Promotors: Prof. M. Cao, J.M.A. Scherpen
Date: 21 June 2024
Location: Academy building Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Time: 9.00 hrs

Candidate: ir. M.J. (Maarten) Jongeneel
Group: Robotics
Thesis: Impact-Aware Robotics: Model-Based Motion Prediction in Logistics Applications
Promotors: A. Saccon, N. van de Wouw
Date: 12 November 2024
Location: TU/e Atlas 0.710
Time: 13.30 hrs


Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in September 2024.

We encourage the contributors to provide newsworthy information. In principle, we intend to publish any message offered. However, we reserve the right to edit certain parts of a submission.
Please send your contributions to:

You receive this newsletter because you are a member of DISC.  If you want to be removed from the mailing list, please let us know by sending an email to


Stevin prize David Abbink – TU Delft

Prof. Dr. Ir. David Abbink is this year’s recipient of the Stevin Prize from NWO, one of the most prestigious scientific awards in the Netherlands. David works on human-robot interactions and receives the Stevin Prize in particular for the societal impact of his research. A very honourable recognition for David’s work, but also for TU Delft and the faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

You can read more about this prize and his research on the TU Delft website:


Structure Learning in Critical Infrastructure Networks

The Graduate School in Systems, Optimization, Control and Networks (SOCN) will offer a short graduate course on `Structure Learning in Critical Infrastructure Networks.’

Please find all the information below, or contact the organizers at

Short description: 

Critical infrastructure networks are important assets in our society. Examples include power, water, transportation, and communication systems. The knowledge of structure (connectivity of nodes in the network) is crucial for implementing real-time decision-making algorithms. However, due to practical limitations, such knowledge is either partially or fully unavailable. Lately, many structure learning methods have been proposed to overcome this limitation.

Dates: July 3-5, 2024

Webpage: link

Lecturer: Rajasekhar Anguluri (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Location: UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve)

Registration: online form


SC4SR: Systems and Control for Social Robotics”.

The event will take place at TU Delft, Aula Conference Center, 02.230 (Comissiekamer 3) on July 8 and 9, 2024.SC4SR will include talks by scientists and researchers in various aspects of social robotics, and 1 panel discussion per day involving the speakers of that day.

The list of the speakers includes:

  • Oya Celiktutan, Associate Professor, King’s College London
  • Ruud Hortensius, Assistant Professor, Utrecht University
  • Emilia Barakova, Assistant Professor, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Vanessa Evers, Full Professor, Twente University
  • Anahita Jamshidnejad, Assistant Professor, TU Delft

There is a limited number of 50 seats, so please make sure to register via the following link for 1 or both days of the event.

Register for July 8 (9:00 – 16:00):

Register for July 9 (11:00 – 16:00):

Feel free to share the information with your network, especially with those who are interested in advancements in social robotics and connections between systems and control and social robotics.

For further information, you may contact


“Mathematics for Industry” study week, 9 – 13 September 2024 at the TRAKK building in Namur.

The “Mathematics for Industry” study week is organized by the Belgian BE-MATHS-IN network, which gathers researchers at all Belgian universities working on applied mathematics for industry and innovation. The study week is an intensive problem-solving workshop that brings together researchers of different backgrounds (engineers, mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, …) to work in small groups of 4-6 researchers on real-world challenges provided by industry. You can find more info on our website:


Registrations are currently open!

To register for this exciting week, please head to:

Participating in the study week (incl. catering & accommodation) is entirely free of charge; we only impose a fine of 50 EUR in case of no show or late cancellation.


Thanks to our sponsors, we can offer very comfortable accommodation in one of the comfortable hotels close by, for which we only request a fixed (but small) fee of 150 EUR (check with your supervisor if and how to get reimbursed). We accept accommodation requests until 15 August 2024.


If you have any questions or comments, please forward them to

Looking forward to seeing many of you in September!

Organization committee

  • Jan De Beule (VUB)
  • Laurent Dewasme (UMons)
  • Quentin Louveaux (ULiège)
  • Alexandre Mauroy (UNamur)
  • Ward Melis (KU Leuven)
  • Yvan Notay (ULB)
  • Jochen Schütz (UHasselt)
  • Marnix Van Daele (UGent)
  • Tim Verdonck (UA)
  • Fred Vermolen (UHasselt)