Newsletter March 2022

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

Welcome to the March newsletter.

At the moment we are busy finalising the bidbook for IFAC WC 2029 and the nomination from DISC for the IFAC President of the triannium 2026-2029. The bidbook needs to be handed in before March 24th, 2022.

We like to draw your attention to the new Spring DISC Course on Analysis and Control of differential-algebraic systems. It will start next Monday and we still have places available.  For more information, please check the course program below.

In June we organise a DISC Summer School on Security and Resiliency for Cyber-Physical Systems – foundations and recent advances. Please see more information below

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. Please register for this course asap. Registration is open on the DISC course platform.

We are very happy that for the next courses they will all take place live in Utrecht, at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad with the exception of the lectures which will be given by lecturers abroad.

We are offering the following courses:

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

Winter Course Data Learning & Dynamics at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Control

On March 10 and 11, 2022 the DISC Winter Course took place in Delft on Data Learning & Dynamics at the Intersection of Neuroscience and Control.

It was nice to be able to have an onsite meeting again and we had nice lecturers from Delft, France and USA.

Announcement DISC Summer School – Security and Resiliency for Cyber-Physical Systems – foundations and recent advances

Riccardo M.G. Ferrari, André M.H. Teixeira, Michelle S. Chong, Carlos Rendon Murguia and Nima Monshizadeh have the pleasure to invite you to participate in the DISC Summer School “Security and Resiliency for Cyber-PhysicalSystems – foundations and recent advances”, which is scheduled to take place from June 27-30, 2022,  in The Netherlands.

The invitation is aimed at PhD and research students, staff members, researchers and engineers engaged in the systems and control area. Distinguished speakers will present a series of tutorial lectures.

Secure Cyber Physical Systems

This summer school aims to provide an overview of the key control theoretic techniques employed for securing and increasing the resiliency of cyber-physical systems.

The main topics of this Summer School are:

– The design of secure control and estimation methods for control systems
– Encryption and watermarking for control systems
– Information theoretic approaches for privacy
– Security for Discrete-Event systems
– Security of industrial control systems from a computer science perspective

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 a number of international and national speakers. Keynote lectures will be given by:

· Henrik Sandberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
· Christoforos Hadjicostis, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
· Farhad Farhokhi, the University of Melbourne, Australia
· Nils Tippenhaur, CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, Germany
· André Texeira, Uppsala University, Sweden

The school is limited to 50 participants based on a first-come first-serve policy.

Please block the dates June 27-30, 2022 in your agenda.  We expect to have more information on location/registration soon; please check the DISC website and next newsletter.

In memoriam Frank Callier

On the 17th of February we received the sad news that Frank Callier passed away the preceding day.

Frank was a professor emeritus of the University of Namur, and one of the early generation of mathematical systems people shaping the systems and control community in Belgium. We remember Frank as a very enthusiastic and friendly person with a keen interest in other researchers work, and the ability to ask sharp questions at a moment when you thought he was not paying attention anymore. He was often a loyal and very present participant of the yearly Benelux Conference on Systems and Control. When Frank has read something, one could be sure that he had really read it.

Frank Callier was a Ph.D. student of Charlie Desoer at UC Berkeley, which whom he wrote two books and several articles. During the decades when state space theory was dominant among system theorists, the seventies and eighties of the last century, they introduced a class of non-rational transfer functions, which included many delay and distributed parameter systems. Later, his research interest shifted to LQ theory for distributed parameter systems and well-posedness theory for abstract linear systems. On the first topic he worked intensively together with Joseph Winkin. Piotr Grabowski was his co-worker on the last topic.

Mattia Bianchi and Sergio Grammatico have been awarded the 2021 Roberto Tempo Award

“Fully distributed Nash equilibrium seeking over time-varying networks with linear convergence rate”,
presented at the 2020 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, Dec.
14-18, 2020.

The IEEE Conference on Decision and Control is the flagship conference of the IEEE Control Systems Society

The Roberto Tempo Best CDC Paper Award is given in honor of Roberto Tempo, 44th President of CSS. The
Tempo Award Committee selects the best paper from the previous year’s CDC based on originality, potential
impact on any aspect of control theory, technology, or implementation, and for the clarity of writing

Read more

Matin Jafarian has been awarded a NWO Open Competition Grant (3ME)

Dr. Matin Jafarian, assistant professor at Optimization and Learning for Control of Networks, has been awarded
the NWO Open Competition Grant for her unique research. Matin is developing a novel working memory-based
model for early diagnosis of attentional disorders

Read more


TDS Webinar on April 1, 2022, Friday @ 4:00 pm (CET), 7:00 am (PDT), 10:00 am (EDT), 10:00 pm (CST)

We are happy to announce the next webinar in the TDS Webinar in the series.

Speaker:       Henk Nijmeijer, Eindhoven University of Technology
Title:              Synchronization, networks, time-delays and more

Date & Time: April 1, 2022, Friday @ 4:00 pm (CET), 7:00 am (PDT), 10:00 am (EDT), 10:00 pm (CST)

The registration is free and takes about 30 seconds. If you experience any issues please email
ABSTRACT: The talk will review work on network synchronization, i.e. the phenomenon of common time-behavior in coupled systems. Aspects that come into play are: coupling between the separate systems, effect of time-delays in the coupling, synchronization and scaling of the network. In the talk focus will be given to experimental results (automotive, electronic brain, clocks) and how results can be developed without going in-depth in the underlying theory.

BIOGRAPHY: Henk Nijmeijer (1955) is a full professor in Dynamics and Control at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology. His research field encompasses nonlinear dynamics and control and applications thereof. He is Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Control Engineering. He has been a fellow of the IEEE since 2000 and was awarded in 1990 the IEE Heaviside premium. He was appointed honorary knight of the ‘Golden Feedback Loop’ (NTNU, Trondheim) in 2011. Since January 2015 he is scientific director of the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC). He is recipient of the 2015 IEEE Control Systems Technology Award and a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He has been Graduate Program director of the TU/e Automotive Systems program in the period 2016-2021. He is an IFAC Fellow since 2019 and as of January 2021 an IEEE Life Fellow.

Via this link you can access the poster with the announcement of the lecture.

This webinar series is organized as an activity of the IFAC Working Group on Time Delay Systems, which operates within the Technical Committee of Linear Control Systems of IFAC. The aim of the Working Group is to increase interactions and foster collaborations among researchers interested in time delay systems, not restricting to the systems and control community or to the IFAC Technical Committee. The Working Group focuses on all aspects related to time delay systems: modelling and identification, analysis, filtering and estimation, stability and stabilization, safety, structural properties, robustness, approximation techniques and numerical methods, control schemes and application in process control, vibration control, networked systems, autonomous agents, communication, bio-engineering, economics and other fields.

This year’s the program consists of the following speakers:

Henk Nijmeijer – April 1, 16h-17h CET
Sabine Mondié – June 17, 16h-17h CET
Tomáš Vyhlídal – September 16, 16h-17h CET
Dimitri Breda – December 2, 16h-17h CET

Every presentation will be followed by a meeting of the IFAC Working Group on Time Delay Systems. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to put some topic on the meeting agenda. Soon we will send the link for the first webinar in the series and more details will be available at the Working Group’s website

Kind regards,

Wim Michiels and Gabor Orosz
Chairs, IFAC Working Group on Time Delay System

New people

Delft University of Technology

Name: Jiatao Ding
Starting date: 01-03-2022
Function: Postdoc
Group: CoR/LAC
Supervisor: Prof. Jens Kober and Prof. Cosimo Della Santina

I‘m Jiatao Ding, who graduated from Wuhan University, China, with a PhD degree in robotics. I am a Postdoc researcher at CoR department, TU Delft.

In the next two years, my work will focus on efficient quadrupedal locomotion in natural environments, under the supervision of Prof. Jens Kober and Prof. Cosimo Della Santina.

I like playing badminton in my leisure time.

Name:Nicky Mol
Starting date: 01-03-2022
Function: PhD
Group: CoR/HRI
Supervisor: Prof. David Abbink

I started my academic journey with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology. During my Minor I’ve developed a fascination for Robotics. In 2012, I had the opportunity to participate in a team representing TU Delft in the annual RoboCup@HOME competition in Mexico City.

In 2016 I have obtained my MSc degree from the department of Systems and Control after graduating on control for robotic mechanical assembly of misaligned and tightly tolerance parts, at the European Space Agency in Noordwijk.

After graduating, I worked as a Robotics Engineer on the development of autonomous navigation and teleoperation for various semi-autonomous mobile robot prototypes aimed at the Dutch healthcare market. I also worked as a software developer on the implementation of (social) robots in healthcare, hospitality and security.

In my personal life, I like to travel to the most remote places of our planet and enjoy nature and wildlife. When I can, on these trips I like to go diving to enjoy the world below sea level. Wildlife and landscape photography has become a hobby for me that I developed while traveling. Furthermore, I enjoy road cycling and take joy and pride in maintaining my bike to keep it running smoothly. I also love to cook and recently discovered baking.

As of March 1, I will start as a PhD candidate on robot-assisted work processes for inspection, repair and maintenance in the Human-Robot Interaction group. My research areas of interest are (shared) control, tele-operation and physical human-robot interaction.


Name: Shiming Wang
Starting date: 01-03-2022
Function: PhD
Group: CoR/IV
Supervisor: Dr. Julian Kooij

My name is Shiming Wang. I just obtained my Master degree in Automotive Engineering from RWTH Aachen University.

I feel really honored that I can continue my research as a PhD student of 3DUU Lab and Intelligent Vehicles Group under the supervision of Dr. Julian Kooij. My research will focus on self-supervised learning and environment perception with multi-modal information. I hope my research work can really contribute to the development of fully automated driving.

In my free time, I like playing basketball and photographing. I am really glad to be here and hope I can see every one of you in person soon.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Name:             Benn Proper
Starting date:  21-03-2022
Function:        PhD
Group:            Dynamics & Control
Supervisor:     Irene Kuling

Project:            Design of smart adaptive neuromorphic and haptic systems

I am 24 years old and on the 21st of March I will start as a PhD student working on the design of smart adaptive neuromorphic and haptic systems in the Dynamics and Control group under Irene Kuling. In my spare time, I like to cook, read books, play a variety of games such as tabletop roleplaying and video games, and meet up with friends. In February, I obtained my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Dynamics and Control group. During my graduation project under Alessandro Saccon and in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich, I developed a classification algorithm for robotic manipulators that can classify whether an impact scenario is expected or unexpected based on the expected impact surface geometry and a simplified prediction of the impact behaviour. I was then able to spend my internship in Munich to validate the classification algorithm on an experimental setup. In the downtime between my graduation project and my internship, I was contacted by Irene Kuling, who, through a recommendation and due to my interest in the field of mechanical prosthetics, asked whether I was interested in this PhD project. After a few meetings, I got accepted for this PhD position and I am excited for starting a project in the field that I wanted to make a career in since I started with my bachelor degree.

Groningen University

Name: Mevludin Isic
Starting Date: 01-02-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Systems, Control and Optimization Bernoulli Instituut
Supervisor: Prof. J. G. Peypouquet

I am a PhD student under the supervision of Prof Peypouquet with an interest in optimization, algorithms and machine learning. My background is in Physics, Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering, so I’m hoping to work on projects that can combine as many of those as possible while staying in the optimization domain. My other interests include reading, languages and drawing.

Name:Brenda Carreño Jiménez
Starting date: 01-04-2022
Function: PhD
Group: DTPA
Supervisor:Dr. Mónica I. Acuautla Meneses

Project:Lead-free ferroelectric KNN-based thin films by PLD for micro energy harvesting

I studied my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and my master in Material Science and Engineering in Mexico City at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Currently, I am studying a double PhD degree in Material Science and Engineering, between the University of Groningen and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

My background is on the synthesis and characterization of ferro piezoelectric bulk ceramics. I have worked with different synthesis methods: solid state, Pechini, microwave assisted hydrothermal and conventional hydrothermal. About characterization of materials, I have used X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Raman, impedance spectroscopy and ferroelectric characterization.

Currently, I am investigating KNN-based thin films obtained by PLD and their structural, microstructural and electrical properties for possible energy harvesting applications.

PhD defences

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
Time:              11h00


Vacancies at Department Electrical Engineering TU/e

At the Department Electrical Engineering at TU/e there is a vacancy for an Assistant/Associate Professor Learning control complex multi-physical systems

The full text is available here.

The Control Systems Group at the Electrical Engineering Department in Eindhoven University of Technology have openings for :

  • a PHD position for 1 fte of 4 years in the project FlexEchem: Flexible ElectroChemical Plant of The Future. FlexEchem is a collaboration between Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, and several industrial parties.

The full text is available here.

  • a PHD position in Data-Driven Modelling of Cellular System Dynamics.

The full text is available here.


Vacancies DKE at Maastricht University

The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering at Maastricht University is offering two assistant professor (UD) positions, one in Systems and Control and one in Cognitive Robotics.



For both positions the application deadline is on April 10th, 2022. For more information, please contact prof. Ralf Peeters:


Message from Our Future Leaders – Living Labs Programme & Alumni Office – The Recess College and Leadership Insight Ltd

Our Future Leaders – a living lab on organisational life and leadership

Our Future Leaders programme is for young scientists, entrepreneurs and professionals in their early twenties to late thirties.

The world of work is contradictory. It sends complex messages of what is required to the fast track entrant and those in the first phases of their science career. As a young leader, you need to be radical, practical and strategic in knowing what to maintain and what to change from your current and future position of power.

The question is how you master the qualities of good judgement for handling the unpredictability of the future and the uncertainty of other people’s reactions. And obtain perspective, organisational acumen and a healthy dose of “political savviness” to prosper in today’s demanding organisations.

In his time as Director of the Dutch Funding Agency STW, Eppo Bruins introduced the Our Future Leaders Programme for PhD candidates, postdocs, and VENI laureates. His motivation was to develop leadership of technology and science of the future among scientists at an early stage of their careers.

Our Future Leaders is not a standard management course. Participants learn by experiencing the demands of self-leadership and leadership of others in organisations through a real-time simulation of creating high performance teams in a temporary organisation.

The value of this Living Lab is that it stimulates you as a young leader to see the ways that you gain or lose power, what affects your sense of competence, and how you exercise authority in everyday life.

The next dates for ‘Our Future Leaders’, a residential programme in two modules:

Module One:  9am on Thursday 5th to 9pm on Monday 9th October 2022

At Kasteel Moermond, Landgoed Fletcher, Renesse, The Netherlands

Module Two:  2:30pm on Sunday 12th to 9pm on Tuesday 14th June 2022

At Kasteel Moermond, Landgoed Fletcher, Renesse, The Netherlands

It is an intensive, lively and rewarding course that delivers real change, growth in outlook and behaviour as desired by you. We hope you can come to this international Living Lab as an opportunity to explore your personal and professional development.

We look forward to welcoming this coming May,

Elisabeth Henderson                                       Willem Moolenburgh

Founder Director                                           Executive Director

The Recess College                                      Our Future Leaders & Alumni Office

Next issue of the newsletter

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