Newsletter May 2024

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

As many of you have known, Renate Kragtwijk will start a new position as the MSc. Coordinator of Systems & Control at DCSC and hand over the role of DISC Office Manager to Maaike Kraeger. I would like therefore to thank Renate for her contribution to the operations of DISC since Nov 2021. She has helped managed all DISC activities effectively during the Corona pandemic and organized all DISC courses, summer school and winter school very well, including managing the large influx of students in the Model Predictive Control course.

I would also like to warmly welcome Maaike, who has a broad experience in education, including the organization of international degree programme at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft. I think that she will find immediately a home in our DISC community and manage the DISC office greatly in the coming years.

The new DISC programme for the next academic year will come soon and we thank all DISC members who have put forward excellent course proposals for next year. We will finalize the program soon.

Finally, the organization of the DISC-PERC summer school is well underway and we are looking forward to welcoming the participants in Wageningen in the coming few weeks. If you have not registered yet, we still have spots and please register yourself.

With best regards,

New position per June 1, 2024

Dear all,

This is to inform you that I will start per June 1, as Daily MSc Coordinator Systems & Control at DCSC.

My successor Maaike Kraeger will start the same date as Officemanager DISC.  Maaike will introduce herself to you in the next DISC newsletter.

Working for DISC has been a pleasure and I want to thank you all for a great collaboration!


Valedictory lecture Prof. Paul Van den Hof (TU/e)

On April 19, Prof. Paul Van den Hof gave his valedictory lecture in the Auditorium of Eindhoven University of Technology. Paul has been scientific director of DISC in the period 2005-2014.

The text and the recording of his lecture are available at, where you can also find the recordings of the contributions to the one-day symposium:

“Four decades of data-driven modeling in systems and control – achievements and prospects”.

After the valedictory lecture Paul was offered a token of appreciation for his role in the national systems and control community, by current DISC scientific director Bayu Jayawardhana.

ECC 2024 pre-conference workshop “Modular Approaches for Design and Verification in Autonomous Driving

Join the pre-conference workshop on “Modular Approaches for Design and Verification in Autonomous Driving” at the European Control Conference ECC (25-28 June, 2024) in Stockholm!

The main goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from academia and industry to discuss the challenges in autonomous system design, share recent developments in component-based methodologies for design and verification, and exchange ideas on topics including system engineering, (software) verification, and modularity. Aiming to strengthen the connections between industry and academia, the workshop includes speakers from both industry and academia and will be closed with a panel discussion. The workshop does not assume prior expert knowledge.

More information can be found on:

Please consider to register at:

Rudolf Kalman Award 2024

At the occasion of the valedictory symposium, Paul Van den Hof received the Rudolf Kalman Award 2024 from Prof. Jozsef Bokor, Director of Research of the HUN-REN Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), Budapest, Hongary.

The award is handed out once a year by the SZTAKI Institute, for outstanding scientific achievements in the domain of systems and control. It is named after professor Rudolf E. Kalman (1930-2016), born in Budapest, who immigrated to the USA in 1943.

On May 1, 2024 Henri Huijberts delivered his inaugural lecture as full professor at Queen Mary University London.

On May 1, 2024 Henri Huijberts delivered his inaugural lecture as full professor at Queen Mary University London.

Henri has a long standing history with DISC and belonged to the earlier generation of our DISC PhDs. It was a pleasure to attend the event onsite – Henk Nijmeijer.

Professor Huijberts has a background in Applied Mathematics and Nonlinear Control Theory. He has held positions at the University of Twente and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and has been at Queen Mary since 1999, first as a Senior Lecturer and Reader in Control and Dynamics, and since 2019 as a Professor of Engineering Science and Education.

In the lecture he will be discussing his contributions to trying to be in Control as an active researcher, educator, and educational leader.

He will provide a brief introduction to Dynamical Systems and Control Theory, and will be looking at applications in, among others, mobile robotics, traffic dynamics, and communication. He will also consider the question whether Control in educational leadership settings should be of the bang-bang or OGY type.

New people

Wageningen University & Research

Name: Mahboubeh Keyvanara
Starting date: 16-04-2024
Function: Postdoc
Group: Agricultural Biosystems Engineering
Supervisor: Dr. Gert Kootstra
Project: Sector plan BT2

Name: Ashutosh Umale
Starting date: 08-05-2024
Function: PhD
Group: Agricultural Biosystems Engineering
Supervisor: Abdul Munnaf
Project: Green Sensor Project

Delft University of Technology

Name: Guopeng Li
Starting date: 01-05-2024
Group: TUD-ME-CoR
Supervisor: Dr. Julian Kooij in IV, and collaborate with Dr. Neil Yorke-Smith and Dr. Mattjs Spaan from EWI.

My name is Guopeng Li (李国鹏). I am joining the IV group as a postdoctoral researcher from 1st May. I will work on Epistemic-AI, an EU Horizon project focusing on re-imagining AI with proper treatment of the epistemic uncertainty stemming from our forcibly partial knowledge of the world and showcase its applications in autonomous driving. I will primarily work with Dr. Julian Kooij in IV, and collaborate with Dr. Neil Yorke-Smith and Dr. Mattjs Spaan from EWI. I am also very enthusiastic about any potential collaborations within CoR.

I received my Ph.D. degree (cum laude) with TU Delft in 2023 on data-driven uncertainty quantification in multi-scale traffic and transportation systems (in the Department of Transport and Planning). My research interests focus on the uncertainty-aware and trustworthy applications of AI in transport automation, including but not limited to autonomous driving techniques and their impacts on traffic, urban mobility, and sustainability.

My favourite sport is running (marathon). I usually run in the morning before coming to work. If you are also interested, you are always welcome to join.

Name: Ying Ma
Starting date: 15-05-2024
Function: PhD
Supervisor: Bart De Schutter
Project: ONE-BLUE

It is a great honor for me to join the DCSC family. My name is Ying Ma, and I will be working on the ONE-BLUE project in Bart’s team.

Our aim is to use data-driven and machine-learning approaches to forecast the evolution of contaminant concentrations in coastal and ocean waters.


PhD defences

Wageningen University & Research

Candidate: Henry (H.J.) Payne
Group: Agricultural Biosystems Engineering
Thesis: Flexible energy management in an uncertain greenhouse
Promotor: prof. dr. ir. Eldert van Henten
Date: 11-06-2024
Location: Omnia
Time: 11.00

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: T.J. Meijer
Group: TU/e Control Systems Technology group
Thesis: Estimation and Control for Discrete-Time Parameter-Varying and Descriptor Systems
Promotores: W.P.M.H. Heemels, V.S. Dolk and dr. M.S.T. Chong
Date: 14-06-2024
Location: TU/e Atlas  0.710
Time: 13.30 uur

Candidate: ir. Koenders, J.T.W.
Group: TU/e Control Systems Technology, DIFFER
Thesis: Dynamics and control of the heat exhaust in tokamak à configuration variable
Promotor: Prof.dr. M.R. de Baar, W.P.M.H. Heemels
Date: 18-06-2024
Location: TU/e Atlas, 0.71013:30
Time: 13:30

Candidate: Verbakel, J.J.
Group: TU/e Control Systems Technology
Thesis: Control of dynamic traffic management systems
Promotor: Prof.dr. W.J. Fokkink, L.F.P. Etman
Date: 24-06-2024
Location: TU/e Atlas, 0.710
Time: 16:00

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