Newsletter November 2022

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

Welcome to the November newsletter.

We have started up the process of the DISC Best Thesis Award.  The award will be handed out during the Benelux Meeting 21-23 March, 2023.

On 14 November the course LMI started at Domstad (Utrecht).  We are pleased that it is well visited.

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Renate Kragtwijk,
DISC secretariat

Course program 2022-2023

The course program 2022-2023 is available. You can register for the DISC courses via the DISC course platform.

The courses are held onsite in Utrecht, at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad.

We are offering the following courses:

Linear Matrix Inequalities in Control
S. Weiland, Eindhoven University of Technology
M.C.F. Donkers, Eindhoven University of Technology

Mathematical Models of Systems
J.W. Polderman, University of Twente
S. Trenn, University of Groningen

Nonlinear Control Systems
B. Jayawardhana, University of Groningen
B. Besselink, University of Groningen

Design Methods for Control Systems
T. A.E. Oomen, Eindhoven University of Technology
J.W. van Wingerden, Delft University of Technology

Nonlinear Control for Performance: Frequency domain approach
M.F. Heertjes, Eindhoven University of Technology
H. HosseinNia, Delft University of Technology

Save the date – Benelux Meeting 2023 – March 21-23, 2023

The Organising Committee has the pleasure to invite you to participate in the 42nd Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control.

The meeting will be held from March 21-23, 2023 in “Hotel Mennorode”, Elspeet, the Netherlands.

For more information, please visit the website: Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

Bayu Jayawardhana (RUG), Raffaela Carloni (RUG),Erjen Lefeber (TU/e) and Javier Alonso Mora (TUD)


Winter School proposals

DISC organizes a yearly Wintercourse, lectured by an international guest lecturer on a particular topic or research field relevant for systems and control. The course is typically scheduled in the winter trimester and can be organized in one or more university locations.

If you want to organize a DISC Wintercourse, please let us know by December 16, 2022.

New people

Delft University of Technology

Name: Samuel Mallick
Starting date: 01-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: 3ME-DCSC
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bart De Schutter

My name is Samuel Mallick, I am from Tasmania, Australia. I will be doing a PhD at the Delft Centre for Systems and Control, supervised by Prof. Dr. Bart De Schutter. I will be working with others on the integration of optimisation- and learning-based control approaches for hybrid networks. In my spare time I enjoy playing futsal, reading and rock-climbing.


Name: Saray Bakker
Starting date: 15-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: 3ME-CoR
Supervisor: Javier Alonso-Mora and Wendelin Böhmer (computer science)

My name is Saray and I just started my PhD here at cognitive robotics. My project is supervised by Javier Alonso-Mora and Wendelin Böhmer (computer science) and I will focus on behavior models using reinforcement learning and control in a dynamic environment.

Last month, I completed the master Systems and Control at Eindhoven, University of Technology. My thesis was a collaborative project with Philips, where I explored autonomous movements using MPC for Image-Guided Therapy robots. I also joined the NTNU in Trondheim for an internship on the control of submarine snake robots.

In my free time, I enjoy music (I play oboe and piano) and outdoor activities like white-water kayaking.


Wageningen University & Research

Name: Joris Bergman
Starting Date: 01-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Mathematical and Statistical Methods (Biometris)
Supervisors/Promotors:  prof. Karel J. Keesman, Cees J.N. Buisman Project:Understanding the kinetics, transfers and reactions in the biological gas desulfurisation process

My name is Joris Bergman, I received both my BSc and MSc from Wageningen University in the field of biotechnology with a focus on process modelling, optimization and control. I recently started a PhD at Wetsus in Leeuwarden within the sulfur theme, where I will focus on the modelling of the biological desulphurization process with the aim to improve process design and control. I will be supervised by Karel Keesman, who also introduced me to the wonderful world of systems and control theory.

Aside from research I enjoy being active and am passionate about rowing, cycling and weightlifting. I also like meeting people from other cultures and exchanging ideas so for that reason I am very excited to get to meet the people at DISC and develop myself more as a mathematician.

Twente University 

Name: Franco N. Piñan Basualdo
Starting date: 01-11-2022
Function: Postdoc
Group: Surgical Robotics Lab
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Sarthak Misra

I am Franco N. Piñan Basualdo and, as some of you already know, I have recently joined the Surgical Robotics Lab (SRL)/University of Twente as a post-doctoral fellow. I am originally from Argentina, where I got my Mechanical Engineering degree from the Instituto Balseiro in 2017. From 2018 to 2022, I was a joint doctoral candidate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and at the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC).

During my Ph.D. I worked in the development of a laser-powered thermocapillary micro-manipulation platform. In particular, I contributed to the flow modeling and the development of different control laws. I have also collaborated with the GRASP laboratory at the University of Liège in the study of magneto-capillary crystals. Finally, I have been a visiting researcher at the Physical Intelligence Department of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where I worked on the use of magnetic collectives for micro-manipulation.

My research at SRL will consist in the development of magnetic milli- and micro-robots for biomedical applications. In particular, we will focus on the tracking (imaging) and control of multiple robots.


Groningen University

Name: Zepeng WANG
Starting date: 01-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Systems, Control and Optimization (SCO)
Supervisor: Juan Peypouquet and Stephan Trenn

Project: Learning-based Model Predictive Control

Zepeng WANG obtained the Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from
Beihang University, Beijing, China. His current research interests focus on trajectory
optimization and learning-based control.

Name: Kejun Shi
Starting date: 01-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Discrete Technology and Production Automation (DTPA)
Supervisor: Jacquelien Scherpen, second supervisor M.I.Acuautla Meneses
Project: Design and Investigation of Polymer/Barium Titanate Composites Based Flexible Piezoelectric Nanogenerators

I am Kejun Shi, from China, and I have obtained a master’s degree from the South China University of Technology (Guangzhou, China). My research mainly focuses on Piezoelectric materials and Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS).

Name:  Zhiyu Peng
Starting date: 10-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: DTPA
Supervisor: Prof. Bayu Jayawardhana
Project:  Control Theory of Underactuated Robot

Name: Qihang Zhang
Function: PhD
Group: ENTEG
Start date:01-11-2022
Supervisor: Prof. Ming Cao
Project: CSC-RUG joint scholarships program

I received my master degree in control science and engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2022. The title of my master thesis is “A Visual SLAM Algorithm with Deep Learning-based Interest Point Detector”. And I am currently working towards the PhD degree under the supervision of Prof. Ming Cao.

Name: Mihai Popescu
Starting date: 01.11.2022
Function: PhD
Group: ENTEG
Supervisor: Elisabeth Wilhelm
Project: Healthy Living as a Service

I am a Ph.D. candidate working on the Healthy living as a service project, with a focus on building the decision support system that will eventually provide actionable choices based on data from smart wearables and nearables with the help of AI-based methods. The goal would be to have a system that can reliably recommend long-term health choices that promote a healthy lifestyle, even in the absence of certain data features.

My background lies in artificial intelligence as I have completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Groningen. I am deeply interested in the applicability of artificial intelligence in the medical field and have thus worked alongside the UMCG in the field of synthetic image generation applied to colorectal polyps with the goal of improving existing state-of-the-art lesion detection systems that suffer from data scarcity and class imbalances.

My other interests are software engineering and cloud computing technology. I have been working in the industry for the past 4 years in standardising and implementing cloud-native technologies for several security-oriented companies in the public cloud space.

Lastly, I enjoy board games, playing dungeons and dragons with my close friends, playing classical piano, and demolishing people at rhythm games.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Name: Zengjie Zhang
Starting date: 01.10.2022
Function: Postdoc
Group: Control Systems – EE
Supervisor: Siep Weiland
Project: SymAware

Zengjie Zhang received his bachelor and master degrees from the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, in 2013 and 2015, respectively. He obtained his PhD degree from the Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany, in 2021. From 2021 to 2022, he has been a post-doctoral researcher with school of Engineering, the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher with Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. His research interests include robust control and filtering, system fault detection and isolation, adaptive reinforcement learning, and multi-agent system control.

Name: Zirui Liao
Starting date: 15-09-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Control Systems – EE
Supervisor: Dr. Sofie Haesaert, Dr. Zhiyong Sun

Zirui Liao is a in the Control Systems Group at the Department of Electrical Engineering. His current research is on the topic of Resilient formation of multi-agent system, under the supervision of Dr. S. Haesaert and Dr. Z. Sun. His research interests include formation control, resilient consensus, and information fusion.

Giannis Delimpaltadakis
Starting date: 01-11-2022
Function: Postdoc
Group: Control Systems Technology
Supervisor: prof. Maurice Heemels

My name is Giannis Delimpaltadakis and I am from Greece. As of Nov. 2022, I am a Postdoctoral researcher at the Control Systems Technology group, Mechanical Engineering, TU Eindhoven, under the supervision of prof. Maurice Heemels. My field of research is control theory, with specific emphasis on hybrid systems, stochastic systems and formal verification. Currently, under prof. Heemels’ project PROACTHIS, I am mainly working on extending projected dynamical systems theory for control purposes.

Before joining TU/e, I held a Postdoc position at TU Delft between June 2022 – November 2022. I obtained my PhD, Cum Laude, at TU Delft in June 2022, for my thesis entitled “Grasping the Sampling Behaviour of Event-Triggered Control: Self-Triggered Control, Abstractions and Formal Analysis”. I obtained the Diploma (joint BSc. And MSc. degree) in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in 2017.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading books (especially on philosophy and politics), doing sports (tennis, martial arts, football) and watching movies!

Name: Hoang Chu
Starting date: 28-11-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Control Systems Technology
Supervisor: Prof. Maurice Heemels

My name is Hoang Chu and I will start my PhD from November 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Maurice Heemels. My research will focus on the stability analysis of hybrid systems using time-domain and frequency-domain tools. I learned about the performance and the elegant stability analysis of HIGS-controlled systems in my courses, and now I am super excited to explore more and contribute to this line of research. About me, I am from Hanoi, Vietnam and I have recently obtained my MSc in Systems and Control from the TU/e. Besides hybrid systems and control, my interests include many topics: soft robotics, infinite-dimensional systems, nonlinear control.

Name: Christopher Anthony Orrico
Starting date: 1/11/2022
Function: PhD
Group: Control Systems Technology (TU/e) / Energy Systems & Control (DIFFER)
Supervisor: Dr. Dinesh Krishnamoorthy / Dr. Matthijs van Berkel
Project: Control Engineering for Nuclear Fusion (more specifics TBD)

My name is Chris Orrico and I will be starting my PhD on November 1st 2022. I completed my BSc in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University and my MSc here at the TU/e in the Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion program. I will be working between the CST group under Dr. Dinesh Krishnamoorthy and the Energy Systems and Control group at DIFFER under Dr. Matthijs van Berkel on device agnostic MPC frameworks for nuclear fusion. I look forward to settling down in Eindhoven for the long haul (and finally improving my Dutch language skills).

PhD defences

Groningen University

Candidate: Paul Wijnbergen
Group: Systems, Control and Optimization, Bernoulli Institute, University of Groningen
Thesis:  Stabilizability and optimal control of switched differential algebraic equations 
Promotors: Stephan Trenn and Arjan van der Schaft
Date: 1-11-2022
Location: Academy building

Delft University of Technology

Candidate: Jeroen Fransman
Group: 3ME-DCSC
Thesis:Distributed constraint optimization for cooperative autonomous vehicles B. De Schutter and J. Sijs
Date: 14-11-2022
Location: Senaatszaal, Aula
Time:17.30-19.30 (Preceding the defence Jeroen will give a short presentation at 17.00)

Candidate: Ximan Wang
Group: 3ME-DCSC
Thesis: Navigation and coordination of fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles under mission uncertainty
Promotors: B. De Schutter and Prof. S. Baldi
Date: 16-11-2022
Location: Senaatszaal, Aula
Time:10.00-12.00 (Preceding the defence Ximan will give a short presentation at 9.30)

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: Ir. M.F. Shakib
Group: Dynamics & Control
Thesis: Data-driven modeling and complexity reduction for nonlinear systems with stability guarantees N. van de Wouw
Date: 23-11-2022
Location: Atlas 0.710
Time: 16.00

This month I received information from the different groups about PhD’s who had their promotion earlier this year:

Candidate: Alex Rudolf Petrus Andrien
Group: TU/e – Control Systems Technologie
Thesis: Optimization-based Estimation and Control Algorithms for Quadcopter Applications
Promotor: W.P.M.H. Heemels, dr. D.J. Guerreiro Tomé Antunes
Date: 24-01-2022

Candidate: Nard Willem Antoon Strijbosch
Group: TU/e – Control Systems Technology
Thesis: Learning and Feedforward Control for Unconventional Sampling and Actuation 
Promotor: T.A.E. Oomen, K. Tiels, dr. W. Ohnishi
Date: 18-03-2022

Candidate: Noud Mooren
Group: TU/e – Control Systems Technology
Thesis:Intelligent Mechatronics through Learning from Gaussian Processes to Repetitive Control and Adaptive Feedforward
Promotor: T.A.E. Oomen, G. Witvoet

Candidate: Anja Eva Maria Schmerbauch
Group: RUG – Discrete Technology and Production Automation
Thesis: Distributed actuation systems for adaptive optics: from structural modeling to design optimization
Promotor: Prof. Bayu Jayawardhana, Prof. Antonis I. Vakis
Date: 13-05-2022

Candidate: Marco Augusto Vasquez Beltran
Group: RUG – Discrete Technology and Production Automation
Thesis: Multi-loop Hysteresis and Recursive Remnant Control
Promotor: Prof. dr. ir. Bayu Jayawardhana, Prof. dr. Reynier F. Peletier
Date: 17-05-2022

Candidate: Tom Robert Vince Steentjes
Group: Control Systems
Thesis: Data-driven methods for distributed control of interconnected linear systems
Promotor: Prof. dr. ir. P.M.J. van den Hof, dr. M. Lazar
Date: 16-06-2022

Candidate: Mr S. (Md Sumon) Hossain
Group: RUG- BI
Thesis: Reduced realizations and model reduction for switched linear systems
Promotor: Prof. S. Trenn, Prof. M. K. Camlibel
Date: 21-06-2022


EECI M16 – Control of Soft and Articulated Elastic Robots by Cosimo Della Santina (TU Delft), Alessandro De Luca (UniRome)

Cosimo Della Santina (TU Delft) and Alessandro De Luca (UniRome) give a course on
Control of Soft and Articulated Elastic Robots in Rome from 22/05/2023 – 26/05/2023

Early registration deadline: 19-03-2023

Program EECI M16
Complete EECI doctoral program


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