Newsletter October 2016

Message from the DISC office

Dear all,

Welcome to the October newsletter. In less than two weeks the DISC course program will kick off with two courses, “Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control” and “Computational Linear Algebra: a Least Squares Perspective”. We have  received many registrations for these two courses so it is going to be a full house in Utrecht in November.

We are also looking forward to the DISC winter course on “System Identification in the Life Sciences”. The Winter Course will be held on December 7 and 8 at Wageningen University. Please register before November 15! The program is now also available.

This month Alina Doban was the first of the four DISC-NWO graduate students to obtain her degree so congratulations to Alina!

Best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat


Upcoming DISC courses

Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control
Lecturers: S. Weiland and R. Tóth
(update: course is full!)

Computational Linear Algebra, A least squares perspective
Lecturers: M. Verhaegen and B. De Moor

Register via the DISC course platform or email

This Academic year the following courses are scheduled:

Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control
Computational Linear Algebra, A least squares perspective
Mathematical Models of Systems
Modeling and Control of Hybrid Systems
Nonlinear Control Systems
Design Methods for Control Systemss
Distributed Parameter Systems
Automatic Verification and Synthesis of Complex Systems


The courses are taught at cursus en vergadercentrum Domstad in Utrecht, location Koningsbergerstraat 9. For more information see their website.

DISC Winter Course on System Identification in the Life Sciences

The DISC winter course will be held on Wednesday December 7 and Thursday December 8, 2016. The location will be Wageningen University. The organisers are dr. ir. J.D. Stigter and dr. ir. K.J. Keesman.

System Identification in the Life Sciences

Recent developments in biology and, more general, the Life Sciences, have led to increasingly complex models of biological systems that exhibit non-linear and complex behaviour. The modelling of these kind of systems requires advanced tools that allow model development and model selection. Calibration and validation of these models is most of the time not easy. A technique like parameter estimation is an essential tool to deal with these kind of systems. In this course an introduction to this topical field of research is given. The course will include

  • Model development in Systems Biology via case studies (a.o., gene transcription modelling, network reconstruction, chemotaxis modelling, nerve conduction modelling, …)
  • Linear and non-linear system identification techniques
  • Parameter estimation techniques (including, sensitivity/uncertainty analysis, identifiability of non-linear systems)
  • Experimental design

The course will include a computer practical in Matlab, to provide the participants with some hands-on experience.
The program is now also available: Program Winter Course 2016-2017


Jaap Molenaar is professor in Applied Mathematics and head of the department Biometris at Wageningen University and Research

You can obtain 1 ECTS for attending the DISC Winter Course. Please note that you have to be present at all sessions  in order to obtain the credits.

Registration and fee
Registration fee for taking or auditing a full course is € 250. This fee is waived for DISC members. The registration form is available on the DISC course platform, or send an email to
Please register before November 15, 2016.

DISC-NWO PhD Alina Doban (TU/e) earns doctorate degree

On October 4, 2016 Alina Doban successfully defended her thesis “Stability domains computation and stabilization of nonlinear systems: implications for biological systems”. Alina Doban is one of the four MSc students who were awarded a PhD research grant by DISC. These grants are part of the NWO graduate Programma for which DISC was selected in 2010. Alina started her PhD on September 1, 2012 under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. P.M.J. Van den Hof and dr. M. Lazar. We congratulate Alina and wish her the best of luck in her future career!

Ming Cao (RUG) promoted to full professor

Ming Cao recently also started as director for the master degree programme Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM).

Members of Surgical Robotics Laboratory (University of Twente) win best poster and best conference paper awards at BioRob 2016

SRL doctoral candidates Federico Ongaro and Guus Vrooijink have won the Best Poster and Best Conference Paper award at BioRob 2016, respectively. Congratulations!

Federico presented our recent work on soft miniaturised grippers for manipulation tasks, while Guus described our development on the robotically-actuated delivery sheath for cardiac applications.


Please click on the links to view the submitted videos. The full papers are available here: Publications

Also, BioRob 2018 will be held at the University of Twente. BioRob 2018 organisation efforts will be lead by Herman van der Kooij, Bart Koopman, and Sarthak Misra.

EECI- IGSC International Graduate School on Control

Among all the proposed courses within the 2017 EECI- IGSC International Graduate School on Control three of them may be of particular interest to students working within control theory:

February 20-24: Modeling and control of distributed parameter systems: the port Hamiltonian approach, Y. Le Gorrec, H. Zwart

March 13-17: Stability, control and computation for time delay systems, W. Michiels, S. Niculescu

April 10-14: Introduction to the control of Partial Differential Equations, E. Zuazua

All the courses are held in Paris. More information and the registration forms can be found on the webpage: The deadline for registration is the 28 of December.

New people

Delft University of Technology

Hello everyone! My name is Bart Doekemeijer and I am one of the new faces in DCSC. I will be working on my Ph.D. on the topic of wind farm modelling and control for the coming 4 years. I recently graduated in the Systems & Control department as a master’s student on the same topic, and will be continuing research under the supervision of dr. Jan-Willem van Wingerden.  I did most of my master’s thesis research abroad at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I was fortunate to meet many great people in this area of research. I also learnt a great deal about research(ers) in general, the United States, Boulderites, and myself. In my spare time I love being outdoors and doing sports. I also enjoy cooking, spending time with friends, and listening to music.

Jesus was born in Spain, in 1989. He received his diploma degree in Industrial Engineering with a major in Automatic Control in 2013, from the University of Vigo. In 2016, he graduated from a Master of Science in Microsystems Engineering with a major in Optimal Control and Numerical Optimization, at the University of Freiburg. In parallel with his studies, he worked in the Highwind ERC project developing a Model Predictive Controller for a real Airborne Wind Energy System. Currently he is pursuing his PhD at VITO in collaboration with TU Delft, as a member of the INCITE network. His research topic is “Non-intrusive and intrusive control of energy markets”. His research interests are the control of energy markets, optimal control, optimization algorithms and machine learning.

My name is Tomás Manuel Pippia and I am an Argentinian-Italian citizen, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. From 1st June I am a PhD Student at Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC). The title of my PhD project is “Robust management and control of smart multi-carrier energy systems” and it is part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Innovative Training Network called “Innovative controls for renewable source integration into smart energy systems” (INCITE), funded by the H2020 Programme. The goal of my research is to develop novel robust control methods for large-scale systems, with focus on balancing demand, supply and storage and conversion in smart mixed electricity/gas networks.

I obtained my M.S. Degree in Industrial Automation Engineering in October 2015, in the University of Pavia, with a Thesis in Traffic Flow modeling and my B.S. Degree in Electronics Engineering in September 2013.


Hi, I am Javier Alonso-Mora. Since October 2016, I am an assistant professor at the Delft Center for Systems and Control, TU Delft, where I work on networked autonomous robots. Previously, I was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of MIT, USA, where I worked with Prof. Daniela Rus. I received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Robotics from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2010 and 2014 respectively, under the supervision of Prof. Roland Siegwart. Originally, I am from Spain, where I studied Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC). Since 2009 I am also affiliated with Disney Research Zurich.

My main research interest is in motion planning and control of autonomous multi-robot systems, where robots interact with one another and with humans. Towards the smart cities of the future, I develop constrained optimization algorithms that span across multiple applications, such as self-driving cars, automated factories, aerial vehicles and intelligent transportation systems.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Hi, My name is Sajad Naderi Lordejani. I was born on February 2nd 1990 in Lordegan, Iran. I received my BSc degree in Electrical Engineering with a major in Control Systems from Hamedan University of Technology, Iran, in 2012, and continued my MSc studies at the University of Tehran, Iran. I graduated from the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Tehran with MSc degree in Control Engineering in June 2015. My MSc thesis wan focused on the nonlinear control of permanent magnet synchronous motors. As of October 1st 2016, I have been a PhD student in Dynamics and Control group, where I work on automatic model reduction techniques for hydraulic drilling models: modelling for estimation & control, which is part of the multidisciplinary  project HYDRA (HYdraulics modeling for DRilling Automation), funded by the European Union. In scope of this project, I am currently working at the Norwegian company Kelda Drilling Controls, Norway, where I will spend 1.5 years of my PhD.

University of Groningen

I achieved my Master degree in Robotics at Yanshan University in China in June 2016 and now I am a PhD student at University of Groningen from October 2016. My current research focuses on network systems and smart grids.

Hello, everybody. I am Lulu Gong, born in Anhui Province, China. In 2011 I received my bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. In 2016 I received my master degree in Control Engineering with emphasis in intelligent control from Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Therein my graduation thesis was titled: “Research on Hydrodynamic Resistance Compensation and Control Technology of a Hybrid Suspension System”. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Discrete Technology and Production Automaiton (DTPA) group at University of Groningen under the supervision of Prof. M. Cao and Prof. B. Jayawardhana.


PhD defenses

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: Frank Boeren
Group: Tue/ME
Thesis: System Identification for Feedforward and Feedback Control, With Application to Semiconductor Manufacturing
Promotor: M. Steinbuch and T.A.E. Oomen
Date: 03-10-2016
Time: 16.00

Twente University

Candidate: Willem Jansen-Klomp
Thesis: Diagnostic Challenges in Aortic Disease
Promotor: Prof.dr. J.G. Grandjean (promotor), Dr. L.M. Peelen (co-promotor), Dr. A.W.J. van ’t Hof (co-promotor)
Date: 02-12-2016
Time: 14.45 uur

Candidate: Erik Prinsen
Thesis: Adapting to change. Influence of a microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee on gait adaptions
Promotor: Prof.dr. J.S. Rietman (promotor), H.F.J.M. Koopman (promotor), dr. M.J. Nederhand
Date: 08-12-2016
Time: 14.45

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in November 2016.
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