Newsletter September 2022

Message from the DISC Office

Dear all,

Welcome to the September newsletter.

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

On the background we have started the preparations for finding a location for the Benelux Meeting 2023. The organising committee for the Benelux Meeting 2023 consists of Raffaella Carloni (RUG), Bayu Jayawardhana (RUG),  Erjen Lefeber (TU/e) and  Javier Alonso Mora (TUD). Next month we hope to able to share more information.

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Renate Kragtwijk,
DISC secretariat

Course program 2022-2023

The DISC course program 2022-2023 is ready. You can find it here. Registration is open on the DISC course platform.

We will start in October 2022 and the courses will take place in Utrecht, at Cursus- en vergadercentrum Domstad.

We are offering the following courses:

Learning and Adaptive Control
W.B.J. Hakvoort, University of Twente
H. Köroğlu, University of Twente

Identification of Networks of Dynamic Systems
M. Verhaegen, Delft University of Technology

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

IEEE-CSS Italy Best Young Author Paper Award 2022

Sergio Grammatico and co-authors have been awarded the 2022 IEEE-CSS Italy Best Young Author Paper Award for the paper “Distributed Demand Side Management With Stochastic Wind Power Forecasting”, by Paolo Scarabaggio, Sergio Grammatico, Raffaele Carli, Mariagrazia Dotoli,

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, volume 30, issue 1, pages 97—112, 2022.



Sergio Grammatico has been featured in the “People in Control” section of the IEEE Control Systems Magazine, volume 42, issue 4, pages 27—29, August 2022.

In the interview, Sergio discusses about his early career and shares his views on Systems and Control.


Best student paper award at IEEE SPAWC 2022

Hamed Masoumi (DCSC) won the best student paper award at IEEE SPAWC 2022 for the following paper:

Hamed Masoumi, Nitin Jonathan Myers, Geert Leus, Sander Wahls, Michel Verhaegen, “Structured Sensing Matrix Design for In-sector Compressed mmWave Channel Estimation,” SPAWC 2022.



layman’s summary of this work:

Millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies, currently used in 5G, offer wide bandwidths to support Gbps data rates. To deal with the high scattering at mmWave, base stations beamform signals by deploying large antenna arrays. The use of such large arrays, however, makes wireless channel estimation extremely challenging. This is because, on the one hand, the training overhead of the classical channel estimation methods grows significantly with the array dimensions. On the other hand, compressed sensing (CS)-based methods, for fast channel estimation, have not found their way into wireless systems. This is because state-of-the-art CS techniques use quasi-omnidirectional beams, which lead to poor signal-to-noise ratio at the receiver.

In this work, we have addressed the key challenge with CS-based channel estimation by proposing a novel in-sector CS-based solution. In our proposed solution, unlike standard CS-based methods, the base station focuses energy on a sector in the angle domain to increase the received signal strength. Further, our solution also optimizes the codes applied at the base station so that the aliasing artifacts in CS are pushed outside the sector. Our proposed in-sector CS solution has the same computational complexity as standard CS, but achieves higher quality channel estimates than the benchmarks.


New people

Groningen University

Name: Luis Felipe García-Arias
Starting date: 01-07-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Discrete Technology & Production Automation (DTPA)
Supervisors: Jacquelien Scherpen and Maria de Koning-Tijssen / Co-supervisor: Elisabeth Wilhelm
Project: System to assist physical therapy of cervical dystonia and improve treatment adherence.

Felipe García-Arias is an Electronic and Electrical engineer from the National University of Colombia and a Mechatronics Engineer from the University of Caldas. In the first half of 2022, he finished their master’s degree in Engineering: Industrial Automation at the National University of Colombia with the project Device for Assisting Muscle-skeletal Rehabilitation of Knee.

Between 03/2020 and 05/2022, L. Felipe García-Arias worked as a project manager at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA, for its acronym in Spanish) of the National University of Colombia. His principal responsibility was to manage the development of the web apps of the Caldas integrated environmental monitoring system (SIMAC, for its acronym in Spanish). Among the achievements is the migration of the application infrastructure to one based on Docker containers.

Felipe García-Arias worked as an R & D engineer (12/2016 – 02/2020) in the project “Design and validation of e-SPPB Electronic Devices for the Evaluation of Functional Capacity in Elderly in the Caldas.” The engineer contributed to developing electronic boards, designing mechanical elements, and developing firmware. The research was a joint project between the National University of Colombia and the University of Caldasand funded by the Colombian Ministry of Science and Technology. The principal outcome was the prototype of a kit of electronic devices and a mobile app intended to assist health practitioners in the physical assessment of the elderly. A request for a utility patent derived from the research is currently under deep revision.

Name: Najmeh Javanmardi
Starting date: 01-08-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Discrete Technology and Production Automation
Supervisor: Professor Jacquelien Scherpen

Project:  Passivity Based Control (PBC) is a well-known approach to control nonlinear systems, particularly mechanical systems. Among the PBC techniques, we find the so-called Interconnection and Damping Assignment (IDA) approach, which is often formulated to stabilize systems modeled in the port-Hamiltonian (pH) framework. Notably, the pH modeling approach is suitable to represent a wide range of physical systems, while IDA-PBC is a relatively general method to stabilize complex nonlinear systems. Hence, the synergy between the mentioned modeling and control approaches has attracted the attention of the control community in the last two decades. In this regard, IDA-PBC has proven to be suitable to stabilize complex underactuated mechanical systems.

In the current project, we aim to propose some possible directions to develop new ideas on tracking methods based on the IDA-PBC methods for the mechanical and electromechanical systems and their application in the control of networked systems.

Name: Emmanuel de la Cruz Piña
Starting date: 01-08-2022
Function: PhD
Group: Discrete Technology and Production Automation (DTPA)
Supervisor: Mónica Isela Acuautla Meneses

Project: “Fabrication and study of mechanoluminiscent materials by coupling CsPblBr3 perovskite QDs and piezoelectric materials”



Name: Bahar Haghighat
Starting date: 01-09-2022
Function: Tenure Track assistant professor


Bahar Haghighat obtained her PhD in Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems in 2018 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees respectively in Electrical Engineering/Digital Electronics and Electrical Engineering/Physics (double major) from Sharif University of Technology (SUT) in Tehran, Iran. She has been a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton and a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Radhika Nagpal. Her PhD research focused on mechatronic design and development of an aquatic swarm of miniaturized resource-constrained robotic modules capable of performing self-assembly. Her postdoctoral research focused on mechatronic design, algorithmic development, and modeling of a swarm of vibration sensing robots for infrastructure inspection applications. Bahar Haghighat has been selected as an EECS Rising Star in 2021 (MIT) and in 2019 (UIUC). She is the recipient of EPFL’s PhD research award of Gilbert Hausmann for the best PhD thesis in the fields of mechanical engineering, electricity, and physics (2019), EPFL distinction of excellence for a PhD thesis in Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems (2018), two Swiss National Science foundation (SNSF) post-doctoral fellowship awards (2017 and 2019), and the third place in EPFL’s My Thesis in 180 Seconds competition (2017).


Eindhoven University of Technology


Name:             Kaidong Chen
Starting date:   01-09-2022
Function:         PhD
Group:             Dynamics and Control
Supervisor: N. van de Wouw

Project:            Dynamic modeling and analysis of drilling systems

Kaidong Chen is a Ph.D. student in the Dynamics and Control group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e. Kaidong is co-supervised by Professor Nathan van de Wouw and Professor Emmanuel Detournay (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA). His current research topic is ‘Dynamic modeling and analysis of drilling systems’. Moreover, his research also has a strong connection other phenomenon related to (multiple) regenerative effect. (e.g., Milling)

Kaidong Chen obtained his B.Eng. degree in Engineering Mechanics from Beihang University (China) in 2017 and the MSc. degree in Mechanics from Tsinghua University (China) in 2020. Before joining the Dynamics and Control group in 2022, Kaidong worked remotely as a Ph.D. student at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (USA).

In his spare time, Kaidong likes listening to the music and taking a walk around the city. He also likes travelling.

Name:             Semih Orhan
Starting date:   01-10-2022
Function:         Postdoc
Group:             Dynamics and Control
Supervisor:      Dr. Ö. Arslan & Dr. E. Torta


Project:            Semantic Perception for Context-Aware Collaborative Robots

My name is Semih Orhan. I am a PhD student at the Izmir Institute of Technology and a member of the Computer Vision Research Group (CVRG). I have worked on semantic segmentation and visual localization of panoramic outdoor images during my PhD studies. I am very excited to join the Dynamics & Control and Control Systems Technology groups as a postdoc to conduct research on collaborative robots under the supervision of Dr. Elena Torta and Dr. Ömür Arslan.

Delft University of Technology

Name: Sreeshma Markkassery
Starting date: 01-09-2022
Function: PhD
Supervisor: Ton van den Boom

Hi, My name is Sreeshma Markkassery. I come from the southern part of India. I did my Master’s in control systems from IIT Madras, India. I started my PhD at DCSC this September. My research is on Max-Min-Plus-Scaling (MMPS) Systems. I will also work on optimization, nonlinear control, and model predictive control for the above class of systems.

I enjoy playing basketball, squash and badminton during my free time. I also love exploring strategic board games.

Name: Lars Verstraelen
Starting date: 15-09-2022
Function: Junior Teacher


Hi everyone! My name is Lars Verstraelen and by September I will be a Junior Teacher at the 3ME faculty! I graduated for both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Industrial and Applied Mathematics at the TU Eindhoven. During my Master’s I specialized in PDE’s and semigroup theory and researched the dynamics of layered fluids in porous media. I am an avid music fanatic, guitar player, bass player, drummer, singer and songwriter. I practise these in a multitude of bands; both original music and covers, trespassing through genres such as Grunge, Alternative Rock/Metal and Garage Rock. If there’s anyone out there who is as much of a fan of Tool, Soundgarden, The Cure and alike as I am, feel free to start some lengthy musical conversations :). Aside from this, I highly enjoy cooking, (pub)quizzing, playing occasional boardgames and doing my own recreational math projects. I am very much looking forward to providing both the educational as well as the personal help to my 3ME students.  I believe that me and my colleagues will form a steady and trustworthy backdrop to the courses that the students will follow.


Name: Chuhan Zhang
Starting date: 01-09-2022
Function: PhD
Group: TUD – 3ME – CoR
Supervisor: Cosimo Della Santina

Hello, my name is Chuhan Zhang,  I am a first-year PhD student at the CoR lab within 3me at TU Delft under the supervision of Cosimo Della Santina. My current area of research ordinates around Neuromorphic, Bayesian Spiking Neural networks, and Reinforcement Learning. Among other things, I am also interested in robotics perception, decision-making, robotics control, etc. During my master’s, I did some research on Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing.

Before starting my PhD studies, I was in Master of Computer Science at KU Leuven in Belgium. More in the past, I did a bachelor’s in Computer Science at Harbin Institute of Technology in China. In my spare time, I travel and play a traditional Chinese instrument (Pipa). I do some sports and reading. I like reading sci-fi.


PhD defences

Candidate: Haiwen Wu
Group: RUG – ENTEG – Division Discrete Technology and Production Automation
Thesis: Robust output regulation for autonomous robots
Promotor: prof Bayu Jayawardhana en prof. Ming Cao
Date: 23-08-2022

Candidate: Monica Rotulo
Group: RUG – ENTEG –  Division Smart Manufacturing Systems
Thesis: Results on data-driven controllers for unknown nonlinear systems
Promotor: prof Claudio De Persis en dr. Pietro Tesi
Date: 30-08-2022

Candidate: Erwin de Gelder
Group: TUD-3ME- DCSC
Thesis: Safety assessment of automated vehicles using real-world driving scenarios
Promotors: B. De Schutter and Dr. J.P. Paardekooper
Date: 09-09-2022

Candidate: Ir. W.J. Scholte
Group: TU/e – ME – Dynamics & Control
Thesis: Control for Cooperative Merging Maneuvers into Platoons
Promotor: Prof.dr. H. Nijmeijer
Date: 13-09-2022
Location: TU/e Atlas. 0.520
Time: 16h00

Candidate: Jianfeng Fu
Thesis: Failure Prevention and Restoration in Power Systems
Promotor: B. De Schutter and Dr. A. Núñez Vicencio
Date: 20-09-2022
Location: Senaatszaal, Aula
Time : 15.00 – 17.00


Candidate: Zhe Du
Group: TUD-3ME-TEL
Thesis: Cooperative Control of Autonomous Multi-Vessel Systems for Floating Object Manipulation
Promotor: Promotor: Prof.dr. R.R. Negenborn; Copromotor: Dr. V. Reppa.
Date: 27-09-2022
Location: Aula TU Delft
Time: 12:30
Link Livestream & On-demand playback
Link to download, this download is only for private use:

Candidate: Tian Tao
Thesis: Adaptive control of interconnected and multi-agent systems
Promotor: B. De Schutter and Dr. S. Baldi
Date: 28-09-2022
Location: Senaatszaal, Aula
Time:12:30 – 14:30

Candidate: Bruno F. Ferreira de Brito
Group: TUD-3ME-CoR
Thesis: Interaction-Aware Motion Planning in Crowded Dynamic environments
Promotor: J. Alonso Mora, R. Babuska
Date: 06-10-2022
Time: 15.00

Candidate:  F.S.J. (Feye) Hoekstra
Group: TU/e – EE- Control Systems group
Thesis: Electric Vehicle Range Extension through Empirical Battery Modelling, State Estimation and Active Cell Balancing
Promotor: M.C.F. Donkers
Date: 7 Oktober 2022
Location: Atlas 0.710 TU/e
Time: 16.00

PhD vacancy at WUR

WUR has a PhD vacancy:



Vacancies at DCSC – 3ME – TUD

At DCSC TUD there are a number of vacancies for Assistant Professor:

For all vacancies (Postdoc positions and PhD positions), please visit the DCSC website.

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in October 2022.

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