Newsletter September 2016

Message from the DISC office

Dear DISC members,

We are glad to announce that DISC winter course will take place on Wednesday December 7 and Thursday December 8, 2016. The topic is “System Identification in the Life Sciences” and it will be hosted by Wageningen University. You can read more about this further on in the newsletter. We hope many of you will join!

Registration for the DISC courses has been open for a few weeks and already many of you have registered. The transition to the new DISC course platform seems to have gone smoothly.

It is good to see that again DISC members have been awarded various prizes and honors. To name a few: Roland Tóth from Eindhoven University has been awarded an ERC starting grant and Arjan van der Schaft may now call himself an IFAC Fellow. Congratulations to all!

Of course also a warm welcome to all the new people who have started this month.

Best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

Upcoming DISC courses

Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control
Lecturers: S. Weiland and R. Tóth

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 Hogeschool 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.


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.

Arjan van der Schaft nominated IFAC Fellow

The IFAC Fellow Award is given to persons who have made outstanding and extraordinary contributions in the field of interest of IFAC, in the role as an Engineer/Scientist, Technical Leader, or Educator.Pins and Certificates will be presented at the 2017 World Congress in Toulouse


ERC Starting Grant awarded to Roland Tóth

Roland Tóth (Eindhoven University of Technology) has recently received the Starting Grant of the European Research Council for developing an advanced framework of automated modeling and control synthesis using Linear Parameter-Varying (LPV) representations of the targeted physical systems. The intended research is aiming at the development of the required tools for off-shelf implementation of LPV control in the industrial context. Every year, only a few young scientists receive this prestigious grant of 1.5 million EUR from the European Research Council.

Vincent Groenhuis awarded with the Best Design Award during the Hamlyn Surgical Robot Challenge

New position for Paolo Frasca

New People

Eindhoven University of Technology

David van den Hurk was born on November 8th 1988 in Oss, The Netherlands. He received his B.Eng degree in Mechatronics, from Fontys University of Applied Sciences in June 2013. Here his thesis was on the application of self-sensing piezo actuators in lithography equipment. In June 2016 he received his MSc. Degree in Systems and Control (with great appreciation), from Eindhoven University of Technology, where his graduation thesis was titled: “Calibration and Validation of a Multiphysics Mirror Heating Model in EUV Lithography”.  Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Control Systems group on the subject “Active Wafer Table Curvature Control for EUV Lithography” under the supervision of prof. dr. S. Weiland. The research is carried out in cooperation with ASML.

Amritam Das was born on July 31st 1992 in West Bengal, India. He received his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechatronics from SRM University, India in June 2014. His bachelor project was on ‘Design and Fabrication of Flapping Wing Ornithopter’. He was the recipient of gold medal from SRM University for being topper of his class 2010-2014. He started his master’s degree in Systems & Control in Eindhoven University of Technology with ALSP Scholarship in September 2014. During his study, he was also granted with Océ Merit Scholarship. In August 2016, he received his MSc. degree in Systems & Control. His graduation thesis was titled ‘Vehicle Dynamics Simulation & Control’. He is currently appointed as a PhD candidate in Control Systems group of the Department of Electrical Engineering in Eindhoven University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. dr. S. Weiland. His research topic is ‘Modelling & Control of Thermal Systems for Professional Printers’. The project is funded by Océ Technologies B.V.

I am Yuzhe Ma, a PhD candidate in Dynamics and Control group under the supervision of Prof. Henk Nijmeijer. I was born in Shandong Province, China. I received the MSc degree in Engineering with emphasis in Automotive Engineering of Jilin University in 2013. My main research area was Control and Analysis in Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Patterns recognition and powertrain reliability design were two main research aspects during my master studies. The master thesis was titled Research on the Load Spectra Compilation and Application of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Powertrain. My future project is Energy Efficiency and Predictive Control in Electric Vehicles.
I like playing basketball, badminton and taking photographs in my leisure time.

Groningen University

Hi, I am Bart Besselink. In 2012 I received the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. My PhD research on model reduction for nonlinear control systems was supervised by Prof. H. Nijmeijer and Prof. N. van de Wouw. In September 2012, I was a short-time visiting researcher at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Subsequently, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the ACCESS Linnaeus Centre and the Department of Automatic Control at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, with Prof. K.H. Johansson and Prof. H. Sandberg. Since August 2016, I am an assistant professor at the Johann Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Groningen.

My main research interests are in system theory and model reduction for nonlinear systems and large-scale interconnected systems as well as compositional analysis of such large-scale systems. In addition, I am interested in applications in intelligent transportation systems.

My name is Koen and originally I am from the captical city Lelystad of the reclaimed land Flevoland, in the Netherlands. My parents moved there in 1989, my birth year, to harness the fertile loam soils of Flevoland for their organic agricultural company.

I decided to choose a completely different path. In 2009 I moved to Groningen, where I first received a propaedeutics certificate in Physics in 2010 at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RuG), followed by a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics in 2013. Hereafter I specialized in systems, control and optimization as a graduate student in Applied Mathematics, still at the RuG. For my Master’s program I followed courses in Utrecht, mainly focused on optimization, from the national Mastermath program. In addition I did an internship at TNO in 2015. This was at the department Defense, Safety and Security which is located in Den Haag. My Master’s thesis was about distributed algorithms for distributed linear least squares problems, a project that was supervised by prof. dr. M.K. Camlibel.

In 2016 I received the Master’s degree, and after a fruitful collaboration with prof. dr. M.K. Camlibel I obtained a PhD position under his supervision, and also under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. J.M.A. Scherpen. My PhD research is a collaboration between the departments JBI and DPTA. The project is titled “Hierarchical and distributed optimal control of integrated energy systems” and the aim of the study is to develop new/tailored methods that integrate hierarchical and distributed optimal control methods for large-scale network systems, necessary for the embedding of new energy systems in the coupled power and gas grids.

After receiving a BSc degree in 2013 and a MSc degree in 2015 in Mathematics from the University of Groningen, I continued my Mathematical career as a PhD student at said university in September 2016.
While I specialized in Algebra & Geometry during my MSc programme, I will be continuing my studies in Systems and Control with the Smart Manufacturing Systems group, under the joint supervision of prof. C. De Persis and prof. A.J. van der Schaft. The research topic of my project is the distributed optimization and control of hybrid AC/DC microgrids.

PhD defenses

Eindhoven University of Technology

Candidate: Handian Chen
Group: Control Systems
Thesis:Game-theoretic Solution Concept for Complete Vehicle Energy management
Promotor: Prof.dr. S. Weiland
Date: 22-09-2016
Location: TU/e
Time: 16.00 pm

Candidate: Alina Doban
Group: Control Systems
Thesis: Stability domains computation and stabilization of nonlinear systems: implications for biological systems
Promotor: P.M.J. Van den Hof
Date: 04-10-2016
Location: TU/e
Time: 16.00 pm

Candidate: J. Wang MSc
Group: Dynamics & Control
Thesis: Battery electric vehicle energy consumption modelling, testing and prediction: a practical case study
Promotor: Prof.dr. H. Nijmeijer
Date: October 31, 2016
Location:TU/e, Auditorium 4
Time: TBA

Groningen University

Candidate: Anneroos Everts
Group: JBI
Thesis: A Geometric Approach to Multi-Modal and Multi-Agent Systems: From Disturbance Decoupling to Consensus
Promotor: Prof.dr.K. Camlibel and prof. dr. A. van der Schaft
Date: 02-12-2016
Location: Academiegebouw
Time: TBA


Next issue of the newsletter

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