Driven by stringent legislation for CO2 and other pollutant emissions, the automotive industry faces enormous challenges to find a cost-efficient balance between drivability and energy-efficiency. The introduction of advanced fuel-efficient low-emission engine concepts requires closed-loop combustion control to enhance transient performance of the engine. Ultimately, this research is heading towards integrated powertrain control, in which energy and emissions management of the overall powertrain is fully integrated. Moreover, the research on slip control of Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) and new high-tech powertrain concepts for hybrid and electrical drive trains for passenger cars and commercial vehicles is resulting in new innovations. In particular, the hybridisation of automotive powertrains leads to challenging research questions regarding technology, topology and control design. Concurrent and integrated design from component to system level (co-design) enables significant gains in performance and cost reduction. To derive an efficient co-design method, the theoretical concepts of multidisciplinary optimisation and optimal control methods are adopted in combination with scalable models and adaptive surrogate modelling. The search for computational efficient optimisation techniques has led to contributions to optimal control theory. Many of the research results have been experimentally validated in our Automotive lab. The methods are also being implemented at DAF Trucks, PunchPowertrain, TNO Automotive, Bosch Transmissions and other industrial automotive partners.