Group Heemels

As everything gets connected to everything and sensors, actuators and controllers are ubiquitous in industries and our daily lives, it is instrumental to develop general system theories and multi-disciplinary design methodologies for the emerging networked large-scale and cyber-physical systems of the future.

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Research Profile

Next generations of engineering systems require tight coordination between computation, communication and control elements (the ‘cyber’ part) on the one hand, and physical processes such as heating, cooling, motion, vibrations etc. (the physical part) on the other hand. Despite the need for integrated design of these so-called cyber-physical systems (CPSs), the corresponding scientific disciplines have predominantly been developed independently, which is no longer sustainable. This calls for a new hybrid systems theory bridging the disciplines of computer science, control engineering and communication theory. Moreover, the trend of embedding increasingly powerful computational capabilities into everyday objects and systems that offer effective communication leads to the rise of large-scale interconnected systems calling for scalable analysis and design methodologies. The group is developing these hybrid and networked systems theories with successful applications in cooperative and automated driving, smart farms using precision agriculture, thermal systems, hyperthermia systems for improving cancer treatments, nuclear fusion, complex mechatronic systems, etc. Specialties of the group include hybrid control overcoming fundamental limitations of LTI control, model predictive control (MPC), event-triggered control, and control of hybrid, networked and large-scale systems.

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