European grant worth millions for modeling dynamic networks

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded an Advanced Grant to Paul Van den Hof, who works at the Control Systems Group in the department of Electrical Engineering. The amount, 2.5 million euros, represents one of the biggest research subsidies that can be awarded to an individual researcher.

The grant, which is intended to fund five years of research, will enable Van den Hof to undertake fundamental research on the data-based modeling of dynamic networks. These are complex systems that contain a large number of components and unpredictable connections. Managing and optimizing such systems in practice is done by modeling but for such types of complex networks the existing modeling methods are inadequate. 

Van den Hof will be developing the models by gathering large quantities of available data from such systems. The project is mainly geared to laying the theoretical basis for these kinds of sophisticated models that can subsequently be used in a number of real examples of dynamic networks.

Smart grids
One example that comes to mind is ‘smart grids’: intelligent and flexible electricity networks that are characterized by different kinds of purchasers and an unpredictable supply. Another possible area of application lies in optimizing industrial production processes, for instance through taking into account the interaction between the different processes of an entire industrial complex.

Paul van den Hof (1957) studied and gained his doctorate at the department of Electrical Engineering at TU Eindhoven. From 1986 until 2014
 he worked as a researcher and since 1999 as professor at TU Delft. In the meantime he established the Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC), which he also led between 2004 and 2009. Between 2004 and 2013 he also served as scientific director of the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC). Since 2012 he has been professor of Modeling and Control of Dynamic Systems in Electrical Engineering at TU Eindhoven, within the Control Systems Group of the department of Electrical Engineering.