Full Professor

Frank Willems

Development of self-learning powertrains is crucial to deal with complexity and diversity of future ultra-clean and efficient vehicles and to minimize development time and costs.

image

Research Profile

Frank Willems is a Full Professor of Systems and Control Technology and Chair of Integrated Powertrain Control at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), a position, realized with support from TNO. His main research interests are control-oriented modeling of internal combustion engines and after-treatment systems, cylinder pressure-based combustion control, and integrated energy and emission management. Frank focuses on the development of optimal and robust control methods for automotive powertrain systems. This requires integration of energy and emission management strategies at powertrain system level. This research is relevant for the automotive industry because the traditional methods will be no longer feasible. Driven by societal concerns about global warming and local air quality, ultra-efficient and –clean combustion concepts are studied. For these concepts, a robust and systematic approach is crucial to guarantee optimal performance under widely varying operating conditions. Robust control also enables the use of a wide range of renewable fuels. To minimize the development time and costs, model-based control methods play an increasingly important role. The ultimate goal is auto-calibration, in which the energy efficiency of the total powertrain will be optimized online by the application of smart sensors and route information in self-learning control concepts.

Academic Background

Frank Willems obtained his MSc (1995) and PhD (2000) in Mechanical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He subsequently joined the Powertrain group of TNO Automotive, where he currently is a senior technical specialist in powertrain control. Since 2007, he has been a part-time staff member of the Control System Technology group, Department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e in various roles. Over the years, Frank has been involved in a wide range of industrial research projects on clean engine technologies. Frank is an active member of the IFAC Technical Committee Automotive Control and Associate Editor for Control Engineering Practice. He has acted as Member of international program committee for the IFAC Conference on ‘Engine and Powertrain Control, Simulation and Modeling (E-CoSM)' (2015,2018), IFAC Symposium ‘Advances in Automotive Control (AAC)’ (2016), ‘Symposium for Combustion Control (SCC)’ (2016-2018) and organized symposia such as ‘An Industrial View on Future Heavy-Duty Powertrain Control’ (2017). He has given numerous workshops, including ‘Development, testing and verification of ADAS and ADF' and is a contributor to the Topsector HTSM roadmap Automotive.

Educational Activities

  • Bachelor final project DSD - Control Systems Technology
  • Modeling and control of diesel engines
  • Graduation project Control Systems Technology (international)
  • Advanced control for future HD powertrains

Ancillary Activities

  • Wetenschappelijk medewerker, TNO