Full Professor

Maurice Heemels

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Research Profile

Maurice Heemels is a Full professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Chair of Hybrid and Networked Systems. His research is oriented towards general system and control theory with an emphasis on the development of multi-disciplinary design techniques, across a number of areas including hybrid systems, networked control, resource-aware (event-triggered) control, constrained control including model predictive control (MPC) and cyber-physical systems. Cyber-physical systems bridge the ‘cyber’ (computation, communication and control) world and the physical world (heating, cooling, motion, vibration...) in next generation high-tech professional systems for applications such as image-based therapies, lithography, and electron microscopy. The mathematical modelling of these CPS require the combination of diverse models from different fields and often lead to hybrid sysems  that exhibit both discrete and continuous dynamics (e.g., the combination of finite state machines/automato/communication models on the one hand and difference or differential equations on the other hand). The creation of analysis techniques for hybrid systems and accompanying design tools for CPS of the future is at the heart of Maurice's interests. Particular design questions are: How to conceive resource-aware control strategies moving away from time-triggered controller operation, thereby only using valuable system's resources as computation power and communication bandwidth, when is actually needed to o guarantee closed-loop stability, safety and performance properties? This calls for a paradigm shift in which time-triggered periodic controllers are replaced by asynchronous event-triggered control schemes that only compute or communicate when it is really necessary. Applications include cooperative and automated driving (CACC)How to design (wireless) networked control systems connecting sensors, controllers, and actuators over shared media with bandwidth-limitaitons? Applications are diverse ranging from manufacturing plants, to cooperating drones and robots, precision agriculture, etc.What switching or hybrid controllers can overcome the limitations of linear time-invariant controllers, as are classicaly used, to meet increasing throughput and accuracy demands in motion control and mechatronic systems? Various innovative strategies are being proposed, including HIGS (hybrid integrator-gain systems), reset controllers, variable-gain controllers, SPANI-filters, etc. What are excellent design tools for MPC or other constrained control systems that are computionally feasible, stable, and high-performant while taking care of constraints on control inputs and plant outputs? Our MPC work is exploited in diverse application domains including local hyperthermia for improving the efficacy of cancer treatments, precision agriculture to feed the world in the future and thermal-mechanical problems in lithography machines (in order to sustain Moore's law).

Academic Background

Maurice Heemels received his MSc and PhD in mathematics from TU/e in 1995 and 1999, respectively (both summa cum laude, top 5% of students). From 2000 to 2004 he worked at the TU/e Electrical Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor and from 2004 to 2006 at the Embedded Systems Institute (ESI) as a Research Fellow. He joined the department of Mechanical Engineering in 2006, where he is currently a Full Professor in the Control Systems Technology group.  Maurice has held visiting professor positions at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland (2001), and the University of California at Santa Barbara, California, USA (2008). He also worked at the Research & Development laboratory of Océ in Venlo, The Netherlands.   Maurice is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Chair of the IFAC Technical Committee 1.5 on "Networked Systems." Maurice served/s as an Associate Editor for the journals IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Automatica, Annual Reviews in Control and Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems. He is currently a Senior Editor for the IFAC/Elsevier journal Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems. Maurice's activities as IPC (co)chair include the European Control Conference 2021 (The Netherlands), IFAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems 2018 (ADHS, Oxford, UK), IFAC Workshop on Distributed Estimation and Control in Networked Systems (NecSys, Germany, 2013) and European Control Conference 2013 (ECC, Switzerland, 2013). He acted also as General Chair of the FAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems 2012 (ADHS, Eindhoven, NL). He was a recipient of a prestigious VICI grant "Wireless Control Systems: A new frontier in Automation." He acquired over 7 MEuro of research funding from NWO, OP-zuid, EU, STW/KWF ("Technology for Oncology"), and industry. Maurice was an invited keynote speaker at various leading conference including European Control Conference (ECC) 2014 (France), AANS 2014 (Italy), NMPC 2012/2015 (NL,Spain), IEEE EBCCSP 2015 (Poland),  IEEE CDC 2018 (USA), IFAC NECSYS 2019 (USA), IEEE CODIT 2019 (France), etc.  

Educational Activities

  • Signals and Systems Signals and Systems
  • Hybrid systems and control
  • System theory for control
  • Preparation phase graduation project
  • Bachelor final project DSD - Control Systems Technology
  • Graduation project Control Systems Technology (international)

Ancillary Activities

  • Member steering committee, IFAC conference series on ¿Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems.¿
  • Vice-chair, IFAC Technical Committee on Networked Control Systems
  • Member, IEEE Technical Committee on Hybrid systems
  • Member, IFAC Technical Committee on Discrete Event and Hybrid Systems (2005-present)
  • Hybrid Systems¿ (associate editor), Hybrid Systems¿ (associate editor)
  • Member, IFAC Technical Committee on Networked Systems (2008-present)