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Research ENTEG Discrete Technology & Production Automation


19 February 2021: defense Amirreza Silani: "Distributed control, optimization, coordination of smart microgrids. Passivity, output regulation, time-varying and stochastic loads"

Promotores: Jacquelien Scherpen en M.J. Yazdanpanah

Microgrids are power distribution systems which are typically classified by Direct Current (DC) and Alternating Current (AC) networks. Nowadays, renewable generation sources and new loads such as Electric Vehicles (EVs) are largely used in power systems. Thus, due to the increased share of renewable generations and large scale introduction of new loads such as EVs, new control strategies are required to address the uncertainties of power networks.

Due to the random and unpredictable diversity of load patterns, it is more realistic to consider dynamical or stochastic differential load models. In DC networks, in order to guarantee a proper and safe functioning of the overall network, the main goal is the voltage regulation. Thus, we propose controller schemes achieving voltage regulation and ensuring the stability of the overall DC network. Moreover, an important operational objective of AC networks is frequency regulation. Hence, we propose controller schemes achieving frequency regulation and ensuring the stability of the overall AC network.

Furthermore, we propose an Energy Management Strategy (EMS) taking into account the load, power flow, and system operational constraints in a distribution network such that the cost of the Distributed Generations (DGs), Distributed Storages (DSs) and energy purchased from the main grid are minimized and the customers' demanded load are provided where the loads are considered stochastic generated by time-homogeneous Markov chain. Finally, we solve a microgird optimal control problem with taking into account the social behavior of the EV drivers via a corresponding real data set.

12 February 2021: defense Rully Tri Cahyono: "Discrete-event control and optimization of container terminal operations"

Promotores: Prof Bayu Jayawardhana and Prof Jacquelien Scherpen

This thesis discusses the dynamical modeling of complex container terminal operations. In the current literature, the systems are usually modeled in static way using linear programming techniques. This setting does not completely capture the dynamic aspects in the operations, where information about external factors such as ships and trucks arrivals or departures and also the availability of terminal's equipment can always change. We propose dynamical modeling of container terminal operations using discrete-event systems (DES) modeling framework. The basic framework in this thesis is the DES modeling for berth and quay crane allocation problem (BCAP) where the systems are not only dynamic, but also asynchronous. We propose a novel berth and QC allocation method, namely the model predictive allocation (MPA) which is based on model predictive control principle and rolling horizon implementation. The DES models with asynchronous event transition is mathematically analyzed to show the efficacy of our method. We study an optimal input allocation problem for a class of discrete-event systems with dynamic input sequence (DESDIS). We show that in particular, the control input can be obtained by the minimization/maximization of the present input sequence only. We have shown that the proposed approach performed better than the existing method used in the studied terminal and state-of-the-art methods in the literature.

IEEE Outstanding paper award for Cucuzzella et al.

15 January 2021

IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award, for “A Robust Consensus Algorithm for Current Sharing and Voltage Regulation in DC Microgrids”, by M. Cucuzzella, S. Trip, C. De Persis, X. Cheng, A. Ferrara, A. van der Schaft, in TCST, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 1583-1595, July 2019. This award recognizes the paper’s originality, relevance of the application, clarity of exposition, and demonstrated impact on control systems technology. The award has been presented virtually during the Control Systems Society Awards Ceremony at the 2020 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.

November 2020: Jacquelien Scherpen awarded IEEE Fellow

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has elevated Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen of the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG) to the grade of IEEE Fellow for her contributions to nonlinear model reduction and passivity-based control. The Fellow title is recognized by the international engineering community as a prestigious honour and achievement. Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for elevation to IEEE Fellow. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation. The grade of Fellow is being awarded since 1912.

June 2020: Automatica paper award 2017-2020 for ENTEG researchers

Xiaodong Cheng (ENTEG), Jacquelien Scherpen (ENTEG), and Bart Besselink (Bernoulli) have been awarded the Automatica Paper Prize over the period 2017-2020. The Automatica Paper Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions to the theory and/or practice of control engineering or control science, documented in a paper published in the IFAC Journal Automatica. At each IFAC World Congress the prize is awarded to the authors of three selected papers published in Automatica in the three years preceding the Congress. Automatica is one of the top journals in the Systems and Control field.

The paper treats a new model reduction method for large scale networks where the nodes of the network consists of a dynamical system that is connected with the other agents through inputs and outputs, and the network as a whole also has external inputs and outputs that can be used to influence the behaviour of the system. An example of such system is the various devices connected with each other in our power grid. For designing control methods the input output structure of both the network and the nods is very important. There exists a classical method that takes the input-output structure into account, but when applied to a network of systems, this network structure is destroyed. Since the network structure is highly relevant, also for control design, the paper adapts the classical method in a very innovative manner so that the network structure can be preserved while significantly simplifying the network structure in the same time as the system at the node, providing convincing a priori error bounds.

Here is the link to the full paper:

Balanced truncation of networked linear passive systems

Automatica, Volume 104, June 2019, Pages 17-25

29 May 2020: defense Yuri Kapitaniuk: "Motion control algorithms for mobile vehicles and marine crafts"

Promotores: Prof. M. Cao and Prof. J.M.A. Scherpen

Time: 12.45

Location: Aula Academy building

The mobile robots can have various appearances, dynamics and configurations of actuators: wheels for ground vehicles; legs for walking robots; propellers, waterjets, rudders and fins for marine robots; propellers, reactive engines and wings for aircraft. Nevertheless, many problems of their navigation and motion control can be solved in a unified manner. The navigation modules implemented in proprietary industrial-grade autopilots or open-source motion controllers mainly support only very basic functionalities, e.g. traveling with a predefined heading at a prescribed speed. However, many practical applications require to fulfill more complicated control tasks, such as obstacle avoidance, monitoring, surveillance or patrolling of a given area, convoying and covert tracking of mobile targets.

The first problem addressed in this research is the precise path following control problem by using the nonlinear guiding vector field approach for underactuated and constrained robots for which the class of trajectories a robot can follow is restricted by its dynamics.

Special attention is given to examine stability and convergence properties of the motion control algorithm and explicitly estimate a region of initial conditions, for which convergence to the desired path can be ensured.

The second problem of motion control, addressed in this research, is active oscillation damping using the theory of optimal universal controllers.

The proposed solution is developed in the context of roll stabilization for marine crafts, which guaranties optimal damping of roll oscillations for a wave-induced disturbance; however, the proposed approach can also be used for active vibration control of aircraft and automobiles.

Hoogleraar Jacquelien Scherpen nieuwe ‘Captain of Science’ Topsector High Tech Systemen en Materialen

Donderdag 26 maart 2020 is bekend gemaakt dat Jacquelien Scherpen, hoogleraar systeem- en regeltechniek aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, is benoemd tot Captain of Science van de topsector High Tech Systemen en Materialen (HTSM). Prof. dr. Jacquelien Scherpen volgt Dave Blank, emeritus hoogleraar nanotechnologie aan de Universiteit Twente, op die sinds 2011 aan de topsector HTSM verbonden was.

Innovatie op de sleuteltechnologieën

De ambitie van hoogleraar Jacquelien Scherpen is om vanuit haar nieuwe rol een push te geven aan innovatie, in het bijzonder op de sleuteltechnologieën. De relevantie voor Nederland om daarin te investeren is groot. Scherpen hierover: “Denk aan de inzet van digitale technologie en engineering- en maaktechnologieën voor de productie van beademingsapparatuur en aan nanotechnologie voor de ontwikkeling van medische testen. Innovatie op deze technologieën is van belang omdat ze aan de basis staan van oplossingen voor onze gezondheidszorg, de toekomstige voedselvoorziening en de transitie van de energiesector en de maakindustrie.”

Om de innovatiekracht van Nederland te verbeteren, zou er volgens Scherpen meer kruisbestuiving plaats moeten vinden tussen wetenschap en de hightech industrie. “Voor de onderzoeker is het belangrijk zich te verbinden met ontwikkelingen die spelen in de maatschappij. Omgedraaid moet een bedrijf zich bewegen aan de voorkant van een technologie om stappen te kunnen maken naar de toekomst.”

Scherpen ziet dat de samenwerking tussen wetenschap en industrie al op veel punten goed gaat in Nederland. Zij noemt als voorbeeld de infrastructuur op de campussen. “Steeds vaker zitten bedrijven in de buurt van een universiteit. De cultuur is laagdrempelig waardoor studenten de weg naar zo’n bedrijf makkelijk weten te vinden.”

Als aandachtspunt noemt zij de kennisontwikkeling bij het mkb. Het type ondernemer uit de hightech sector heeft veelal te maken met een complexe, snel veranderende markt. Juist voor hen is een lange termijn strategie belangrijk om te overleven. Om die vorm te geven is het nodig aan kennisontwikkeling te doen en innovatiestappen te nemen. Daarvoor is de verbinding met de wetenschap onmisbaar.

Naast kruisbestuiving tussen wetenschap en industrie vindt Scherpen ook de human capital kant belangrijk. “Om meer wetenschappers voor deze topsector op te leiden heb je meer opleidingscapaciteit nodig. In mijn huidige rol als directeur van het Groningen Engineering Centre (GEC) maak ik mij hier sterk voor. Graag deel ik mijn kennis hierover ook vanuit mijn nieuwe rol met alle kennisinstellingen, bedrijven en ministeries die ik ga ontmoeten.”

14 February 2020: defense Alain Govaert: "Network games and strategic play. Social influence, cooperation and exerting control"

Promotores: Prof. M. Cao and Prof. J.M.A. Scherpen

Time: 12.45
Location: Aula Academy building

When immediate self-interests conflict with the long-term collective performance of a large group of decision-makers, it is often necessary to somehow influence individual decisions to achieve sustainable outcomes that are beneficial for both individuals and the collective. This research uses game theory to develop novel and robust mechanisms that aid long-term performance in these complex situations. Based on economic and behavioral studies, a novel class of decision-making strategies is formulated that shows how rational selfish decisions can be moderated by social influence to achieve sustainable outcomes that preserve publicly available goods in the absence of external governing. Moreover, a theory is developed that characterizes the level of strategic influence or control that a player can unilaterally exert in the eventual outcome of a repeated social dilemma game with discounted payoffs. The effect of “farsightedness” or “patience” is characterized that provides novel insight into the minimum expected number of interactions that a strategic player requires to achieve a desired relative performance in a large group of individuals with arbitrary decision-making strategies. The success of these manipulative strategies is also characterized from an evolutionary perspective by studying the evolutionary stability of generosity and extortion in a finite population. Finally a general framework is developed through which the complex interactions among strategic decision making, strategic influence, and uncertainty about the valuation of the future are studied. It is shown how decisions-making strategies must be adjusted to the level of uncertainty in future events to successfully exert strategic influence in an uncertain future.

6 December 2019: defense Yuzhen Qin: "Distributed coordination and partial synchronization in complex networks"

Promotores are: Prof. M. Cao and Prof. J.M.A. Scherpen

Time: 14.30
Location: Aula Academy building

Motivated by coordinating behavior widely observed in nature, this thesis studies stochastic distributed coordination algorithms and partial synchronization in complex networks. Distributed coordination algorithms are usually under inevitable random influences or deliberately randomized to improve performance. Such dynamical processes are usually modeled by stochastic discrete-time dynamical systems. In the first part of this thesis, we propose some new criteria, termed finite-step Lyapunov criteria, for the stability and convergence analysis of stochastic discrete-time systems, and then use them to study the convergence of several distributed coordination algorithms. As a special type of coordinating behavior, partial synchronization is believed to occur in the human brain more commonly than global synchronization. With the help of the Kuramoto model and its variations, we analytically study partial synchronization in the second part. Two cases, i.e., partial synchronization among directly connected regions and among regions that has no direct links, are both considered. To analyze the latter one, some new criteria for partial stability of slow-fast nonlinear systems are also developed.

Prof. dr. ir. J.M.A. Scherpen
Prof. dr. ir. J.M.A. Scherpen

Jacquelien Scherpen next EUCA President

July 2019

Jacquelien Scherpen, professor in systems and control engineering at the Engineering and Technology Institute (ENTEG) of the University of Groningen, is the next President of the European Control Association (EUCA). She will take up office as the President in January 2020. She is already vice-president of EUCA since 2018. Representing all Systems and Control scientist in the Europe EUCA’s, goal is promoting initiatives that enhance scientific exchange, disseminate information, and coordinate research networks and technology transfer in the field of Systems and Control within the Union. Jacquelien Scherpen will be leading the EUCA for two years. Jacquelien Scherpen was elected during the General Assembly meeting of the EUCA in Naples held on 26 June 2019 during the yearly European Control Conference that takes place under the auspices of EUCA.

Jacquelien Scherpen received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Twente, The Netherlands, in the field of Systems and Control. From 1994 to 2006 she was at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. She started as postdoctoral fellow, followed by an assistant (1995) and associate (1999) professorship in Control Engineering. Since September 2006 she holds a professor position at the University of Groningen in the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen at the faculty of Science and Engineering. She was scientific director of ENTEG from 2013 - 2018. Since 2016 she is director of the Groningen Engineering Center, the Center that unites all engineering related research and teaching at the University of Groningen.

·         information about Jacquelien Scherpen

Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen
Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen

Royal distinction for Jacquelien Scherpen

April 26 2019

ENTEG is proud to announce that on Friday 26 April, Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen, former scientific director of our institute and currently chair of the Discrete Technology and Automation of Production research group of ENTEG, and director of the Groningen Engineering Center,has been appointed Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

She received this honorably distinction as international pioneer in her field who is widely acclaimed for her excellent personal achievements and great societal reputations. She is known as a very gifted, enthusiastic scientist and teacher, a source of inspiration to students and a strong researcher with a tremendous drive for finding innovative solutions to challenging problems stemming from professional practice. She contributes significantly to the development of new technologies that are indispensable for highly socially relevant applications, such as robotics, digital factories and smart energy grids.

She is the driving force behind the strengthening and broadening of engineering research and teaching in Groningen.

More information on Scherpen

Visit ENTEG at Hannover Messe

April 3, 2019

This week the Engineering and Technology institute (ENTEG) of the University of Groningen, group Jayawardhana, is presenting at the Hannover Messe. Visit us in the Holland Smart Industry Pavilion (Hal 8, D34). We are part of the booth of the Region of Smart Factories. As demonstrater project we show robots that can perform tasks as a team.

The robot team already attracted a lot of attention in the past days. On 2 April, State Secretary Keijzer (Economic Affairs and Climate) visited our robot team. For photos of this visit and more information
Also see RTV-Noord, their television report
, Region of Smart factories website

11 January 2019: defense Martijn Dresscher: Toward Controlled Ultra-High Vacuum Chemical Vapor Deposition Processes

Promotores are: Prof B. Jayawardhana, Prof J.M.A. Scherpen and Prof. B.J. Kooi

Time: 12:45PM

Location: Aula Academy building

7 December 2018: defense Tjerk Stegink: Energy-based analysis and control of power networks and markets. Port-Hamiltonian modeling, optimality and game theory.

Promotores are: Prof De Persis and Prof van der Schaft

Time: 12:45PM

Location: Aula Academy building

12 November 2018: defense Xiaoshan Bai: Cooperative Task Assignment for Multiple Vehicles.

Promotores are: Prof. Scherpen, Prof. Cao and Prof. Yan.

Time: 12:45 PM

Location: Aula Academy building

2 November 2018: defense Xiaodong Cheng: Model Reduction or Network Systems with Structure Preservation. Graph Clustering and Balanced Truncation.

Promotores are: prof Scherpen and prof Cao.

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Aula Academy building

Best PhD Thesis in the field of Systems and Control Engineering

August 2018

Dr. Michele Cucuzzella won the Best PhD Thesis in the field of Systems and Control Engineering from the Italian Control Community (SIDRA). He will receive this prize in Florence on September 13, 2018.

Best PhD Thesis Award on New Challenges for Energy and Industry from The IEEE Italy Section for Dr Michele Cucuzzella

July 2018

Dr. Michele Cucuzzella won the Best PhD Thesis Award on New Challenges for Energy and Industry from The IEEE Italy Section, sponsored by one of the major players of the electric power industry: ABB.
The award will be presented during the Award Ceremony to be held at the 4th International Forum on Research and Technologies for Society and Industry.

10 July 2018: defense Erik Weitenberg: Control of electrical networks: robustness and power sharing

Promotores: Prof C. De Persis and Dr P. Tesi

Time: 11.00
Location Aula Academy building

22 June 2018: defense Hadi Taghvafard: "Modeling, analysis, and control of biological oscillators"

Promotores: Prof Ming and Prof Jacquelien Scherpen

Time: 14.30 uur
Location: Aula Academy building

25 May 2018 defense Qingkia Yang: "Constructing tensegrity frameworks and related applications in multi-agent formation control"

Promotores: Prof Ming and Prof Jacquelien Scherpen

Time: 11.00
Location: Aula Academy building

This thesis discusses the problem of constructing tensegrity frameworks and their applications in formation control for multi-agent systems. First we propose several approaches to grow rigid, infinitesimally rigid, and super stable tensegrity frameworks. Then the virtual tensegrity frameworks have been applied to solve formation control problems. Different type of control algorithms are proposed to maneuver the formation. In addition, distributed formation tracking control law is designed such that the formation shape is achieved whilst tracking a external reference signal.

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Last modified:13 April 2021 6.00 p.m.