Welcome to the Jan C. Willems Center for Systems and Control at the University of Groningen. On this site you will find information about the research activities, projects and experts in the field of Systems and Control in Groningen.

New Systems and Control master in Groningen

Starting in 2023 the University of Groningen will be offering a new master programme “Systems and Control”. With a focus on complex systems and networks it will complement the already existing Dutch Systems and Control master programmes in Delft, Eindhoven and Twente.

The two main goals of the new master is to provide excellent master students to the job market in the Netherlands and to attract more excellent international students. The programme coordinator will be Prof. Dr. Stephan Trenn who can be contacted for further information.

Jacquelien Scherpen first FSE Director of Engineering

The Faculty Board of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) has decided to create the position of FSE Director of Engineering. As from July 1, 2022, Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen will be the first to hold this position. The main responsibilities of the FSE Director of Engineering will be to strengthen research collaboration in the area of engineering in the full width of the faculty, to set up new collaborations between FSE and the engineering industry, and to represent FSE in regional and national initiatives and discussions on engineering. Many of these activities are conducted through the Groningen Engineering Center, which is led by the FSE Director of Engineering.

Ming Cao appointed director of Jantina Tammes School

The Board of the University has appointed Ming Cao as Director of the Jantina Tammes School, the interdisciplinary platform that focuses on digital innovation, artificial intelligence, and technological progress. The School represents an important new instrument for interacting with, and contributing to, society. It will provide a place where the various academic disciplines can meet and join forces to conduct research projects, teach, and generally smooth the way for dialogue with and about society. Ming Cao, Professor of Networks and Robotics, is looking forward to stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration. ‘The Jantina Tammes School brings together all of the interested parties in the up-and-coming digital society, allowing them to get the maximum benefits from and make the maximum contribution to digitization, digital technology, and artificial intelligence. We are preparing our students, staff, and partners for a promising, but challenging, future.’

Henk van Waarde joins SCO group as Assistant Professor

Dr. Henk van Waarde has joined the SCO group as Assistant Professor for Data-driven control in January 2022. Henk received his PhD degree (cum laude) in Systems and Control from the University of Groningen in 2020 and was awarded with the 2020 DISC Best PhD Thesis. During his PhD he was a visiting researcher at University of Washington, Seattle, in the lab of Mehran Mesbahi. After that he was a postdoctoral researcher, first at Cambridge University under supervision of Rodolphe Sepulchre, and later at ETH Zürich where he worked with Florian Dörfler. His research interests are in data-driven modeling and control as well as applications to networked systems and neuronal dynamics.

IEEE LCSS outstanding paper award

Henk van Waarde, Claudio De Persis, Kanat Camlibel and Pietro Tesi have received the 2021 IEEE Control Systems Letters Outstanding Paper Award for their paper “Willems’ Fundamental Lemma for State-space Systems and its Extension to Multiple Datasets”, published in the IEEE Control Systems letters. The annual award recognizes an outstanding paper published in the letters in the preceding two calendar years. The selection criteria are originality, potential impact on the theoretical foundations of control, importance and practical significance in applications, and clarity.

Ming Cao awarded IEEE Fellow

Prof. Ming Cao has been elevated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to the grade of IEEE Fellow for his contributions to multi-agent control systems for sensor, robotic and social networks.

Becoming an IEEE Fellow is IEEE’s highest honor. Yearly, a select group of IEEE members is recognized as IEEE fellow. The institute awards the honour to less than 0.1 percent of its members. The Fellow title is recognized by the international engineering community as a prestigious honour and achievement. The grade of Fellow is being awarded since 1912.

The total number of IEEE Fellows in the Jan C. Willems center now stands at six: Jan C. Willems (awarded 1980), Ruth Curtain (awarded 1991), Arjan van der Schaft (awarded 2002), Harry Trentelman (awarded 2015), Jaqcuelien Scherpen (awarded 2021) and Ming Cao (2022).

New multi-disciplinary research on social dynamics attracts broad attention

Prof. Ming Cao, his postdocs, Mengbin Ye and Lorenzo Zino, and their collaborators in the marketing department of the Faculty of Economics and Business,  have just published a paper in Nature Communications on how a committed minority may change social conventions. Both agent-based modeling and human behavioral experiments have been implemented to disclose the mechanism of the sudden establishment of new social norms. The university website’s front page has prominently featured this work and other news sources, e.g. phys.org and Science Daily, have also reported about it.

New group name: SCAA becomes SCO

In view of the current research activities within the group Systems, Control and Applied Analysis (SCAA) and the joining of Prof. Juan Peypouquet as full professor in optimization, the group requested a name change to “Systems, Control and Optimization (SCO)” which was now granted by the FSE Faculty Board.