ECC 2024 pre-conference workshop

Bart Besselink is co-organizing  the pre-conference workshop on “Modular Approaches for Design and Verification in Autonomous Driving” at the European Control Conference ECC (25-28 June, 2024) in Stockholm.

The main goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from academia and industry to discuss the challenges in autonomous system design, share recent developments in component-based methodologies for design and verification, and exchange ideas on topics including system engineering, (software) verification, and modularity. Aiming to strengthen the connections between industry and academia, the workshop includes speakers from both industry and academia and will be closed with a panel discussion. The workshop will be accessible for interested ECC participants and does not assume prior expert knowledge.

Michele Cucuzzella joins DPTA group as Associate Professor

Dr. Michele Cucuzzella has recently joined the Discrete Technology & Production Automation (DTPA) group within ENTEG as associate professor. His research will mainly focus on the design and analysis of nonlinear control systems with application to the energy domain and smart complex systems such as power systems, district heating, etc., contributing to the development of a more efficient and sustainable energy system.

Michele received the M.Sc. degree (Hons.) in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Systems and Control from the University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, in 2014 and 2018, respectively. From 2021 to 2024 he was Assistant Professor of Systems and Control at the University of Pavia and guest Researcher at the University of Groningen. Since 2023 he is visiting Associate Professor at the Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan. From 2017 until 2020, he was a Postdoc at the University of Groningen.

Bayu Jayawardhana new scientific director of DISC

Bayu Jayawardhana is appointed as of 1 January 2024 as scientific director of Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC), the interuniversity research institute and graduate school that unites all university groups in the Netherlands that are active in systems and control theory and engineering. He succeeds Henk Nijmeijer (emeritus TU Eindhoven) who has himself been a graduate of the University of Groningen. Furthermore, Stephan Trenn has replaced Jacquelien Scherpen as the University of Groningen representative at the DISC board.

Jacquelien Scherpen winner of Prince Friso Engineering Award 2023

Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen, Director of the Groningen Engineering Center, at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (UG), has been voted Engineer of the Year 2023 by the expert jury. She received the Prince Friso Engineering Award 2023 in the presence of Princess Beatrix. Scherpen was one of three finalists for the award, all of whom were women this year. The announcement and award ceremony hosted by the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI) took place 15 March 2023 at Boskalis in Papendrecht.

“It is a wonderful recognition, also of our efforts in Groningen to put engineering on the map,” Scherpen said. “As an engineer you stand at the basis of societal challenges and you tackle those as a team with other disciplines. That is what is special about the UG; we are a broad-based university where you can, for a long time now, also study engineering. I hope this will win over prospective students and in particular, provide extra motivation for women to study engineering and pursue a career in engineering!”

The jury commended Prof. Jacquelien Scherpen for her versatility which she couples with substantive depth. At the University of Groningen, Scherpen is a driving force in strengthening and broadening the research and teaching in the field of engineering. She works closely  with businesses and also develops new programmes. The jury: ‘At the same time, she is also committed to the visibility of engineering in general, among other things by inspiring enthusiasm in young people for the engineering profession as well as overcoming gender stereotypes in female engineers. All in all, this makes her a role model for new generations of engineers.’

This was the ninth edition of the Prince Friso Engineering Award, which KIVI awards annually. Engineers who stand out in expertise, innovative capacity, entrepreneurship and social impact are eligible for the award, which is named after Prince Friso, who was an aerospace Engineer and member of KIVI. The winner of the award may call themselves Engineer of the Year. It has never happened before that the finalists only included women. In addition, an audience award, and the KIVI Engineering Student Team Award were also awarded.

Vici grant awarded to Prof. Ming Cao

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Vici grant to Prof. Ming Cao, worth up to €1.5 million. With this money Prof. Cao can develop an innovative line of research in the field of the decision making process of autonomous robots. He will be able to set up his own research group for a period of five years.

The awarded project concerns the decision making process of autonomous robots. With autonomous machines becoming ubiquitous in industry and daily life, we should be able to control the way these systems make decisions. This project draws inspiration from social animals (biology), competitive human behaviors (marketing), and collective opinion formation (sociology). Employing a multi-disciplinary approach, we will improve decision-making processes of autonomous robots working in teams, especially when they are frequently influenced by stochastic perturbations. The project will improve the control of autonomous robots, broaden the application of robot teams, and benefit smart factories and digital societies in the long run.

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.’