Received Best Interactive Paper Prize at the IFAC World Congress 2017

Jul 16, 2017

We are very happy to accounce that we have been awarded the IFAC Congress Best Interactive Paper Prize at the 2017 IFAC World Congress in Toulouse. Our contribution

Robust adaptive output-feedback tracking control for microalgae cultures by Alexander Schaum, Henning Weisbarth and Thomas Meurer

was thereby selected from 612 papers that were presented in the Interactive Paper category.

In the paper a feedforward-feedback control strategy for trajectory tracking of microalgae cultures is developed and experimentally evaluated. On the basis of the Droop model, an inversion-based feedforward control is determined which steers the biomass from given initial to final values in a finite, prescribed time. Model-free feedback control is employed for disturbance resiliance and improving the stability properties of the desired trajectory. The approach is evaluated using numerical simulations and experiments in a lab-scale photocatalytic reactor with Chlorella sorokiniana.


This project was partly supported by the Cluster of Excellence ”The Future Ocean”. The ”Future Ocean” is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) on behalf of the German federal and state governments.

New publication on model-based control in deep drawing processes

May 07, 2017

Böhm, T.; Meurer, T.: Trajectory Planning and Tracking Control for the Temperature Distribution in a Deep Drawing Tool, Control Engineering Practice, 64, 127-139, 2017.

Use this link provided by the publisher to access the article without registration or sign-up (valid until June 24th, 2017).


The deep drawing process and the resulting product quality essentially rely on the temperature distribution inside the tool. For temperature manipulation and control a flatness-based design technique for thermal trajectory planning and feedforward control for a deep drawing tool is developed based on a distributed parameter system description. Heating cartridges, that are embedded into the tool structure, serve as actuators to insert energy into the system with the desire to transfer the spatial-temporal temperature distribution from an initial to a desired final stationary profile. To address the complex-shaped geometry of the tool a high-order finite element (FE) approximation is deduced and combined with model-order reduction techniques to determine a sufficiently low order system representation that is applicable for optimal actuator placement. For this, a mixed-integer optimization problem is formulated based on a particular reduced-order formulation of the controllability Gramian. The resulting actuator configuration is exploited for flatness-based trajectory planning by constructing a virtual output that differentially parametrizes any system state and input. This implies a particularly intuitive approach to solve the thermal trajectory planning problem. Convergence of the differential parametrization is analyzed in the continuous limit as the finite element approximation approaches the continuum model. Re-summation techniques are integrated into the design to enhance the domain of applicability of the approach. The feedforward control is combined with industry-standardized proportional-integral-derivative (PID) output error feedback control within the so-called two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) control concept. Simulation and experimental results obtained for a fully equipped forming tool are presented and confirm the applicability of the proposed design technique and the tracking performance. In addition, the results of this paper present a first experimental validation of flatness-based trajectory planning for thermal systems with three-dimensional spatial domain.

New DFG-ANR cooperation project has started

Mar 20, 2017

The project "Interconnected infinite-dimensional systems for heterogeneous media" (INFIDHEM) has started with a kick-off meeting in Lyon from March 1st to 2nd, 2017.  The project is devoted to the analysis and the control of partial differential equations and the technological application of the developed methods. This German-French research project is jointly funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and its French counterpart, L'Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR), for a period of three years with a volume of 1.4 Mio. EUR. 

Project partners are

  • Wuppertal University (Prof. Birgit Jacob)
  • Technical University Munich (Prof. Boris Lohmann)
  • Kiel University (Prof. Thomas Meurer)
  • École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique Microtechniques (Prof. Yann Le Gorrec)
  • Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (Prof. Bernhard Maschke)
  • École Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (Prof. Denis Matignon)


Thomas Meurer new chair of VDI/GMA Technical Committee 1.40

Sep 25, 2016

In September 2016 Prof. Meurer has been elected as new chair of the Technical Committee 1.40 'Theoretical Methods of Closed-loop Control Engineering' of the VDI Society Measurement and Automatic Control (GMA). 

Further information about the activities of the committee can be found here (in German). 

Thomas Meurer awarded the Kardinal-Innitzer-Förderungspreis

Dec 15, 2012

Thomas Meurer has received this award for his habiliation thesis entitled "Contributions to Motion Planning and Tracking Control for Distributed-Parameter Systems in Single- and Higher-Dimensional Spatial Domains" completed at the Technical University Vienna. An extended version of this contribution is published with Springer-Verlag