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Institute of automation, measurement and applied informatics

Funding: TEMPO (EU FP7) -- Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) on Training in Embedded Predictive Control and Optimization (ESR 2).

Duration: 3 years starting from February 2014.

Financial terms: 2500 EUR as a monthly gross salary with additional 680 EUR per month to cover expenses linked to the personal household, relocation and travel expenses of the researcher.

Hosting institution: Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Supervisor: Professor Boris Rohal-Ilkiv (STU Bratislava)
Co-supervisor: Professor Tor Arne Johansen (NTNU Trondheim)

Objectives: The research training objective is to develop and demonstrate cost effective and numerically efficient nonlinear MPC algorithms suitable for real-time control of mechatronic systems guaranteeing control sampling rates in the range of kHz.

Tasks and methodology: The starting point of this research will be the study and application of first principles models expressing intrinsic system nonlinearities and their reformulation to a framework applicable on nonlinear MPC on embedded platforms with limited memory and computational power. The target mechanical systems are under-damped vibrating systems, under-actuated mechanical systems and internal combustion engines. The high-quality control of these mechanical systems is demanding and hard to accomplish, since these systems are burdened with the strong effects of parameter uncertainties and incomplete system state information. The ESR training will include experiments on the chosen mechatronic system.

Plan of work: Development of an adequate mathematical model of the chosen mechatronic system, its identification, establishing procedures for state/parameter estimation, selection of NMPC cost functions and constraints, efficient formulations with stability and feasibility guarantee, solution of the resulting optimal control problem using numerical approximation and real-time iteration schemes, application of the resulting algorithms on a suitable embedded platform, simulation testing, implementation and testing on real mechatronic systems.

Expected results: Deliverables: report on model reformulation and simplification techniques applicable to nonlinear embedded MPC, progress report, software tool for real-time implementation of resulting control laws on embedded platform. Milestones: efficient formulations which offer guarantee of stability and feasibility, efficient schemes for real-time optimization.

Dissemination: At least two publications in leading peer-reviewed journals; At least four publications in leading international conferences with peer review and published proceedings.

Planned secondments: 3 months at NTNU for model formulation, 2 months at KUL for studies on numerical method for on-line optimization, and 1 month at Renault for application case study.

Requirements:

  • masters degree (or equivalent) in control, optimization, or a related field,
  • good knowledge of convex optimization and model predictive control,
  • familiarity with programmable embedded hardware platforms,
  • experience of writing, debugging and documenting scientific codes in MATLAB,
  • ability to exercise initiative and judgement in carrying out research tasks,
  • communication skills and a flexible approach in tackling a wide variety of tasks.

Note that knowledge of the Slovak language is not required. The working language in our group is English. Applicants are recommended to demonstrate that they possess the above mentioned requirements by citing concrete evidence and examples. Outstanding students with only a partial match to this list are encouraged to apply.

The position adheres to the European and the beneficiaries policy of balanced ethnicity, age and gender. It is an objective to increase the number of females in scientific positions. Female applicants are therefore encouraged to apply.

How to apply: Applicants are required to submit following documents by email to boris.rohal-ilkiv@stuba.sk:

  • current curriculum vitae,
  • statement of research interests and career goals,
  • transcript of coursework and grades,
  • three (3) reference letters.

Further information about recruiting can be found on the TEMPO web site.

Eligibility: At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc) in Slovakia for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment under the project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.