European Control Conference (ECC 20)
Saint Petersburg, Russia, May 12‑15, 2020

Important Dates

  • September 30 October 8, 2019 October 10, 2019
    Paper submission deadline
  • January 15, 2020
    Notification of acceptance
  • January 15, 2020
    Early registration
  • February 15, 2020
    February 17, 2020
    February 19, 2020

    Final paper upload
  • February 15, 2020
    Recommended date for visa support letter (invitation) request
  • March 9, 2020
    Regular registration
  • May 12-15, 2020
    Conference dates
Plenary Speakers

Eduardo Sontag

(Northeastern University, USA)

Some Control Theory Ideas in Systems and Synthetic Biology

Wednesday, May 13, 09:00-10:00

A - 1216, WePA1


Eduardo SontagEduardo Sontag's major current research interests lie in several areas of control and dynamical systems theory, systems molecular biology, cancer and immunology, and computational biology. He received his Licenciado degree from the Mathematics Department at the University of Buenos Aires in 1972, and his Ph.D. (Mathematics) under Rudolf E. Kalman at the University of Florida, in 1977. From 1977 to 2017, he was with the Department of Mathematics at Rutgers, where he was a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics. In 2018, Sontag was appointed as a University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and of BioEngineering at Northeastern University, where he is also an Affiliate Professor of Mathematics and Chemical Engineering. He is also in the faculty of the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and a Research Affiliate at MIT. Sontag has authored over five hundred research papers and monographs and book chapters in the above areas with 48,000 citations and an h-index of 97 and is in the Editorial Board of several journals; in addition, he is a co-founder and co-Managing Editor of the Springer journal MCSS (Mathematics of Control, Signals, and Systems). He is a Fellow of IEEE, AMS, SIAM, and IFAC. Sontag was awarded the Reid Prize in Mathematics in 2001, the 2002 Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize and the 2011 Control Systems Field Award from the IEEE, the 2002 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research from Rutgers, and the 2005 Teacher/Scholar Award from Rutgers.


A central concern of systems and synthetic biology is that of identifying, and understanding the roles of, signal transduction pathways and feedback loops, whether in natural systems or as an aid to engineer networks that exhibit a desired behavior. This talk will discuss how certain types of network qualitative information can be gleaned from "dynamic phenotypes", a term that we take as encompassing transient characteristics of temporal responses, particularly when using richer classes of probing signals than step inputs. Examples of dynamic phenotypes include fold-change detection (scale invariance), non-monotonic responses, and induced subharmonic oscillations. We will present theorems that relate different behaviors to circuit motifs, and touch upon biological applications at multiple scales, including enzymatic mechanisms, chemosensing, the generation of certain stress responses, and the kinetic recognition of self vs non-self by the immune system.

Emilia Fridman

(Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Delayed and Sampled-data Control of ODE and PDE Systems

Wednesday, May 13, 12:30-13:30

A - 1216 WePB2


Emilia FridmanEmilia Fridman received the M.Sc. degree from Kuibyshev State University, USSR, in 1981 and the Ph.D. degree from Voronezh State University, USSR, in 1986, all in mathematics. From 1986 to 1992 she was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Kuibyshev Institute of Railway Engineers, USSR. Since 1993 she has been at Tel Aviv University, where she is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering-Systems. She has held visiting positions at the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics in Berlin (Germany), INRIA in Rocquencourt (France), Ecole Centrale de Lille (France), Valenciennes University (France), Leicester University (UK), Kent University (UK), CINVESTAV (Mexico), Zhejiang University (China), IPME RAS and ITMO University in St. Petersburg (Russia), Melbourne University (Australia), Supelec (France), KTH (Sweden).

Her research interests include time-delay systems, networked control systems, distributed parameter systems, robust control, singular perturbations and nonlinear control. She has published more than 150 articles in international scientific journals. She is the author of the monograph ''Introduction to Time-Delay Systems: Analysis and Control" (Birkhauser, 2014). She serves/served as Associate Editor in Automatica, SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization and IMA Journal of Mathematical Control and Information. In 2014 she was Nominated as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson ISI. Since 2018, she has been the incumbent for Chana and Heinrich Manderman Chair on System Control at Tel Aviv University. She is IEEE Fellow. She is currently a member of the IFAC Council.


Time-delays are frequently a source of instability, but for some systems, the presence of delay may have a stabilizing effect. A time-delay approach to sampled-data control, where the system is modeled as a continuous-time system with the delayed control input became popular in networked control systems, where the plant and the controller exchange data via communication network. In the present talk delay effects on stability, positivity and control will be discussed. A time-delay approach to sampled-data and network-based control of ODE and PDE systems will be presented, where variable sampling intervals, communication delays and scheduling protocols are taken into account. Differently from other approaches, this approach allows communication delays larger than the sampling intervals in the presence of scheduling protocols. As an application of PDE results, a network-based deployment of multi-agent systems via PDEs will be considered. Finally a very recent time-delay approach, this time to averaging, will be presented. Here the time-delay approach provides constructive upper bounds on the small parameter that preserve the stability.

Vladimir Peshekhonov

(Concern CSRI "Elektropribor", St. Petersburg, Russia)

Prospects for Gyroscopy

Thursday, May 14, 09:00-10:00

A - 1216, ThPA1


Eduardo SontagDoctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, General Director of the State Research Center of the Russian Federation – Concern CSRI Elektropribor, JSC.

His main research interests include marine navigation and development of navigation aids based on new physical principles. In 1960s, he substantiated and put into practice a solution to the problem of isolating weak noise signals against intense interference, which became the basis for designing a new class of navigation aids — radio astrooptical navigation systems that have no analogs in the world. In 1970–1980s, he made a personal contribution in creating the laser and precision gyroscopes with non-contact suspension of spherical rotor, and in the use of geophysical fields for marine navigation. Since 1974, he was the Chief Designer of high-precision navigation systems for large submarines and surface ships of the Soviet Navy. Three generations of navigation systems designed under his leadership over the recent 25 years have opened up new possibilities for autonomous navigation and the use of weapons in all areas of the World Ocean. In 1980s, Prof. Peshekhonov was the technical supervisor of tests of a new integrated navigation system during a long under-ice mission of nuclear submarines to the North Pole. In the recent decade, the range of his scientific interests has included the problems of integrated navigation systems, such as INS/GNSS, as well as ground and aerospace navigation and orientation, intelligent navigation technologies, and the research of fine structures of the Earth’s gravitational field.

Prof. Peshekhonov is the section leader of two Scientific Councils of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Head of the regional group of the Russian National Council for Automatic Control; the Editor-in-Chief of the Gyroscopy and Navigation journal; the Chairman of the Organizing and Program Committees of the annual St. Petersburg International Conference on Integrated Navigation Systems; and the President of the International Public Association “Academy of Navigation and Motion Control”.

Prof. Peshekhonov is a laureate of the Lenin Prize (1984), a laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1998), a laureate of the 2005 Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of science and technology for the development and implementation of dual-use gravimeters for taking measurements from sea and air carriers.


Gyroscopic sensors (gyroscopes, accelerometers, and inertial systems) are widely used in motion control systems due to their universality, autonomy, and high accuracy. However, the creation of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) which provide precision coordination has reduced this field of gyroscopic sensors application to the tasks where autonomy (under water, under ground, in confined spaces) or high noise immunity are important. In the field of spatial stabilization, the gyroscopic sensors still keep the monopoly position.

The development of gyroscopy moves towards bridging the gap with the GNSS user equipment (UE). Due to the fact that the mechanical gyroscopic sensors have been displaced by the gyroscopes based on Sagnac effect, large-scale production of gyroscopic equipment has been established for the first time. There is mass production of micromechanical gyroscopic sensors which are comparable to the GNSS UE in terms of weight and size characteristics, energy consumption and cost. High-precision small-size gyroscopes have been created based on the inertia effect of elastic waves in a rotating axisymmetric body. A high-precision miniature gyroscope based on the effect of nuclear magnetic resonance is being developed. Research of the possibility to create a gyroscope on de Broglie waves (cold atoms), comparable to the GNSS UE in terms of accuracy, is in progress.

Stefano Stramigioli

(University of Twente, The Netherlands)

Physical Control for Physical Systems: Why and How

Thursday, May 14, 12:30-13:30

A - 1216, ThPB2


Stefano StramigioliStefano Stramigioli received the M.Sc. with honors (cum laude) from the University of Bologna (I) in 1992 and the Ph.D with honors (cum laude) in 1998 from the Delft University of Technology. Since 1998 he has been faculty member first as assistant, associate and currently full professor in Advanced Robotics University of Twente. Since 2017 he is also co-chairing the Bio-mechatronics and Energy-Efficient Robotics Lab at ITMO University.
He is an IEEE Fellow and has been an IEEE RAS officer for many years. Stefano is also a member of the Dutch academy of Science (KHMW). He is currently serving as the Vice President for Research of euRobotics, the private part of the PPP cooperation with the European Commission known as SPARC, the biggest robotic civil program worldwide. He has been Editor in chief of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. He has furthermore been Editor in Chief of the IEEE ITSC Newsletter and guest editor for others. He is member of the Editorial Board of the Springer Journal of Intelligent Service Robotics. He has been an AdCom member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, he has been the founder and chair of the Electronic Products and Services of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and he has been serving as Vice President for Membership of the same society for two consecutive terms. He is involved in different projects related to Control and Robotics for medical, inspection and home and care applications. He is one of the authors and multimedia editor of the Springer Handbook of Robotics.
Among the award he received are the 2009 recipient of the IEEE-RAS distinguish service award, 2016 European Tech Transfer Award, and 2016 and 2017 Hamlyn Symposium Awards. In 2018 he won an ERC Advanced Research Grant with the PortWings project and became a principal for EU Healthcare Robotics Digital Innovation Hub.


Robotics is about control of physical systems and to be effective in robotics control, physically based methodology should be used. An introduction will be give about the concepts behing Energy Aware robotics and the reasons why this is sometimes the only way to go once interaction between robots and the environment is of importance. Examples will be given of the advangtages of such methodologies and the basic ideas and first results will be illustrated on how these techniques will be used in the ERC granted PortWings project related to the modeling and control of a robotics flying bird.

Florian Dörfler

(ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Online Feedback Optimization with Applications to Power Systems

Friday, May 15, 09:00-10:00

A - 1216, FrPA1


Florian DörflerFlorian Dörfler is an Associate Professor at the Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zürich. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2013, and a Diplom degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart in 2008. From 2013 to 2014 he was an Assistant Professor at the University of California Los Angeles. His primary research interests are centered around control, optimization, and system theory with applications in network systems such as electric power grids, robotic coordination, and social networks. His students were winners or finalists for Best Student Paper awards at the European Control Conference (2013, 2019), the American Control Conference (2016), and the PES PowerTech Conference (2017). He is furthermore a recipient of the 2010 ACC Student Best Paper Award, the 2011 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award, the 2012-2014 Automatica Best Paper Award, the 2016 IEEE Circuits and Systems Guillemin-Cauer Best Paper Award, and the 2015 UCSB ME Best PhD award.


Online feedback optimization refers to the design of feedback controllers that asymptotically steer a physical system to the solution of an optimization problem while respecting physical and operational constraints. For the considered optimization problem many parameters might be unknown, but one can rely on real-time measurements and the underlying physical system enforcing certain constraints. This problem setup is motivated by applications to electric power systems and has historic roots in communication networks and process control. In comparison to other optimization-based control strategies, transient optimality of trajectories is not the primary goal, and no predictive model, running costs or exogenous setpoints are required. Hence, one aims at controllers that require little model information, demand low computational cost, but that leverage real-time measurements. We design such controllers based on optimization algorithms that take the form of open and discontinuous dynamical systems. In this talk we discuss different algorithms such as projected gradient and saddle-point flows, their closed-loop stability when interconnected with physical systems, robustness properties, regularity conditions, and implementation aspects. Throughout the talk we demonstrate the potential of our methodology for real-time operation of power systems.

Mazyar Mirrahimi

(INRIA, Ecole Polytechnique and Mines Paristech, France)

Towards a fault-tolerant quantum computer

Friday, May 15, 12:30-13:30

A - 1216, FrPB2

Mazyar MirrahimiMazyar Mirrahimi graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, France, in 2003, and from Mines Paristech with a PhD on Automatic Control in 2005. He was then hired as a permanent research scientist at INRIA in 2006. His initial research interests concerned nonlinear dynamical systems, geometric control and control of partial and stochastic differential equations. Later, he focused his research on quantum information and quantum control. From 2011 to 2013, he spent two years as a sabbatical visitor at the Applied Physics Department of Yale University, collaborating with the teams of Michel Devoret and Robert Schoelkopf. Through these collaborations, he has contributed to the design and analysis of various experiments on quantum error correction, quantum feedback control and quantum reservoir/dissipation engineering with superconducting circuits. He won ``Inria-French Academy of Science young researcher award'' in 2017. He is currently a director of research at INRIA, a part-time professor at Ecole Polytechnique, and a visiting scientist at Yale University. He is the leader of QUANTIC research team, a joint team between INRIA,


The remarkable recent progress in controlling quantum systems has led to an accelerated race towards building a useful quantum computer. A major portion of the recent developments deal with noisy quantum bits and aim at proving an advantage with respect to classical processors. However, in order to fully exploit the power of quantum physics in computation, developing fault-tolerant processors is unavoidable. In such a processor, quantum bits and logical gates are dynamically and continuously protected against noise by means of quantum error correction. While a theory of quantum error correction has existed and developed since mid 1990s, the first experiments are being currently investigated in the physics labs around the world. A central challenge in all these experiments is related to real-time feedback control required for error correction. I will explain how this central challenge can be attacked through passive control and dissipativity. I will also overview a series of recent experimental developments with superconducting circuits (the leading physical platform for developing such quantum processors).