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Embedded model predictive control of mechatronic systems

 KU Leuven  Leuven (Kessel-lo)

Model Predictive Control (MPC) is an optimization-based control strategy that appeals to mechatronic applications in automotive, aerospace, and robotics because of its ability to respect actuator and output constraints. The successful application of MPC to mechatronic systems, however, is challenging and hinges upon optimization algorithms that are fast (calculating the control action in the range of milliseconds to nanoseconds), simple (enabling implementation on embedded hardware devices with limited computational resources), and robust (allowing usage in safety critical applications). In this project you will develop cutting-edge optimization algorithms tailored to MPC of mechatronic systems. Hereto you will combine and extend recent developments within the MECO research team of the KU Leuven Mechanical Engineering Department under the supervision of Prof. Goele Pipeleers, and the group of Prof. Panos Patrinos at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT-STADIUS). The project will involve theoretical advances to devise novel real-time optimization algorithms based on recent results of the two teams, as well as the numerical implementation of the algorithms in C/C++ and experimental validations on a mechatronic system.

  • Ideal candidates hold a Master’s degree in engineering, computer science, or applied mathematics.
  • Successful candidates have typically ranked at or near the top of their classes, have a solid mathematical background, relevant computer programming skills, and enthusiasm for scientific research.
  • Team player mentality, independence, and problem solving skills are expected, and proficiency in English is a requirement.
  • A fully funded PhD position for four years at the KU Leuven, one of the top European universities and a hub for interdisciplinary research in the field of optimization.
  • You will be embedded in the MECO research team ( and be part of OPTEC, the KU Leuven Center of Excellence for Optimization in Engineering ( OPTEC is a prestigious center of interdisciplinary research on theory, algorithms and engineering applications of mathematical optimization, emerging from four different engineering fields: computer science, as well as chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering.
  • Close collaboration with prof. Moritz Diehl of the University of Freiburg is anticipated.

How to apply:
You can apply for this job no later than November 30, 2016 via the online application tool.
Send application to
For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Goele Pipeleers, tel.: +32 16 37 26 94 , mail: or Prof. dr. Panos Patrinos, tel.: +32 16 37 44 45 , mail:
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: BAP-2016-532

About KU Leuven

KU Leuven is an ambitious, international and research-oriented university. Internally, the university tries to maintain a balance between the power of the big ship and the flotilla of small, mobile, independent vessels of which it is composed. KU Leuven is home to a lot of creative, young and academic talent. As a leading university in Europe, it is looking for staff who can think outside the box.

More about KU Leuven

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