Research lines

5 posts

Process Control and Automation

This research line is aimed at the study of two-degree-of-freedom (2-DoF) control systems (with arbitrary structure) and on the robust tuning of PID controllers. The following topics are highlighted in this context: Tuning of PID controllers; Analysis and design of 2-DOF controllers; Design and tuning in cascade control configurations; Decentralized control designs for Two-Input Two-Output (TITO) systems; Feed-forward designs for disturbance rejection in uncertain systems; Design and evaluation of Human Machine Interaction systems. The objective of this research line is to obtain a methodological framework to deal with the different configurations and control problems arising in the process industry. It includes obtaining models and relevant information of the process to control. In this direction, self-tuning rules have to allow an automatic performance evaluation of the controller taking into account the inherent compromise between the necessary robustness level and the desired performance (robustness/performance trade-off).

Control application to environmental systems

This research line focuses on the application of control engineering methods to the field of environmental systems, with an emphasis on wastewater treatment processes. The general objective of this research line is to propose new strategies of control and operation in urban Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) with simultaneous elimination of organic matter (DQO), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). The design is based on modelling tools that try to optimize the proposed control strategies through a benchmarking scenario, which should incorporate criteria of quality of the effluent, minimization of economic costs or environmental impact. The consideration of the different criteria is faced through the application of strategies of multi-objective optimization. A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology is used for the evaluation of the environmental impact.

Control of hybrid and switched systems

The aim of this research line is to provide a theoretical foundation and analysis tools for the analysis of switched systems including unstable subsystems. We are considering, to this end, nonlinear singular delayed systems, that constitute a very general framework. A Lyapunov-based approach is employed to obtain conditions under which the system can be guaranteed to be asymptotically stable. In addition, controller design methods are developed to stabilize this kind of general systems.

Control of epidemic models and biomedical systems

We are investigating novel mathematical models to describe the spreading of infectious diseases such as Ebola and HIV. The models are formulated in both continuous and discrete-time and some of their basic mathematical properties such as positiveness and stability are analyzed. A control-theoretic approach is used to design vaccination, drug administration and quarantine methods to counteract the propagation in an effective and economic manner. Also, we are working on rehabilitation devices for patients suffering from the heart.

Control of photovoltaic energy systems

This line is aimed at the design of maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms and robust sliding-mode based controllers to extract the maximum power in photovoltaic panels. Here, fractional-order controllers are used to improve the performance obtained by the traditional sliding-mode control approaches.