Minutes from TC9.4 meeting July 7th 2019

This meeting was held during ACE 2019


Minutes of EDCOM (TC 9.4)  meeting from July 7th 2019 during IFAC Symposium on Advances in Control education, Philadelphia


Attended by most of delegates at the Symposium.


 Summary requests


1.       Formal expressions of interest to host ACE 2022 to be considered at world congress committee meeting.


2.       Please submit papers to the demonstration session at the world congress so this is a real show case for the rest of our community. We aim to solicit some prizes for best demonstration. (http://laris.univ-angers.fr/fr/vie-unite/educational-demonstrators.html)


3.       Please do the survey (http://iolab.sk/ifac/index.php) and also encourage all your colleagues to do so.


Chair’s Report


The chair reported a few minor issues: (i) IFAC unlikely to be supporting a control repository in the future; (ii) we will be awarding a young author prize during ACE; (iii) It is unlikely that the proposed survey paper will fit well with the new IFAC journal, although in general the editor Bob Bitmead is keen to solicit education submissions; (iv) in general terms committee members have been active in arranging numerous outreach activities during major control conferences; (v) the committee is keen to co-sponsor events, but obviously only where there is clear evidence that some focussed education sessions are being planned and encourage members to pursue this.


In general terms, members were encouraged to be proactive in arranging activities as the future development and dissemination of good practice in control education rested with all of us.


The vice-chair for industry also reported that there is a lot of activity there which is linked to our survey project and he will ensure effective liaison and reporting. Some of this was summarised in the recent IFAC newsletter.


Profile of Control education


It is recognised that due to limited budgets, it is hard for many academics to attend education only events in addition to technical conferences. This has been particularly notable at this years ACE where several potential attendees have made this point explicitly to the event chair. The proposal, which was broadly accepted by the committee, is that all members and vice-chairs for education need to be more proactive in arranging education sessions (regular, invited, panel, etc) at the events they will be attending/organising. However, we may wish to consider where thee activities could conflict with attendance at ACE itself.


Future of ACE events


The committee was keen to retain the identity of the conference and for it to continue to be our flagship event, however there was a general consensus that seeking to partner with other conferences would make the event more financially viable and facilitate larger attendance and also broader engagement with education by attendees of the partner event. The IEEE members present suggested that ACC organisers in the future would certainly be positive about such initiatives. We will make a formal appeal for ‘hosts’ of the 2022 event to be discussed at the next meeting in Berlin during the world congress. [We had one informal expression of interest, after the meeting].




It is our turn to submit a Blog and suggestions were requested. The general consensus seem to be that a report style with 5-6 authors summarising our activities would be sensible given this was an occasional request; some focus on the survey would be appropriate. Committee to lead on this with Atanas taking responsibility. Paul Beuchat may help to represent the youth.


IFAC world congress


Attendees were asked for views on what activities we should propose for the world congress. The following strategy was approved.


·         Demonstration session (Laurent, Anthony and German hosts already promoting).


·         Panel sessions (One on industry (Bozenna to lead) and one on survey (Atanas will look at procedure to propose this.)).


·         Propose an invited session on Benchmarks for control education (Anthony to take the lead and identify suitable contributors in advance (Antonio and Atanas will also make suggestions)). Possible best to do as an open invited track.


·         Margret is leading an outreach activity with assistance from Steffi, Anthony, Bozenna and others. She has already obtained a grant from the IFAC foundation and liaised with German hosts.


·         Members invited to pass other proposals through Anthony first to ensure we do not end up with parallel/similar proposals. Steffi and Damiano may want to do something linked to their curriculum analysis tools.


·         Suggestion that we should actively seek an industrial prize for best demonstration. (Anthony to follow up)




The final version has now been released and delegates are being encouraged to submit and also encourage colleagues to submit. We have been invited to submit a journal version to Journal of European Control.


Antonio to consider how to advertise to world wide community and provide suitable materials for us all to use.


Atanas to prepare 1st draft of paper for world congress. Katarina to provide data.




The very first TC9.4 Life time Achievement Award was made to Sebastian Dormido. It was noted that the competition was very fierce so this is a significant achievement and very well deserved.