Keynote Speakers 2019

Prof. Peter Plapper, 
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Plapper was born in Mannheim, Germany on September 16th 1963. In 1986 he completed his studies on Mechanical Engineering / Design at TU Kaiserslautern with the degree Dipl.-Ing. His doctoral thesis at the laboratory of tool machines (WZL) of RWTH Aachen, Germany was awarded with the Borchers Medal for scientific excellence in 1993.

Since 1994, he worked for Adam Opel and General Motors in different management positions in Manufacturing Engineering (ME) with increasing responsibility. He developed innovative production technologies, implemented tool machines and coordinated the refurbishment of robotic assembly lines. From 1998 until 2002 he joined the Tech Center of GM in Michigan, USA where he shaped the global manufacturing strategy for Body Shop and General Assembly. During his industrial career he worked on many different robot applications, led the installation of assembly lines all European GM vehicle plants and was responsible as HEAD of MANUFACTURING Engineering for the equipment of all shops in plant Russelsheim. Following his assignment as MANAGER ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES EUROPE Peter Plapper was appointed in 2010 FULL-PROFESSOR for manufacturing engineering to the University of Luxembourg. 

Prof. Plapper is member of AIM (European Academy of Industrial Management), VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure), and Luxembourg Materials and Production Cluster Steering Committee. Since 2014 he is the DIRECTOR of the new Master program “Master of Science in Engineering – Sustainable Product Creation”. For the current list of publications please visit

Prof. YangQuan Chen
 MESA Lab of University of California, Merced, USA

YangQuan Chen earned his Ph.D. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 1998. He had been a faculty of Electrical Engineering at Utah State University from 2000-12. He joined the School of Engineering, University of California, Merced in summer 2012 teaching “Mechatronics”, “Engineering Service Learning” and “Unmanned Aerial Systems” for undergraduates; “Fractional Order Mechanics”, “Nonlinear Controls” and “Advanced Controls: Optimality and Robustness” for graduates. His research interests include mechatronics for sustainability, cognitive process control, small multi-UAV based cooperative multi-spectral “personal remote sensing”, applied fractional calculus in controls, modeling and complex signal processing; distributed measurement and control of distributed parameter systems with mobile actuator and sensor networks. 

Dr. Chen serves as a Co-Chair for IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee (TC) on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Aerial Robotics (12-18). He recently served the TC Chair for the ASME DED Mechatronics Embedded Systems Applications (2009-10); Associated Editor (AE) for IEEE Trans. on Control Systems Technology (00-16), ISA Trans. (12-17), IFAC Control Engineering Practice (12-17), IET Control Theory and Applications (15-18) and Journal of Dynamics Systems, Measurements and Control (09-15). He now serves as Topic Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems (Field Robotics), Section AE (Remote Sensors) for Sensors, Senior Editor for International Journal of Intelligent Robotic Systems, Topical AE for Nonlinear Dynamics (18-) and AE for IFAC Mechatronics, Intelligent Service Robotics, Energy Sources (Part A) (18-) and Fractional Calculus and Applied Analysis. He is a member of IEEE, ASME, AIAA, ASPRS, AUVSI and AMA. He relies on Google citation page to keep track of his publications at 

Dr. Chen started some new investigations, published some papers and books, graduated some students, hosted some visiting scholars and also received some awards including the IFAC World Congress Best Journal Paper Award (Control Engineering Practice, 2011), First Place Awards for 2009 and 2011 AUVSI SUAS competitions, and most importantly, the “Relationship Counselor” award from IEEE Utah State University Student Branch for “explaining human relationship using control theory.” His is listed in Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate in 2018.

Title: Greener Process/Motion Control Using Fractional Calculus
Abstract: By fractional calculus we mean that the order of differentiation/integration can be non-integer. Denying fractional calculus is like saying that there is no nonintegers in between integers. For control engineers, the fundamental question is: Can the fractional order controller really outperform its integer order counterparts under fairness consideration? We will show that fractional order proportional derivative and integral controllers (FOPID) indeed outperform integer order PID controllers (IOPID) under fairness comparison for first order plus time-delay (FOPTD) plants. It is now being accepted that the additional freedom in tuning the FOPIDs can offer a good potential to achieve better performance at the cost of extra implementation efforts. Since the embedded computing power and memory are both getting cheaper and cheaper, people are running out of excuses not to attempt FOPID in industry 4.0 era when more optimal performance is being pursued. FOPID can do better than the best of its integer order counterpart under fairness comparisons in terms of performance, robustness margins and even control energy consumption. We then focus on the energy consumption of control efforts and we make a convincing case that it is possible to achieve greener process/motion control using fractional calculus that has huge implications in many industry sectors. 

Prof. Georg Schitter
 Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Georg Schitter received a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Graz University of Technology, Austria, and a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB (Santa Barbara, CA, USA), and an Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. Currently he is a full Professor at Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in the Department of Electrical Engineering. 

He was a recipient of several prestigious fellowships and awards, among them the 2013 Young Researcher Award of the IFAC TC Mechatronics, the best paper award from the Asian Journal of Control (2004-2005), IFAC Journal Mechatronics (2008-2011), and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (2017). He served as an Associate Editor for the IFAC Journals Mechatronics and Control Engineering Practice, the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, and for the IEEE CEB. His primary research interests are on high-performance mechatronic systems and multidisciplinary system integration, particularly for precision engineering applications in the high-tech industry, scientific instrumentation, and mechatronic imaging systems.

Title: Integrated System Design and Control of Mechatronic Imaging Systems
Abstract: Mechatronic imaging systems, used in scientific applications as well as in the high-tech industry, demand a continuous improvement of system bandwidth and speed, range, and precision. These challenging goals can be achieved only by a proper system integration, which requires an advanced mechatronic system design and highly sophisticated motion control. Example applications for the discussed mechatronic imaging systems are atomic force microscopes (AFM), wafer scanners, scanning laser microscopy and metrology, as well as adaptive optics and satellite ranging.

To meet the demanding specifications, the final system, including all hard- and software components, has to be tailored to and optimized for each specific application. In a scanning imaging system, for example, one can consider the various ways of performing the scanning motion in the design of the mechanical structure and selection of the actuation principle. Whether system resonances have to be avoided, damped sufficiently, or even can be utilized for the scanning motion strongly depends on the mode of operation. At the same time this influences the choice of the corresponding control system for the motion control. A proper system integration that utilizes the interplay between process design and control design is key for achieving maximum performance of mechatronic systems in the high-tech industry. 

This presentation addresses these challenges by illustrating examples for precision motion control of telescope systems for satellite ranging and adaptive optics for optical free-space communication, AFM imaging and nano-metrology, as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning laser metrology. Taking advantage of an appropriate system integration, the presented examples successfully demonstrate the potential to enhance the performance of mechatronic imaging systems substantially by an integrated mechatronic design approach.