Research lines

Process Control and Automation

This research line focuses on the study of two-degree-of-freedom (2-DoF) control systems (with arbitrary structure) and on the robust tuning of PID controllers. In this context, we have worked on the following methodologies:

1.- Tuning of PID controllers.

2.- Analysis and design of 2-DOF controllers.

3.- Design and tuning of PID controllers in cascade control configurations.

4.- Decentralized control designs for Two-Input Two-Output (TITO) systems.

5.- Feed-forward designs for disturbance rejection in uncertain systems.

6.- 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).

Systems based on Multi-model Schemes

The versatility of the multi-model techniques for the design of high performance controllers has been proved with an extensive variety of increasingly complex systems. A major feature of the techniques based on multi-model schemes is that of integrating different control strategies. The followings topics have been investigated in this line:

1.- Analysis and design of adaptive control systems for linear systems.

2. - Design of multi-model schemes for adaptive controllers.

3. - Incorporation of artificial intelligence techniques for the tuning and improvement of multi-model schemes.

4. - Design of control systems based on multi-model schemes for non-linear systems.

5. - Control systems based on multi-model schemes applied to robotic systems.

6. - Application of the multi-model techniques to obtain reduced order models.

7. – Design of multi-model schemes for time delayed systems.

The general objectives of this line consist on extending the promising preliminary results obtained for systems with external delay to the general case of multivariable systems with internal delay.


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 waste water treatment processes.The general objective of this reserach 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 will be 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.

At present, the following project is being developed: Sustainable Control an Operation of WWTP for simultaneous elimination of DQO, N and P: Application of Multiobjective Optimization algorithms and robust autotuning control approaches (COSEDAR). It is funded by the Spanish Minsitry  (CICYT DPI2010-15230).

Campus d'excel·lència internacional U A B