Seminars run by PhD students and postdocs with the Control and Power Group

Every week, an invited speaker gives a talk on a relevant topic (preferably in control and power) consisting of a 20-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute discussion. The content of talks can be

  • conference contributions,
  • initial research proposals,
  • preparation for Early Stage Assessment/Late Stage Review, or
  • tutorials on topics of the speaker's expertise.

After the talk, the participants can enjoy coffee and snacks (funded by the group) together in the Faraday Cage on EEE Level 6 and continue the discussion.

The CAP Research Roulette is open to everyone in the Control and Power Group. MSc students from Control Systems and Future Power Network Courses, who are willing to continue pursuing an academic career, are also strongly encouraged to participate.

Contacts: Kaiwen Chen (Control talks) [], Olayinka Ayo (Power talks) []

Talk of the week

Title: Integral Penalty Methods for Numerical Optimal Control and Modified Augmented Lagrangian Methods for Their Efficient Solution

Speaker: Martin Neuenhofen

Venue: EEE 1109B

Date and Time:  Wednesday, 08/01/2020, 15:00-15:30

Abstract: This talk with mathematical focus presents two numerical methods in the context of solving optimal control problems.

The integral penalty discretization is a direct transcription scheme for optimal control problems in alternative to, e.g., direct collocation methods. In contrast to the latter, the residuals of equality path constraints are not forced to zero only at collocation points but instead globally via a quadratic integral penalty term. Dr Kerrigan and I were able to prove convergence under milder assumptions than for typical direct collocation methods such as trapezoidal, Hermite-Simpson, and certain orthogonal direct collocation methods. Numerical experiments suggest that the method is attractive in particular for solving high-index DAE and general singular-arc optimal control problems, where direct collocation methods can sometimes struggle.

From the penalty discretization results a finite dimensional optimization problem with an inconsistent large quadratic penalty term. Instead of solving it with a quadratic penalty method --that is, solution with successively increasing penalty parameter-- we devise a modified augmented Lagrangian method that allows us to minimize a quadratic penalty function. The modification is necessary because the original augmented Lagrangian method is only designed for (consistent) equality constrained optimization problems. The modification is crucial because otherwise the quadratic penalty function would be numerically challenging to solve.

Biography: Martin Peter Neuenhofen completed his MSc (Computational Engineering) from RWTH Aachen during his full-time employment at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, where he worked on their optimal control solver. He received the International Doctoral Fellowship scholarship at the University of British Columbia. He is currently a PhD student at Imperial College London. His research interests are numerical analysis for direct transcription schemes, nonlinear programming, and distributed computing.

Past talks


  • 28/11/2019 Temitayo Oderinwale - "Impact of Flexible Technologies on Market-Based Generation Investment Planning"
  • 26/11/2019 Kaiwen Chen - "Output-Feedback I&I Adaptive Control for Linear Systems with Time-Varying Parameter"
  • 20/11/2019 Guitao Yang - "Sensor redundancy for robustness in nonlinear state estimation"
  • 13/11/2019 Linash Kunjumuhammed and Stefanie Kuenzel - "Simulation of Power System with Renewables"
  • 06/11/2019 Dawei Qiu - "A Deep Q Network Approach for Optimizing Offering Strategies in Electricity Markets"
  • 16/10/2019 Diptargha Chakravorty and Callum Dell - "Industry talk - TNEI"


  • 28/08/2019 Kaiwen Chen - "Output-Feedback Adaptive Control for Systems with Time-Varying Parameters"
  • 26/07/2019 Joaquim Garcia - "A hybrid SDDP Machine Learning approach to represent non-convexities in the hydrothermal operation problem"
  • 14/06/2019 Zhongda Chu - "Towards Optimal System Scheduling with Synthetic Inertia Provision from Wind Turbines"
  • 24/04/2019 Magnus Jamieson - "Quantification and visualisation of the impact of extreme wind events on power systems"
  • 10/04/2019 Lingxin Lan - "Wireless Charging for Autonomous Drones"
  • 03/04/2019 Thiago Mendonca - "Distributed Active Network Management for Cost-Effective Integration of Energy Resources"
  • 27/03/2019 Jochen Cremer - "Full-body scanner of the electrical power system: A Probabilistic Perspective on Dynamic Security Assessment"
  • 06/03/2019 Xi Zhang - "Objective-Based Approach for Representative Day Selection for Power System Investment Planning"
  • 12/12/2018 Caspar Collins - "Comparative Analysis of an MV Neutral Point Clamped AC-CHB Converter with DC Fault Ride-through Capability"
  • 05/12/2018 Kaiwen Chen - "I&I adaptive control for systems with varying parameters"
  • 28/11/2018 Xiaohong Dong - "Planning of EV fast-charging stations on a round freeway"
  • 21/11/2018 Yue Yu - "Global transportation electrification and relative charging infrastructure"
  • 07/11/2018 Anastasis Georgiou - "Robust fault tolerant Model Predictive Control and for high order system"


  • 12 Sep 2018 Willem Leterme - "Modeling for AC/DC Converters with Controlled DC Fault Blocking Capability"
  • 25 Jul 2018 Joan Marc Rodriguez - "Implementation of Model Predictive Control Techniques in Power Electronic Voltage Source Converters"
  • 18 Jul 2018 Evelyn Heylen - "Reliability-based electricity consumption: Individualized reliability levels in probabilistic short-term reliability management of power systems"
  • 11 Jul 2018 Dawei Qiu - "Investigating the impact of demand flexibility on electricity retailers"
  • 20 Jun 2018 Kaiwen Chen - "Adaptive Control of Linear Systems with Time-Varying Parameters"
  • 13 Jun 2018 Jochen Cremer - "Game over, no more Jenga! Machine Learning based Security Assessment & Secure Operation of the Power System"
  • 06 Jun 2018 Tiago Rodrigues - "Computationally Efficient Risk-averse Energy Storage Investment for Renewables Coordination"
  • 31 May 2018 Xi Zhang - “Economic Assessment of Alternative Heat Decarbonisation Strategies through Coordinated Operation with Electricity System”
  • 21 May 2018 Georgios Anagnostou - "Identifying Unknown Dynamics in Power Systems"
  • 15 May 2018 Michael Evans - "Capability assessment and optimal dispatch of distributed stores"
  • 09 May 2018 Anastasios Oulis Rousis - "Optimal Design and Operation of a Hybrid AC/DC Microgrid"
  • 02 May 2018 Efstratios Batzelis - "Mathematical models of explicit form for photovoltaic systems"
  • 25 Apr 2018 James Wylie - "Modular Multi-level Converter with Increased Number of Effective Levels by using Asymmetric Sub-module Voltages for Medium Voltage Applications"
  • 18 Apr 2018 Arghavan Nazemi - "Energy Management of Parallel Hybrid Electric Vehicles"
  • 04 Apr 2018 Firdous Ul Nazir – "Scenario-based chance constrained Volt/VAR control in distribution systems"
  • 21 Mar 2018 Luis Badesa Bernardo – "Optimal Provision of Frequency Services in Decarbonised Grids"
  • 28 Feb 2018 Nicolas Faedo - "Optimal control of wave energy converters: fundamental principles and a moment-based approach"
  • 21 Feb 2018 David Burth Kurka - "Git and Github for research management"
  • 14 Feb 2018 Julio Perez Olvera - "Using Multi-terminal DC Networks to Improve the Hosting Capacity of Distribution Networks"
  • 31 Jan 2018 Hussain Akhtar - "Optimal Energy Management of Microgrids"
  • 17 Jan 2018 Francesca Boem - "Distributed Fault Detection for Interconnected Large-Scale Systems: a Scalable Plug & Play Approach"
  • 10 Jan 2018 Temitayo Oderinwale - "Strategic Investment Planning incorporating demand flexibility"
  • 13 Dec 2017 Nicolas Cifuentes - "Network Allocation of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) considering stability criteria"
  • 6 Dec 2017 Alexander Gallo - "A distributed attack detection method for multi-agent systems governed by consensus-based control"
  • 29 Nov 2017 Omar Faqir - "Joint optimization of transmission and propulsion in aerial communication networks"
  • 22 Nov 2017 Thiago Mendonca - "Distributed Coordination of Energy Resources for Improving Network Hosting Capacity"
  • 15 Nov 2017 Alexandre Moreira - "An Adjustable Robust Optimization Approach for Contingency-Constrained Transmission Expansion Planning"