ERC Starting Grant for Manuel Mazo Jr.

News - 17 August 2017

Manuel Mazo Jr., researcher and assistant professor at Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council. Manuel’s main area of research is control systems. The focus of his research is on the interactions between physical systems and the communication and computation platforms and algorithms employed to control them.

Manuel Mazo Jr: “Advanced mathematical methods are necessary to truly realize the revolution promised by technological advances in areas like the Internet-of-things or Industry 4.0”.


The advances in electronic communication and computation have enabled the ubiquity of Cyber-Physical Systems: digital systems that regulate and control all sorts of physical processes, such as chemical reactors, water distribution and power networks. These systems rely on the timely communication of sensor measurements and control actions to provide their prescribed functionalities. Event-triggered control (ETC) techniques, which communicate only when needed to enforce performance, have attracted attention as a mean to reduce the communication traffic and save energy on (wireless) networked control systems. However, despite ETC’s great communication reductions, the scheduling of the aperiodic and largely unpredictable traffic that ETC generates remains widely unaddressed – hindering its true potential for energy and bandwidth savings.

To tackle the scheduling problem, Mazo employs methods at the cross-roads between theoretical computer science, control systems and communications engineering. He uses a two-step approach:

1.      modeling as timed-priced-game-automata the timing of communications of event-triggered control systems; and

2.      solving games over timed-priced-game-automata to prevent data communication collisions and ensure prescribed performances for the control tasks.

Mazo will produce algorithms facilitating the efficient implementation of control loops over shared communication resources and increasing the energy efficiency of wireless networked control systems by orders of magnitude. The advances will be demonstrated on automotive and wireless water-distribution control applications, showcasing the potential economic impact from the reduction of implementation and maintenance costs on Cyber Physical Systems. Furthermore,  this research will open new venues to improve the security of wireless control systems employing sparse communications.

Read more here about Manuel Mazo Jr.

About the ERC Starting Grant

ERC Starting Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) are designed to encourage young talented research leader to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers. The researchers receive 1.5 million euro to set up a 5 year research.