Research themes       Rudy Negenborn
Full Professor, Head of Section
Team & Themes

Research theme: 4S -- Intelligent multi-agent control for flexible coordination of transport hubs


Global transport flows are becoming more large-scale and complex. The volume of materials and goods being transported on a daily basis over roads, waterways, tracks and through the air keeps increasing. As this volume increases, different parts of the global transport infrastructure become more dynamically coupled. Events such as unexpected weather conditions, strikes, traffic congestion, etc. therefore give rise to disturbances that affect larger parts of the total transport infrastructure. Therefore, these systems reach the limits of their capacity more frequently, causing more delays, higher costs, and extra emissions. At the same time, however, society makes more stringent demands on the system's performance: delays must be shorter, costs must be lower, and emissions must be reduced.

Today, control of the global transport network is done in a very decentralized way, in which actions that influence transport flows are determined at local transport hubs using information from only a relatively small part of the complete system. To meet society's requirements, a new control methodology has to be developed that maximizes the use of the flexibility in the entire transport system by using much more overall information. We are working on developing the 4S Framework, a distributed and scalable control methodology for efficiently improving the real-time operation of large-scale transport systems.

Mail me your resume, motivation, and questions in case of interest.
Apply now   Logistics Models for Improving the Efficiency of Ports and Inland Waterways   PhD Position H2020 Project NOVIMOVE
Apply now   Safe Cooperation of Autonomous Vehicles in Mixed Traffic   PhD Position Project SCoop
Apply now   Dynamic and Stochastic Fleet Management Models for Transportation and Logistics   PhD Position Project TRiLOGy
Apply now   Robust and Adaptable Control Systems for Effective Ship Automation   PhD Position Project READINESS

Related projects
2020 - ongoingNOVIMOVE: Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectivelyH2020-MG-2-6-2019 - "Moving freight by Water: Sustainable Infrastructure and Innovative Vessels" Grant
2020 - ongoingTRiLOGy: Sustainable Transportation and Logistics over Water: Electrification, Automation and OptimizationNWO Top Sector Water & Maritime: the Blue Route Grant
2020 - ongoingREADINESS: Robust, effective and adaptable ship designs for uncertain transition pathsNWO Top Sector Water & Maritime: the Blue Route Grant
2020 - ongoingAVATAR: Sustainable urban freight transport with autonomous zero-emission vesselsINTERREG North Sea Region Grant
2020 - ongoingSCoop: Safe Cooperation of Autonomous Vehicles in Mixed TrafficCohesion 2019 Grant

2019 - ongoingISHY: Implementation of Ship HybridisationInterreg 2 Seas Grant
2018 - 2020Impulse Autonomous Shipping for AmsterdamAmsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions Grant
2017 - ongoingSpace@Sea: Transport & LogisticsH2020-EU.3.2.5 - "Cross-cutting marine and maritime research" Grant
2017TET-SP: Autonomous shipping in the Port of RotterdamSmartPort 2017 Grant
2017 - ongoingCOMET-PS: Complexity Methods for Predictive SynchromodalityNWO Social & Physical Sciences Grant 2016

2017 - ongoingFormations of Waterborne StructuresTU Delft / 3mE Cohesion Grant 2017
2016 - 2017AIDA: Automatic Identification of Research TrendsTU Delft Research Innovation Grant 2015
2016 - ongoingi-CAVE: Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles for logistical transport servicesSTW Perspectief voor de Topsectoren 2015 Program

2015/10 - ongoingGasDrive - Minimizing emissions and energy losses at sea with LNG combined prime movers, underwater exhausts and nano hull materialsSTW Maritime 2015/Topsector Water Program

2014/09 - ongoingShipDrive - A Novel Methodology for Dynamic Integrated Modelling, Control and Optimization of Hybrid Ship SystemsSTW Maritime/Topsector Water 2013 Program
2014-2016 Amphibian - Enabling formations of land and waterborne vehicles with mixed autonomous and human-based controlTU Delft / 3mE Cohesion Grant 2014
2013-2018   Intermodal transport service improvement via online scheduling and control   Joint Delft University of Technology / Erasmus University Research Collaboration Project
2013-2014   Innovative Concepts for Inter Terminal Transport on Maasvlakte 1 and 2 at the Port of Rotterdam   Port Research Center Delft / Erasmus SmartPort Research Cooperation with Port of Rotterdam Authority
2011-2012DUBROVNIK -- Towards improved hinterland accessibility for the Port of RotterdamNext Generation Port Infra Grant -- Powered by Maasvlakte 2.
2011-2014Intelligent multi-agent control for flexible coordination of transport hubs2010 Innovational Research Incentives VENI Scheme of the Dutch Technology Foundation STW.

2020/03 - ongoing   Implementation of Ship Hybridisation   
 Xuezhou Wang
2019/09 - ongoing   Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles   
 Nadia Pourmohammadzia
2019/11 - ongoing   Control for implementation of Ship Hybridisation   
 Ali Haseltalab
2018/09 - ongoing   Coordination & process design for logistics on modular floating transport hubs   
 Dimitris Souravlias
2017/09 - 2018/08   Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles   
 Frederik Schulte
2017/04 - 2018/07   Formations for Waterborne Structures   
 Laura Ferranti
2016/03 - 2018/02   Automatic Identification of Research Trends   
 Bijan Ranjbar-Sahraei

PhD candidates
2019/09 - ongoing   Multi-Objective Optimization for Hinterland Transportation   
 Yimeng Zhang
with dr. Bilge Atasoy
2019/09 - ongoing   Condition-based Maintenance for Offshore Wind Turbines   
 Mingxin Li
with dr. Xiaoli Jiang
2019/07 - ongoing   Control for Implementation of Hybrid Ship Systems   
 Carlos Armenta
with prof. Sebastien Delprat
Universite Polytechnique Hauts-de-France
2018/09 - ongoing   Clustered control for unmanned surface vessels   
 Zhe Du
with dr. Vasso Reppa
2018/02 - ongoing   Distributed control methods for predictive synchromodality   
 Rie Larsen
with dr. Bilge Atasoy
2017/03 - ongoing   Synchronized Supply Chains of Perishable Goods   
 Tomas Hipolito
with prof. Miguel Ayala Botto
IST, Lisbon
2016/12 - ongoing   Future Applications of Dynamic Fleet Management   
 Breno Beirigo
with dr. Frederik Schulte
2016/11 - ongoing   Theory for Dynamic Fleet Management of Autonomous Vehicles   
 Johan Los
with dr. Frederik Schulte, dr. Matthijs Spaan
2016/09 - ongoing   Adaptive Control towards Autonomous Heavy Lift Operations   
 Jun Ye
with dr. Vasso Reppa
2016/09 - ongoing   Synchromodal transportation in global cold chains   
 Wenjing Guo
with dr. Wouter Beelaerts van Blokland

2015/05 - 2019/11   Control for Autonomous All-Electric Ships
[PhD thesis]
 Ali Haseltalab
with prof. Hans Hopman
2015/12 - 2019-11   Cooperative Multi-Vessel Systems for Waterborne Transport
[PhD thesis]
 Linying Chen
with prof. Hans Hopman
2014/09 - 2019/01   Controlled Perishable Goods Logistics: Real-Time Coordination for Fresher Products
[PhD thesis]
 Xiao Lin
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2014/09 - 2019/01    Autonomous Control for Adaptive Ships with Hybrid Propulsion and Power Generation
[PhD thesis]
 Rinze Geertsma
with Klaas Visser, prof. Hans Hopman
Royal Dutch Navy
2014/12 - 2018/11   Energy Efficiency Optimization Methods for Inland River Ship Fleets
[PhD thesis]
 Kai Wang
with prof. Xinping Yan
Wuhan University of Technology
2013/07 - 2018/03    Optimal Transportation Plans and Portfolios for Synchromodal Container Networks
[PhD thesis]
 Bart van Riessen
with prof. Rommert Dekker
Erasmus University / ECT
2014/05 - 2017/05    Model Predictive Motion Control Methods for Unmanned Surface Vehicles
[PhD thesis]
 Chenguang Liu
with prof. Xiumin Chu
Wuhan University of Technology
2013/01 - 2016/12    Coordination of Waterborne AGVs
[PhD thesis]
 Huarong Zheng
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2012/09 - 2016/12    Coordinated Planning of Inland Vessels for Large Seaports
[PhD thesis]
 Shijie Li
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2011/12 - 2016/06    Coordinated Model Predictive Control of Synchromodal Freight Transport Systems
[PhD thesis]
 Le Li
with prof. Bart De Schutter
2011/12 - 2013/11    Predictive Control for Intermodal Container Hubs and Port Areas
[PhD thesis]
 Joao Nabais
with prof. Miguel Ayala Botto
IST, Lisbon
2011/09 - 2015/08    Control and Coordination for Automated Container Terminals
[PhD thesis]
 Jianbin Xin
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks

Research theme: Intelligent control methods for flood and water management

Experts predict that climate change will cause extreme events such as floods and droughts to occur more frequently and more severely in the future. Against this background, effective water management will become increasingly important. Water management is currently decentralised, with each water board managing a regional area with its own water bodies and waterways. However, the effects of water management are felt beyond these regional areas borders-- even beyond country borders. Effective coordination is vital. In this theme techniques enabling this have been developed.

Related projects
2008 - 2010   Hierarchical and distributed model predictive control of large-scale complex systems   EU FP7 STREP HD-MPC
2008 - 2010Intelligent control methods for flood and water managementNext Generation Infrastructures (BSIK NGI)
2009 - 2010   Hybrid model predictive control for the Maeslant Barrier   Huub van Ekeren, MSc graduation project

Research theme: Multi-agent coordination and intelligent control of energy infrastructure networks


Due to the liberalisation of the electricity sector, the number of players involved in the generation and distribution of electricity has increased significantly. In the near future the number of input nodes will even further increase as more small-scale solar and wind energy installations will start to feed electricity into the network. Coordination among the growing number of different suppliers and distributors needs to be efficient to ensure a reliable and smooth energy supply. In this theme such coordination techniques have been developed.

Related projects
2004 - 2008   HYbrid CONtrol: Taming Heterogeneity and Complexity of Networked Embedded Systems, Workpackage 4a: Energy Management   EU FP6 NoE HYCON
2004 - 2007Multi-agent coordination and intelligent control of infrastructure networksNext Generation Infrastructures (BSIK NGI)
2004 - 2007   Multi-agent control of large-scale hybrid systems   NWO STW VIDI
2008   Monitoring & Control of Household Energy Consumption   Mohamad Alamili, Mohammad Hosseini, Tarak Jabri, Bart Kersbergen, Wouter Mense, Folkert Roscam Abbing, BSc graduation project
2004 - 2005   Model Predictive Control for Load Frequency Control in a Restructured Power Market   Yik Teh, MSc graduation project

Research theme: Control and estimation for mobile robotics
Related projects
2005   Control of groups of robots    Rogier den Breeje and Jos de Jong, BSc graduation project
2005   Learning control for an inverted pendulum using reinforcement learning    Arjan Degenaar and Daan Mastenbroek, BSc graduation project
2005   Communication and Cooperation in Multi-Agent Systems for Robot Soccer    Alex Verbart, Menno Ronde, Thomas Poiesz, Stefan Taal, BSc graduation project
2002 - 2003   Robot Localization and Kalman Filters   MSc graduation project
2002 - 2003Reinforcement Learning with RobotsMSc research project

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