[University home]

School of Computer Science


My field is dynamical systems and control engineering and theory. My major contributions have been to the theory of dissipative and passive nonlinear discrete-time systems and to the analysis and control of diverse discontinuous/switched systems, with particular reference to electromechanical systems with friction and impacts, and power converters. I have also proposed new frequency-domain-based methods for the passification and robust stabilization of linear multiple-input multiple-output systems. I have worked for the oil industry, mainly in projects of exploration and production, drilling and optimization of distribution and transportation networks.

My current research is focused on real-world hybrid dynamical systems and complex network systems. Hybrid systems is an infant research area in the UK and an emerging topic worldwide. I am pushing the boundaries and bringing together four separate disciplines: formal methods of computer science, control engineering, dynamical-systems theory and network science. The fact that I am studying hybrid systems naturally arises from my previous work, and the mathematical-computational-control framework I am currently devising as DYVERSE integrates my vision of science. As a control engineer, I cannot make theoretical contributions without applications in real-world problems. The systems considered in my research are wide-ranging; many of them come from industrial applications. From the control and design of legged walking robots to the study of morphogenesis and self-organisation in living organisms; from the analysis and control of mechanical vibrations in oilwell drillstrings to the modelling of supply chains; from the analysis of emergent complex behaviours of large-scale evolving networks to the modelling, analysis and control of electromechanical systems with friction and impacts; from oil/gas distribution networks to the control of switched power converters; from the control of hydraulically-actuated mechanisms to the study of the collective behaviour of animals, cells and people. Currently, I am applying my research to neuroscience, systems biology and ecology.

An integral characteristic of my work is its multi-disciplinary nature, mixing theory and practice and crossing different disciplines and application domains. The best manner to describe this is by means of the tube map of my life's work.

Current research interests