University of Newcastle academic Dr Chris Kellett will head to Germany next year to research the development of efficient and productive control systems across a range of technologies.
Awarded a prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship, Dr Kellett’s research will focus on addressing challenges associated with system stability.
“Simple feedback control systems are found in a range of technologies from cars to wind turbines to high-precision manufacturing,” Dr Kellett said.
“For example, variable-valve timing, anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability control, and automatic manual transmission are all advanced control systems embedded in cars. Feedback control systems are everywhere, but are sometimes referred to as ‘hidden technology’ since they are often invisible to the general public.
“There is a push to operate complex, dynamic and interconnected systems - such as electricity networks - more reliably and more efficiently and therefore we need more advanced control systems.”
Dr Kellett will work with colleagues at the University of Magdeburg and the University of Bayreuth to develop systems that are guaranteed to be stable and robust.
“Advances in computer technology means we can develop feedback control systems that rely on computers much more than in the past,” Dr Kellett said.
“However, the increased complexity of these systems makes it much more challenging to guarantee they will behave well in all foreseeable circumstances.
“My research aims to design new control systems that keep pace with technological advancements while guaranteeing efficient and reliable operation. The systems will be specifically for use in intelligent electricity networks but the techniques developed will be applicable to a wide range of applications.”
The Humboldt Research Fellowship, supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, promotes academic cooperation between top scientists and scholars in Germany and from around the world.
Dr Kellett is a member of the Centre for Signal Processing Microelectronics, a University of Newcastle research centre in Electrical Engineering, and will undertake two sabbaticals in Germany between April and July 2012 and April and July 2013.