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The Control Systems research group at the University of Pretoria strives to address industrial needs through the application of the most recent advances in control theory. The aim is not only to promote, but also to apply automation and control for the benefit of humankind. There are two research areas of specific interest:


1. Model-based control and optimisation in the process industries

The aim is to assist industries to 'live' lighter on the plant by optimising energy usage in both main and peripheral processes. Better usage of energy does not only result in a reduced carbon footprint, but can also increase the profitability of a process. Process optimisation can also be used to increase the efficiency in terms of quality and quantity to offset declining profit margins.

To control and optimise a process, it is necessary to have an adequate model of the process. Although significant advances have been made in process modelling, many of the models are not suitable for dynamic process control. The challenge remains to construct low-cost control-relevant process models for use in optimisation and model-based control strategies.


2. Model-based control of disease networks

Control systems theory has the potential to provide significant benefits to the medical industry. Pinning control of contact networks can potentially reduce the impact of diseases such as HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis. The aim is to model the spread of these diseases and develop strategies of how and where to administer medicine for the most significant impact.


Control Systems Group (2014)


Group Head: Prof Ian K. Craig <>

Group Member: Mr J. Derik le Roux <>


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