University of Pavia, Italy
Modern Sliding Mode Control with Applications
Short Bio: Antonella Ferrara was born in Genova, Italy, in 1963. As a student at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Genova, she got the “IEEE North Italy Section Electrical Engineering Student Award” in 1986. She received the Laurea Degree in Electronic Engineering in 1987 and the Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electronics in 1992 from the University of Genova. Since January 2005 she is Full Professor of Automatic Control, first in the Department of Computer Engineering and Systems Science of the University of Pavia (2005-2011), and then in the newborn Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering (ECBE) of the same university.
She teaches “Process Control and Robotics” and “Advanced Automation and Control” (both in English) in the Master Degree Programs in Computer Engineering and Industrial Automation Engineering. She also teaches “Control of Vehicle Dynamics” (in English) in the Post-Bachelor Program on Design and Development of Vehicle Dynamics. She was Visiting Professor at Graz University of Technology, and Invited Lecturer at Harvard University, University of Minnesota, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Stuttgart, Technical University of Delft, INRIA Grenoble, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Jeddah, Hanyang University, Seoul, and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Her research activities are mainly in the area of advanced automatic control of complex systems, with application to mechanical systems, automotive control, robotics, power systems control, process control, and vehicular traffic control.
She was and still is a coordinator and member of several research units in national and European research projects, and scientific leader of several research projects funded or co-funded by companies. She has authored or co-authored more than 370 scientific papers, with 115 international journal papers, 2 published scientific books and a third book to appear soon. Moreover, she contributed, with invited chapters, to 23 edited books.
Sliding Mode Control is a nonlinear control methodology based on the use of a discontinuous control input which forces the controlled system to switch from one structure to another, evolving as a variable structure system. This structure variation makes the system state reach in a finite time a pre-specified subspace of the system state space where the desired dynamical properties are assigned to the controlled system. In the past years, an extensive literature has been devoted to the developments of Sliding Mode Control theory. This kind of methodology offers a number of benefits, the major of which is its robustness versus a significant class of uncertainties and disturbances during the sliding mode. Yet, it presents a crucial drawback, the so-called chattering, which may disrupt or damage the actuators and induce unacceptable vibrations throughout the controlled system. This limits the practical applicability of the methodology, especially in case of mechanical or electromechanical plants. This drawback has been faced by the theoretical developments of the last two decades. They will be reviewed in this talk, illustrating how the “modern” results can be profitably used to solve practical control problems in complex systems as the automotive ones.
University of Pittsburgh, USA
The role of data science in understanding human swallowing and gait functions
Biography: Dr. Ervin Sejdić received B.E.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada in 2002 and 2008, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto with a cross-appointment at Bloorview Kids Rehab, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation teaching hospital. From 2010 until 2011, he was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School with a cross-appointment at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. From his earliest exposure to research, he has been eager to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge through carefully executed experiments and ground-breaking published work. This has resulted in co-authoring over 130 publications. In February 2016, President Obama named Dr. Sejdić as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In 2017, Dr. Sejdić was awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In 2018, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Sejdić’s passion for discovery and innovation drives his constant endeavors to connect advances in engineering to society’s most challenging problems. Hence, his research interests include biomedical signal processing, gait analysis, swallowing difficulties, advanced information systems in medicine, rehabilitation engineering, assistive technologies and anticipatory medical devices.
A human body comprises of several physiological systems that carry out specific functions necessary for daily living. Traumatic injuries, diseases and aging negatively impact human functions, which can cause a decreased quality of life and many other socio-economical and medical issues. Accurate models of human functions are needed to propose interventions and treatments that can restore deteriorated human functions. Therefore, our research aims to develop novel data analytics and instrumentation approaches that can accurately assess swallowing and gait functional losses due to aging and neurological disorders. More than 30 million of Americans will have some sort of swallowing and/or gait issues in the near future. The current-state-of-art approaches do not provide reliable answers how to properly assess and manage these functional losses in daily lives. This is a critical issue, as health costs associated with swallowing and gait functional losses outpace other aging-related health issues. In this talk, I will present our recent contributions dealing with both engineering and clinical aspects of our work aimed at addressing current knowledge gaps. Lastly, I will also present our future research goals and our strategy to achieve these goals.