The Institute of Automatic Control has been representing control and automation engineering in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University since 1957. The chair sees itself as a representative of control theory in the diverse application areas of control and automation technology within mechanical engineering and other engineering, natural and life sciences. Current methodological emphases are model-based predictive control, robust control, the study of digitally networked control systems, sensor fusion and machine learning in industrial control engineering.
The "Energy Process Engineering" working group conducts research on innovative, model-based control concepts that enable efficient and safe operation of complex energy systems. On the one hand, research efforts focus on the economic and ecological provision of energy for mobile applications and fuel cell systems. In addition, stationary applications such as solar thermal power plants, storage-based hybrid energy systems and gas turbines are also the subject of current investigations.
The research focus of the "Wind Energy" group lies in innovative model-based control methods in the multifaceted topic of wind energy. Within this thematic framework, the research group develops model-based predictive control and estimation methods for wind turbines to simultaneously achieve power maximization and load minimization while maintaining operating limits. Also, novel hardware-in-the-loop methods for virtualization of physical components are investigated to integrate megawatt-class wind turbines into multi-physical test benches.