IRT-Institute of Automatic Control


Head of the Institute

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Abel

Field of Study

all (control engineering is a compulsory subject for all fields of study)

Main Focus

The Institute of Automatic Control belongs to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University and operates research in the fields of modeling and control of complex systems. The methodological focuses are model predictive control, robust control and networked control systems.

Research Focus

The Institute is apart from its methodological focuses mainly characterized by its application-oriented research. Corresponding to this, it is structured in the groups Automotive, Industry, Combustion, Energy, Galileo und Medical.

The Automotive group is engaged in the development of innovative control concepts for road vehicles. Main areas of research comprise model-based control of longitudinal, lateral and vertical dynamics as well as filtering and processing of typical automotive sensor data with the help of sensor fusion algorithms. Within the networked mobility, algorithms for cooperative automated vehicles are developed and the interaction of vehicles with intelligent infrastructure components is investigated.

The group “Industry” researches diverse topics for the automation of complex production and process plants. Furthermore, control strategies for climate and mechatronic systems are developed. Therefore, methods for modeling, model-based control and adaption are researched with the focus of applying these control techniques to industrial applications. The Combustion group is working with advanced model predictive control methods to facilitate innovative combustion processes and address their varying demands. The research focuses on the economical and ecological energy provision for mobile applications such as combustion engines in cars and for stationary applications such as gas turbines or generators.

The research focuses of the “Energy” group are model predictive control and dynamic modelling of diverse energy-related processes. Besides optimizing the efficiency and the dynamic load of renewable energy power plants, the group is studying scientific problems concerning innovative hybrid storage systems and developing new control strategies for the operation of multi-megawatt system test benches.

The Galileo group is developing the basis for autonomously driving systems using satellite navigation. Apart from GPS, the European navigation system Galileo is explicitly used as well. The overall focus lays on an improvement of the localisation accuracy by sensor fusion and the integration of external data, which requires reliable and highly available data sources. Furthermore, the evaluation and integrity of data plays a key role for autonomous applications in safety-critical fields.

The Medical group is working on automation systems for the rehabilitation and radiotherapy of patients, where the description and activation of their motions is of main interest. The group also investigates models to describe the cardiovascular system and effective control loops within the human body.


IRT - Institute of Automatic Control
Campus-Boulevard 30
52074 Aachen / GERMANY

Phone: +49 241 80-275 00
Fax: +49 241 80-222 96

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