Organization and Participants

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the themes of the school, it belongs to the following Graduate Colleges:

  • Graduate College in Engineering Sciences
  • Graduate College in Sciences

The Graduate School gathers Belgian teams (UNamur, KUL, UCLouvain, UGent, ULB, ULg, UMONS, VUB). It essentially merges the Graduate School in Systems and Control (started in 1992 as an initiative of the Interuniversity Attraction Pole on Modelling, Simulation and Control of Complex Systems) with the Graduate Program in Mathematical Programming (sponsored by the FNRS as a 3rd cycle program since 1994). The participating teams are active in the area of Systems, Optimization, Control and Networks, or have strong interest in topics related to it.

A common research theme pursued by the participating teams consists in the modelling of certain systems and phenomena with the purpose of controlling or optimizing their behavior and performance.

These models are based on dynamical systems, differential (or difference) equations and mathematical programming formulations. Research of the participating teams focusses on the identification, analysis, control and optimization of these models, including the corresponding theory, algorithmic aspects and numerical resolution techniques.

This area of growing interest finds numerous applications in various fields such as automatic control, biotechnology and biomedical engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, production and supply chain management and planning, process engineering, robotics, routing, traffic or service networks and signal processing.


The Graduate School gets yearly fundings from the FNRS and from the FSR (Fonds Spécial de Recherche - UCLouvain).

Steering Committee

A steering committee coordinates the teaching activities of the Graduate School.

The steering committee has at least one representative of each involved university.

The current steering committee is as follows :

P.-A. Absil, UCLouvain (director)
L. De Lathauwer, KU Leuven
B. De Moor, KU Leuven
D. Dochain, UCLouvain 
B. Fortz, ULB
F. Glineur, UCLouvain
M. Kinnaert, ULB
Q. Louveaux, ULg
I. Markovsky, VUB
A. Mauroy, UNamur (co-director)
K. Meerbergen, KU Leuven
W. Michiels, KU Leuven
G. Pipeleers, KU Leuven
A. Sarlette, UGent
A. Vande Wouwer, UMONS
S. Waldherr, KU Leuven
J. Winkin, UNamur

(April 15, 2019)


The main objective of the Graduate School is to provide a high quality scientific environment and a well-balanced graduate-level program for the Belgian doctoral students in Systems, Optimization, Control and Networks.

Several activities are organized with the following objectives in mind.
The Graduate School

  • provides high level graduate training for doctoral students
  • builds a network of all Belgian research teams that are active in the area and improve their international visibility
  • organizes conferences and workshops in its area of interest
  • strengthens the links between Belgian teams via co-supervision of doctoral theses
  • interacts with European initiatives such as the Marie Curie exchange and training program
  • encourages student exchanges within national and international programs.

SOCN aims at bringing together researchers in the field of Automatic Control in Belgium.

SOCN applied to become the Belgian NMO (National Member Organization) of IFAC.

Doctoral training offered

The training activities take the following various forms:

  • Graduate level courses
    About four courses a year are organized. These include lecture notes and evaluation facilities. Half of the courses are typically taught by invited lecturers. The courses are open to students from abroad.
  • Seminar series
    Every partner organizes seminars on a regular basis. The information is centralized and advertized via this web site's home page.
  • Specialized workshops
    Workshops on selected topics are occasionally organized. These workshops typically target a more specialized audience. Examples of past initiatives of this type are the Workshops on Dynamics and Computation, on Integrated Text and Data-Mining, a Summer school on Modern Convex Optimization and a NATO Advanced Study Institute on Learning Theory and Practice.
  • Scientific meetings
    Meetings with a broader range of interest are organized on a regular basis. Examples are the annual Benelux Meetings on Systems and Control and the Han-sur-Lesse Mathematical Programming Conferences.
Participating Teams

The different universities and teams involved are listed below with keywords describing their research activities related to the themes of the graduate school and the name of the contact person.

NAXYS (Namur Center for Complex Systems)

Research activities : nonlinear continuous and mixed integer optimization, optimal control, dynamical system modelling, network
Contact personAlexandre Mauroy

BIOMATH (Model-based biosystems analysis and optimisation)

Research activities : system analysis, (bio)-chemical processes, system optimisation, sensitivity analysis (local/global), uncertainty analysis
Contact person: Ingmar Nopens

TELIN (Departement of Telecommunications and Information Processing)

Research activities : queueing theory, performance analysis of communication networks, operations research, branching processes
Contact person: Dieter Fiems

ELIS (Department of Electronics and Information Systems)

Research activities : nonlinear control theory, geometric control, filtering and state estimation, statistical decision problems, quantum control and quantum algorithms 
Contact person : Alain Sarlette

KU Leuven
Chemical Engineering/CREaS

Research activities : biosystems modeling, process control, estimation methods, robustness analysis
Contact person : Steffen Waldherr

NUMA (Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics)

Research activities : numerical approximation, linear algebra, scientific computing, numerical integration, nonlinear equations, computational methods for control, scientific software
Contact person : Dirk Roose

ESAT - STADIUS Center for Dynamical Systems, Signal Processing and Data Analytics

Research activities : systems, models & control, numerical linear & multilinear algebra, complex networks & nonlinear systems, optimization, support vector machines & kernel methods, data-mining, information retrieval & knowledge discovery, bioinformatics & computational biology, visualization, digital signal processing for audio & telecom, biomedical data processing, multimodal data analysis
Contact person : Lieven Delathauwer

MeBioS (Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors)

Research activities : biological systems, automation, mechatronics, modelling
Contact person : Herman Ramon

PMA (Production Engineering, Machine Design, and Automation)

Research activities : modelling, identification, control, optimization, mechatronics, robotics
Contact person : Goele Pipeleers


Research activities : design, modelling and optimization of mechatronic systems, multibody dynamics
Contact person : Paul Fisette

CESCM (CEnter for Supply Chain Management)

Research activities : operations research, mixed integer programming, networks, supply chain management
Contact person : Philippe Chevalier

CORE (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics)

Research activities : mixed integer programming, convex optimization, operations research, networks
Contact person : Anthony Papavasiliou

ICTEAM/INMA "Applied mathematics division, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics"

Research activities : systems and control theory, numerical linear algebra, neural networks, nonlinear control, networks, hybrid systems.
Contact person : Raphaël Jungers

Algèbre et Combinatoire

Research activities : algorithms and geometric structures, polytopes, convex sets, combinatorial optimization
Contact person : Samuel Fiorini

GOM (Graphes et Optimisation Mathématique)

Research activities : mathematical programming, combinatorial optimization, networks and graphs
Contact person : Bernard Fortz

MECA (Active Structures Laboratory)

Research activities : active structural control and vibration damping, mechatronics, robotics, SMART structures
Contact person : André Preumont

SAAS (Automatique et analyse des systèmes)

Research activities : modelling, identification, control, fault detection, process industry.
Contact person : Michel Kinnaert

HEC (Ecole de Gestion)

Research activities : operations research, production management, combinatorial optimization, integer programming
Contact person : Yves Crama

RUN (Research Unit in Networks)

Research activities : computer networks, traffic engineering and optimization, congestion control, autonomic networks
Contact person : Guy Leduc

SYSTMOD (Systems and Modelling)

Research activities : discrete optimization, nonlinear systems, networks of oscillators, dynamics and coordination, optimization on manifolds, stochastic methods, computer vision, machine learning, power systems, bioinformatics, biostatistics, statistical genetics
Contact person : Rodolphe Sepulchre

AUTO (Unité d'Automatique)

Research activities : automatic control, bioprocess modeling,state estimation, robust control, vehicle positioning, numerical simulation
Contact person : Alain Vande Wouwer

MATHRO (Mathématique et Recherche Opérationnelle)

Research activities : operations research, production planning, multi-criteria optimization and decision
Contact person : Marc Pirlot

ELEC (Fundamental Electricity and Instrumentation)

Research activities : identification, experiment design, estimation, linear and nonlinear systems
Contact person : Rik Pintelon