Research school disc is an interuniversity research institute and graduate school that unites all university groups in the Netherlands that are active in systems and control theory and engineering. It offers a nationally organized graduate programme for PhD students in this field.

education program

In the national graduate school on systems and control, PhD students are offered a course program of weekly lectures that are given by top specialists in a central location in Utrecht. The courses cover a wide range of topics from mathematical systems theory to control engineering and intend to bring PhD students in short time to an internationally recognized research level.


Disc unites all academic research in the Netherlands in the field of systems and control, ranging from mathematical systems theory research to technology-driven control engineering. Mechanical manipulation of hard-disk heads, developing energy-efficient greenhouses, designing cars that drive-by-wire, autonomously walking or flying robots, operational strategies in process industry .... in all these examples systems and control theory plays a crucial role.

24.03Benelux Meeting 2015
23.05CCDC 2015
01.07ACC 2015
15.07ECC 2015
28.07CCC 2015

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A nation-wide institute that links all academic research groups in systems and control theory and engineering in the Netherlands, ranging from the three universities of technology: TUDelft, TUEindhoven and UTwente, to research groups in Amsterdam, Groningen, Maastricht, Tilburg and Wageningen.

disc has a coordinated research programme and provides an international network environment for researchers and PhD students.



A central PhD program is provided for PhD students in systems and control. It consists of a course programme offered in Utrecht, international summer schools and a yearly three-day Benelux Meeting. Since its start in 1987 this PhD program has become a cornerstone of the cooperation among the dutch academic community in this field.



Controlling the positioning and motion of objects with high speed and ultra-high precision (up to nanometers) is crucial in storage equipment as dvd’s, hard disk drives, in IC manufacturing and in scientific imaging instruments as AFM’s. Without feedback control this technology would not exist.



Industrial production processes in (petro)chemical, food and energy industry are dependent on appropriate control technology for designing operations that are economically efficient, safe, with optimal usage of resources and minimal environmental load. Model-based control technology provides the tools for achieving this.



Future automotive systems will show vehicles where comfort and driving conditions are highly automated while they are intelligently supervised to keep optimal distance and to optimize route planning. In this development distributed sensing and control is a key technology.



Guidance and navigation of airplanes and spacecrafts highly depends on automatic control systems. This dependency is even more pronounced when steering unmanned vehicles, e.g. for inspection tasks, or controlling (micro) sattelite formations in space. Aerospace applications have been important drivers for developing advanced and robustly operating control systems.