Biomedical Computer Science and Mechatronics

Institute of Automation and Control Engineering



European Control Conference

From 29 June to 2 July 2021, the European Control Conference (ECC) was held purely virtually. In the course of the conference, Jens Wurm moderated the session "Control Applications I", in which he presented the paper "Feedback Control of Water Waves in a Tube with Moving Boundary", which was developed  in collaboration with Frank Woittennek. The paper was selected to appear in the European Journal of Control: 2021 ECC Special Issue.

Link to the event:



IACE employees receive UMIT TIROL teaching award.

In 2020 Simon Bachler, Phillip Kronthaler and Jens Wurm received the UMIT TIROL teaching award for their course Simulation in Control Engineering. To ensure and best support the teaching and learning objectives throughout the course, a practical, interdisciplinary task is worked out by the students in groups of four from problem description to simulation-based implementation. The topics handed out are based on the research fields of the teaching award winners and thus offer a small insight into current research topics at the institute.
In addition to the extraordinarily well-structured design of the student-centered course, the above-average teaching evaluations were also cited as reasons for the award of 1st place.

Link to the course: https://www.umit-tirol.a/page.cfm?pageid=150937

FFG-Talents Internship for Pupils

Also this year the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering (IACE) organizes an internship for pupils, which is supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

In the course of the internship, the intern will work in groups with other students to further develop an existing test stand for level control into a multi-tank system. The intern will be supervised by a student assistant and a university assistant. More information can be found here.


On February 18 and 19, 2021, the 7th International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM) D-A-CH conference was held online. Thomas Auer presented his paper Optimal control design for an elastically coupled surface gantry with comparison to standard methods, which was also published together with Phillip Kronthaler and Frank Woittennek as conference proceedings.

Link to IFToMM:

HTL diploma thesis in cooperation with IACE

Two students of the electrical engineering department of the HTL-Anichstraße are currently working on a calibratable sensor board for temperature sensors, which is to be used on various test rigs at the IACE. Another focus of the work is the construction of a setup for the calibration of the temperature sensors. The two students will be supervised by IACE staff.

FFG-Talents internship for students

For the first time this year, two different projects were worked on by a total of six students. The first project focused on the construction of a parallel manipulator. Based on an existing 3D model, a printable version was developed and actuated by motors and first algorithms for controlling them were developed. For the second project, a lidar was added to the mobile robot platform of the STIHL company, which was known from the previous year, in order to investigate algorithms for mapping spaces on the one hand and to develop autonomous navigation through obstacle courses on the other hand, supported by additional ultrasonic sensors.

Simon Bachler gives lecture at first virtual IFAC World Congress

Simon Bachler gave a talk on control design for a distribution-parametric pipe model at the first virtual IFAC World Congress, which was originally scheduled to take place in Berlin. The talk presented the results, which were published together with Jens Wurm and Frank Woittennek in the paper "Open-loop temperature control for a distributed parameter model of a pipe".

IFAC's largest congress, held every 3 years, brings together thousands of researchers from all over the world from various fields of control and automation engineering. For the first time, a "Control Orchestra" performed two virtual pieces. Simon Bachler was also part of this orchestra. The pieces can be listened to here:

For a Lifetime
Smoke on the Water

Talk at the IFTOMM D-A-CH conference in Lienz

On February 27 and 28, 2020, 60 participants met for the 6th IFToMM D-A-CH conference at Campus Technik Lienz. This was thus the largest scientific conference in the mechatronics field ever held in Lienz.

IACE staff member Phillip Kronthaler also attended the two-day event with a conference paper entitled "Vibration reduction through trajectory planning: a comparative study of flatness-based methods and trajectory filters."

Marcus Riesmeier gives presentation at the Elgersburg Workshop

Marcus Riesmeier gave a talk at the Elgersburg Workshop in Thuringia on "Dynamics assignment for infinite-dimensional systems using direct late lumping". The workshop, which took place from Feb. 16 - Feb. 20, once again brought together engineers and mathematicians to address problems in systems theory and control engineering.

From September 22 to 27, 2019, the joint annual meeting of the VDI/VDE GMA Technical Committees 1.30 "Modeling, Identification and Simulation in Automation Technology" and 1.40 "Systems Theory and Control Engineering" took place as usual in Anif near Salzburg.  As in previous years, the meeting of the Expert Committee 1.30 was organized by the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering (IACE) at UMIT, while the colleagues from the Chair of Control Engineering at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel were responsible for the meeting of the Expert Committee 1.40.

About 40 scientists from renowned Austrian and German universities as well as representatives from industry participated in the workshop of the Expert Committee 1.30. In the 25 scientific lectures of the technical committee, current research results were presented and put up for discussion. These covered, for example, topics of physical modeling, systems with locally distributed parameters, model order reduction, or data-based and learning modeling approaches.  Of particular note was the interactive special session on software tools, which was offered for the first time this year and was very well received by the participants. IACE was represented in both technical committees with its own contributions; for example, Lukas Tappeiner gave a presentation on the modeling and identification of nonlinear fractional systems.

The event was livened up by an excursion to Berchtesgadener Land, where participants could choose to take part in a guided tour of Berchtesgaden or a hiking tour.

IACE was represented at the 13th International Forum Mechatronics in Cham, Upper Palatinate, in September 2019. Around 200 experts and founders of the mechatronics scene as well as decision-makers from industry and science met. In the Cham town hall, they showcased the latest technologies, discussed trends and established cross-industry contacts. The patron of the forum was Bavarian Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger.

July 2019: Phillip Kronthaler - University of Warwick, GB
September 2019: Marcus Riesmeier- Chair of Control Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
October 2019: Lukas Tappeiner - Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg, Germany

This year, the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering (IACE) is once again hosting a student internship funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

In the course of the internship, the student will work in groups with other students to investigate different possibilities of position control on a mobile robot platform. The internship will be supervised by a student assistant and a university assistant.

We are happy to anounce a series of lectures on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the university level mechatronics program in Tyrol. The start of the series took place on January 11, 2019 with a lecture by Dr. Kim Listmann (ABB AG, Research Center Germany). He was talking about "Interaktive Roboter - Was das bedeutet und warum wir sie brauchen".
Workshop of GMA TC 1.30 and 1.40 and GAMM-TC in ANIF

The GMA Technical Committees 1.30 "Modelling, Identification and Simulation in Automation Technology" (IACE/The Tyrolean Private University UMIT) and 1.40 "Systems Theory and Control" (University of Kiel) held their annual workshop in ANIF from 18 to 23 September 2018. The workshop was held  in cooperation with the GAMM Technical Committee "Dynamics and Control" (University of Magdeburg). This year about 80 colleagues from Germany, Switzerland and Austria participated in the workshop. The focus of the more than 50 talks was on current research results in automation and control technology as well as the implementation of the respective methods in complex industrial applications.

Excursion Automatica 2018

Again, the Institute for Automation and Control Engineering organized a study trip to the spezialized fair AUTOMATICA 2018 in Munich. On June 22, 2018, our students of the mechatronics studies had the opportunity to inform themselves about the latest trends in the fields of intelligent automation and robotics and to discuss them with representatives from different branches of business.

Internship for Scholars at IACE

As last year, there will be a practical course for scholars at the Institute for Automation and Control Engineering. The internship is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

In the course of the training the pupils will assemble a multi tank system and will put it in operation. Throughout they will be coached by a research assistant as well as by a senior scientist of the institute. The scholars will build up the test station, integrate the sensors and actuators on a programmable logic controller and visualize their signals. Afterwards, they shall implement simple algorithms to control the water level in the tanks.

Colloquium on ‘theory and praxis of distributed parameter systems’

At the beginning of February this year, the Institute for Automation and Control Engineering of the Tyrolean Private University UMIT hosted a scientific colloquium on ‘theory and praxis of distributed parameter systems’. In 15 lectures, scientists from 10 Austrian and German universities presented their actual research results in modelling and system theory as well as in control of distributed parameter systems.

Internship for Scholars at IACE

This summer our Institute for Automation and Control Engineering provided an internship for one month. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) sponsored the internship in the course of which four high school students pursue their interest in natural science and technology. The internship started with a join discussion and reflection on various applications for mobile robots. The final presentation of the internship was held on Friday, 04.08.2017. See full article

Visit of Tyrolit

On 06 June 2017 colleagues of the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering visited the company Tyrolit at the headquarter located in Schwaz.
Beside a very interesting factory tour first talks about their focuses in research and development were held.

Dipl.-Ing. Phillip Kronthaler Won Best Paper Award at the VDI Mechatronik-Tagung 2017 

Dipl.-Ing. Phillip Kronthaler, research assistant at the Institute for Automation and Control Engineering, won the best paper award at the VDI Mechatronik-Tagung taking place in Dresden in March 2017.

His contribution ,Model based control of a high precision dual gantry platform with elastic cross coupling’ deals with model based control- and compensation strategies for increasing the positioning accuracy of pick-and-place units.

The VDI Mechatrionik-Tagung focuses on the become commonplace connection of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and informatics in industry and fields of research. The conference is held every second year and provides a place for researchers, developers, decision makers, and product managers for talks related to practice.

This year 65 papers form the fields of automatization, aerospace, automotive, medical engineering, and power industry were submitted.
We congratulated our college Phillip Kronthaler for this award and his excellent performance.

Best Paper Award in Research at MEDER 2015

Mathias Brandstötter, Michael Hofbaur (JOANNEUM Reserach), and Christoph Gruber received the Best Paper Award in Research at „3rd IFToMM Symposium on Mechanism Design for Robotics (MEDER 2015, 02.-04. Juni 2015, Aalborg, Dänemark).

The publication entitled "A Method to Estimate the encoder Dependent Repeatability of General Serial manipulator" describes a method to estimate the effect of discrete angular encoders on the accuracy of serial robots. Specifically, the general practicability of the proposed algorithm has been shown by an application on a general serial manipulator.

Five years of academic Mechatronics in Tyrol

We cordially invite you to celebrate with us the 5-year anniversary of the university studies in Mechatronics in Tyrol. By this anniversary the first graduates of the Master Program Mechatronics is awarded at a university-wide graduation. Companies that work closely with the IACE, will be attending a Career Lounge on site.

Place: Main auditorium of the Tyrolean Private University UMIT, Eduard Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1, Hall in Tyrol
Date: November 25, 2014 at 6 pm

Long Night of Research

Many visitors, including many children, were informed at this year's Long Night of Research on 4 April 2014. The variety of research projects at the Tyrolean Private University UMIT and also research attractions were presented.

The IACE was responsible with current research topics and collaborations with companies: Forbot - the Rescue Robot; Cuma arm - serial manipulator ; BESI - high-precision assembly machines in the Semi-Conductor area; GE - fault-tolerant control of gas engines ; BMW - driving assistance systems in the future; Insight 2014 ; Hash Run for Children

Exhibition "Insight 2014"

From 20 March to 4 April 2014 aesthetic illustrations were exhibited at the Tyrolean Private University UMIT that have arisen in the course of scientific work. The program committee selected 26 images from the submissions which have been offered to the visitors of the exhibition for sale. More information can be found on the website

Excursion: Sistro in Hall in Tirol

The company Sistro in Hall in Tirol was attended in January by around 20 students of Mechatronics and representatives of the Mechatronic Institutes of LFUI and the Tyrolean Private University UMIT. Dipl.-Ing. Günter Höfert (CEO of SISTRO Präzisionsmechanik GmbH) gave us a comprehensive and impressive insight into the company. In this context, thesis topics were presented and discussed.

Talk: Mechatronics-Projects at Liebherr

Dr. Johannes Eberharter from the company Liebherr will present current topics from mechatronics research and development on Wednesday, 15.1.2014, 15:00 at the UMIT in the mechatronics lab.

Seminar: Model-based Diagnosis

The rising complexity of modern technical systems leads to increased efforts concerning reliability and safety. Model-based diagnosis provides essential contributions to detect and identify faults, errors and failure.

Prof. Dr. Louise Trave-Massuyes, head of the "Diagnosis and Supervisory Control Group" at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, France and Prof. Dr. Mattias Krysander from Linköping University, Schweden give talks to these topics on 28.11.2013 from 16:00-18:00.

Seminar: Differential Geometry

Methods from differential geometry gain increasing interest in engineering sciences, especially in robotics and control engineering.

Prof. Dr. Harald Löwe from the Technical University Braunschweig will hold a seminar on this topic in the week from 18.11.2013 until 22.11.2013 on the Tyrolean Private University UMIT in the mechatronics lab.

Continuous Graduate Studies in Mechatronics
Since autumn 2013, the Tyrolean Private University UMIT and the University of Innsbruck have a Master's degree in mechatronics in form of a "Joint Degree Programme" - a logical extension of the existing cooperation in the Bachelor's degree. (The Tyrolean Private University UMIT-report, LFUI-report)
Seminar (German): Flat Systems

In the context of dynamical systems, flatness describes a geometric property of the underlying differential equations, implying a certain "simplicity" of its solutions. From the point of view of control engineering, the concept of flatness provides an interesting approch to trajectory planning as well as model-based open- and closed-loop control design.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zeitz from the Institute for System Dynamics from the University of Stuttgart will hold a seminar on this topic at Wednesday, 14th and Thursday, 15th November 2012, from 9:00 til 17:30 at the UMIT in the teaching laboratory mechatronics.

Guest Talk (English): Mortar method applied on frictional contact problems for finite deformation and large slidings

The presentation treats the numerical modeling of structural contact problems. Beside the normal contact we implement Coulomb's friction law in tangential direction. A special focus is given on the handling of non matching mesh interfaces. In comparison to the classical node-on-segment approach we apply a rather new segment-to-segment method, namely the mortar method. It is well known that the node-on-segment methods suffer deficiencies of locking or suboptimal convergence behavior. In contrast the mortar method shows optimal convergence behavior. The advantages of this theory have been proven by various works on this topic. The mortar method is implemented as mixed method with displacements and Lagrange multipliers as degrees of freedom. The contact conditions are fulfilled in weak manner. Among the introduction to the mortar method embedded in the finite element framework, we will focus on synthetic contact kinematics and compare different formulations for the surface normal field. Further, a special kind of numerical integration scheme is presented. The theory is then applied to various numerical examples, to show the performance of the algorithm.

Dr. Michael Hammer from TU Graz will give a talk on this topic on Wednesday, 25.7.2012, 16:00 at the Tyrolean Private University UMIT, room SR108.

Talk (English): Hybrid Systems, Modeling, Control and Diagnosis

Hybrid Systems is a well established field at the interface between control, computer science and mathematics that deals with systems that exhibit both, continuously valued and discretely valued dynamics. It thus provides a powerful modeling scheme to capture the rich dynamic behavior of modern engineering artefacts that exhibit an interplay between continuously valued dynamics and discrete changes among their operational/fault modes. Despite the common goal to model, simulate and analyze systems with hybrid dynamics and to synthesize controllers for them, there exists a large variety of different modeling approaches. The tutorial presents (a) a comprehensive overview among them, (b) introduces common concepts and model characteristics and (c) presents applications within the fields of system's estimation, diagnosis and control.

Univ-Prof. Michael Hofbaur will give a talk on this topic on Wednesday, 25.7.2012, 14:30 at the Tyrolean Private University UMIT, room SR108.

Guest Talk (German): Control of Elastic Structures

Dipl.-Ing. Peter Staufer from the Institute of Robotics from the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz gave this talk in May 2012

Austrian Robotics Workshop

UMIT and the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck (LFUI) hosted the "Austrian Robotic Workshop 2011" at the Tyrolean Private University  UMIT Campus Hall on May 23rd/24th 2011.more

Workshop on Principles of Diagnosis 2011 (DX11)

The Institute was co-organizer of the "22nd International Workshop on Principles of Diagnosis (DX 2011)," together with the Technical University of Munich and the OCC'M Software GmbH. The workshop was held from 4th to 7th October 2011 in Murnau (Germany).  Link to Event

26th Austrian Automation Day 2011
The Institute organized the "26th Austrian Automation Day 2011 - 26. Österreichischer Automatisierungstag 2011" on October 21st 2011. 

European Robotics Week

The European Robotics Week took place on 30th November 2011 in the laboratories of IACE and IEBE (sister institute). The Tyrolian Universities UMIT, University of Innsbruck, and the Medical University of Innsbruck presented representative examples of robotics research through presentations and hands-on experiments. An OpenLab tour of the Institute provided insights into current research and our robotics lab.