Research themes       Rudy Negenborn
Full Professor, Head of Section
Team & Themes

Research theme: 4S -- Intelligent multi-agent control for flexible coordination of transport hubs


Global transport flows are becoming more large-scale and complex. The volume of materials and goods being transported on a daily basis over roads, waterways, tracks and through the air keeps increasing. As this volume increases, different parts of the global transport infrastructure become more dynamically coupled. Events such as unexpected weather conditions, strikes, traffic congestion, etc. therefore give rise to disturbances that affect larger parts of the total transport infrastructure. Therefore, these systems reach the limits of their capacity more frequently, causing more delays, higher costs, and extra emissions. At the same time, however, society makes more stringent demands on the system's performance: delays must be shorter, costs must be lower, and emissions must be reduced.

Today, control of the global transport network is done in a very decentralized way, in which actions that influence transport flows are determined at local transport hubs using information from only a relatively small part of the complete system. To meet society's requirements, a new control methodology has to be developed that maximizes the use of the flexibility in the entire transport system by using much more overall information. We are working on developing the 4S Framework, a distributed and scalable control methodology for efficiently improving the real-time operation of large-scale transport systems.

Mail me your resume, motivation, and questions in case of interest.

Related projects
2019 - ongoingISHY: Implementation of Ship HybridisationInterreg 2 Seas Grant

2018 - ongoingImpulse Autonomous Shipping for AmsterdamAmsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolutan Solutions Grant

2017 - ongoingSpace@Sea: Transport & LogisticsH2020-EU.3.2.5 - "Cross-cutting marine and maritime research" Grant

2017TET-SP: Autonomous shipping in the Port of RotterdamSmartPort 2017 Grant

2017 - ongoingCOMET-PS: Complexity Methods for Predictive SynchromodalityNWO Social & Physical Sciences Grant 2016

2017 - ongoingFormations of Waterborne StructuresTU Delft / 3mE Cohesion Grant 2017

2016 - 2017AIDA: Automatic Identification of Research TrendsTU Delft Research Innovation Grant 2015

2016 - ongoingi-CAVE: Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles for logistical transport servicesSTW Perspectief voor de Topsectoren 2015 Program

2015/10 - ongoingGasDrive - Minimizing emissions and energy losses at sea with LNG combined prime movers, underwater exhausts and nano hull materialsSTW Maritime 2015/Topsector Water Program

2014/09 - ongoingShipDrive - A Novel Methodology for Dynamic Integrated Modelling, Control and Optimization of Hybrid Ship SystemsSTW Maritime/Topsector Water 2013 Program

2014-2016 Amphibian - Enabling formations of land and waterborne vehicles with mixed autonomous and human-based controlTU Delft / 3mE Cohesion Grant 2014

2013-2018   Intermodal transport service improvement via online scheduling and control   Joint Delft University of Technology / Erasmus University Research Collaboration Project

2013-2014   Innovative Concepts for Inter Terminal Transport on Maasvlakte 1 and 2 at the Port of Rotterdam   Port Research Center Delft / Erasmus SmartPort Research Cooperation with Port of Rotterdam Authority

2011-2012DUBROVNIK -- Towards improved hinterland accessibility for the Port of RotterdamNext Generation Port Infra Grant -- Powered by Maasvlakte 2.

2011-2014Intelligent multi-agent control for flexible coordination of transport hubs2010 Innovational Research Incentives VENI Scheme of the Dutch Technology Foundation STW.

2019/09 - ongoing   Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles   
 Nadia Pourmohammadzia
2018/09 - ongoing   Coordination & process design for logistics on modular floating transport hubs   
 Dimitris Souravlias
2017/09 - 2018/08   Dynamic fleet management of autonomous vehicles   
 Frederik Schulte
2017/04 - 2018/07   Formations for Waterborne Structures   
 Laura Ferranti
2016/03 - 2018/02   Automatic Identification of Research Trends   
 Bijan Ranjbar-Sahraei

Science technician
2016/03 - ongoing   Control and coordination for (amphibian/waterborne/road) vehicles   
 Vittorio Garofano

PhD candidates
2019/09 - ongoing   Multi-Objective Optimization for Hinterland Transportation   
 Yimeng Zhang
with dr. Bilge Atasoy
2019/09 - ongoing   Condition-based Maintenance for Offshore Wind Turbines   
 Mingxin Li
with dr. Xiaoli Jiang
2019/07 - ongoing   Control for Implementation of Hybrid Ship Systems   
 Carlos Armenta
with prof. Sebastien Delprat
Universite Polytechnique Hauts-de-France
2018/09 - ongoing   Clustered control for unmanned surface vessels   
 Zhe Du
with dr. Vasso Reppa
2018/02 - ongoing   Distributed control methods for predictive synchromodality   
 Rie Larsen
with dr. Bilge Atasoy
2017/03 - ongoing   Synchronized Supply Chains of Perishable Goods   
 Tomas Hipolito
with prof. Miguel Ayala Botto
IST, Lisbon
2016/12 - ongoing   Future Applications of Dynamic Fleet Management   
 Breno Beirigo
with dr. Frederik Schulte
2016/11 - ongoing   Theory for Dynamic Fleet Management of Autonomous Vehicles   
 Johan Los
with dr. Frederik Schulte, dr. Matthijs Spaan
2016/09 - ongoing   Adaptive Control towards Autonomous Heavy Lift Operations   
 Jun Ye
with dr. Vasso Reppa
2016/09 - ongoing   Synchromodal transportation in global cold chains   
 Wenjing Guo
with dr. Wouter Beelaerts van Blokland
2015/12 - ongoing   Benefitting from vessel-2-vessel and vessel-2-infra interactions   
 Linying Chen
with prof. Hans Hopman
2015/05 - ongoing   Distributed Control for Smart Hybrid Ships   
 Ali Haseltalab
with prof. Hans Hopman

2014/09 - 2019/01   Controlled Perishable Goods Logistics: Real-Time Coordination for Fresher Products
[PhD thesis]
 Xiao Lin
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2014/09 - 2019/01    Autonomous Control for Adaptive Ships with Hybrid Propulsion and Power Generation
[PhD thesis]
 Rinze Geertsma
with Klaas Visser, prof. Hans Hopman
Royal Dutch Navy
2014/12 - 2018/11   Energy Efficiency Optimization Methods for Inland River Ship Fleets
[PhD thesis]
 Kai Wang
with prof. Xinping Yan
Wuhan University of Technology
2013/07 - 2018/03    Optimal Transportation Plans and Portfolios for Synchromodal Container Networks
[PhD thesis]
 Bart van Riessen
with prof. Rommert Dekker
Erasmus University / ECT
2014/05 - 2017/05    Model Predictive Motion Control Methods for Unmanned Surface Vehicles
[PhD thesis]
 Chenguang Liu
with prof. Xiumin Chu
Wuhan University of Technology
2013/01 - 2016/12    Coordination of Waterborne AGVs
[PhD thesis]
 Huarong Zheng
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2012/09 - 2016/12    Coordinated Planning of Inland Vessels for Large Seaports
[PhD thesis]
 Shijie Li
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks
2011/12 - 2016/06    Coordinated Model Predictive Control of Synchromodal Freight Transport Systems
[PhD thesis]
 Le Li
with prof. Bart De Schutter
2011/12 - 2013/11    Predictive Control for Intermodal Container Hubs and Port Areas
[PhD thesis]
 Joao Nabais
with prof. Miguel Ayala Botto
IST, Lisbon
2011/09 - 2015/08    Control and Coordination for Automated Container Terminals
[PhD thesis]
 Jianbin Xin
with prof. Gabriel Lodewijks

MSc students
MSc thesis projects 
2016   Improving coordination of perishable good logistics   Hugo Mees
2016   Modeling one-way station-based car sharing   Mathieu Beek (with PTV)
2015   Category Loading -- The impacts of a new container loading concept   Anouk Pelser (with ECT)
2015   Improving the roundtrip time of barge container vessels   Sander de Jong
2015   Vessel routing for sweeping of marine litter in a port area   Maurits van Tol
2015   Managing supply chain risks for a multi-modal, multi-actor transport chain   Karlijn Holzhauer (with Heineken)
2015   The effect of using MoorMaster units for quay side mooring in the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal   Marijke Penders (with Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment)
2015   Prediction of traffic signal states of adaptive controlled intersections   Robert Scheepjens (with Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley)
2015   Simulated execution of planning tasks for increasing the efficiency of container terminal operations   Roos van Rhijn (with TBA)
2015   Evaluation of Inter Terminal Transport Systems using Simio Simulations   Marloes Brands (with ECT)
2015   Freight Network Effects of Increased Lock Capacity of IWT in the hinterland   Kim Terlouw (with Ministry Infrastructure and Environment)
2015   Route choice of inland ships for transport system design in the Port of Rotterdam   Erik Gerritse (with Witteveen+Bos)
[Show/hide more...]      
2014   Improvement of CO2-emission estimation method of container terminals   Yang Cao
2014   Design of a guidance system for waterborne AGVs in accordance with navigation rules (COLREGS)   Claire Zhou
2014   Inter Terminal Transport System Design Using Conveyor Belts for the Port of Rotterdam   Horam Sadeghi
2014   Repositioning of empty containers in the Dutch hinterland: How to achieve cost savings at Empty Depots in Rotterdam?   Thomas Hjortnaes (with Maersk Line)
2014   The vertical container terminal: stacking strategies and job dispatching   Tom Boontjes (with TBA)
2013   Comparison of types of automatic guided vehicles at an automated container terminal   Ronald van Gils (with TBA)
2013   Planning of hinterland transportation in the EGS network   Bart van Riessen (with ECT)
2013   Reducing energy consumption in container terminals   Yang Cao
2013   Model predictive scheduling for container terminals   Frederik van Boetzelaer (with Delft Center for Systems and Control)
2012   Coordinating vessels for delay minimization   Jelmer Hengeveld
2012   Supply chain complexity and disruptions   Martynas Narusevicius (with DHL)
2012   Ideal Cargohopper Fleet Composition for the Environmental Zone Amsterdam   Bas de Heus (with Transmission)
2011   Revenue forecasting at KLM   Merijn van Aartrijk (with KLM)
2011   Modeling of operational processes at intermodal container terminals   Yunsong Yan
2011   Improving the distribution network of libraries in The Netherlands   Nick van der Noorda (with Kwink Groep)

MSc short research projects
2016   Intermodal transportation scheduling for perishable goods   Ke Li
2016   The ship loading problem   Celine Dohmen
2015   Lock scheduling model for the series of locks in the Maas   Thijs Visser
2014   Generic Matlab/Arduino interface for Amphibian transport vehicles   Maarten van Blijswijk
2013   Animating the Inter Terminal Transport model   Tom Boontjes
2013   Generator for future inter-terminal freight transportation on the Maasvlakte 1 and 2   Lars de Lange
2013   Building an integer programming model to plan Inter Terminal Transportation   Frans Nieuwkoop
2013   Development of a Simulation Model for an Inter Terminal Transport System at the Maasvlakte 1+2   Herbert Schroer
2013   Intelligent waterways for reducing congestion at locks   Ronald van Gils
2011   A new operational model for cooperation in harbor networks    Jelmer Hengeveld
2011   Evaluation of storage yard controller strategies for maritime container terminals    Robbert van Zijverden
[View a short movie with results]
[Show/hide more...]      
2011   Realistic container terminal modeling    Willem Maagdenburg
2011   Improving dynamic container fleet management   Bart Cunes

MSc literature projects
2016   Ship propulsion system components and their fault detection and isolation methods   Carmen Molhoek
2014   Forecasting computer power developments and transport problem solution practical applicability   Rienk de Jong
2014   Port accessibility: Past, present, future   Steven Valk
2014   Survey on history and potential of Amphibian Transport Vehicles   Kerem Aslan
2014   Perspectives on platooning for inland vessels   Nick Schoorl
2014   Analysis of the distributed barge rotation problem   Kerim Haccou
2014   Modeling the Trans-European Transport Network for container fleet management   Kaj de Groot
2014   Developments in port equipment and technology   Emiel van Bodegom
2014   Control of automated container terminals   Johan van Jole
2013   Developing demand scenarios for Inter Terminal Transportation on the Maasvlakte I and II in 2030   Erik Gerritse
2013   Alternative solutions for inter terminal transport   Lars de Lange
[Show/hide more...]      
2013   Boundaries of intermodal transport networks   Wilbert de Kluijver
2012   Proposal for an experimental setup with guided autonomous vessel formations   Marco de Kraker
2012   Linking practice to theory for the future operations of ports   Frans Nieuwkoop
2012   Distributed control for coordination of operations in large harbors    Herbert Schroer
2012   Uncertainty in position estimation of autonomous transport systems   Bjorn de Keyzer
2011   Guaranteed accessibility of the Port of Rotterdam and its hinterland   Jasper Pijnenborg
2011   Dynamical effects and interaction between freight transport navigation and water infrastructure   Jelmer Hengeveld
2011     Classification of approaches for the integrated modeling and control of freight transport across different modes at maritime container terminals   Robbert van Zijverden

Research theme: Intelligent control methods for flood and water management

Experts predict that climate change will cause extreme events such as floods and droughts to occur more frequently and more severely in the future. Against this background, effective water management will become increasingly important. Water management is currently decentralised, with each water board managing a regional area with its own water bodies and waterways. However, the effects of water management are felt beyond these regional areas borders-- even beyond country borders. Effective coordination is vital. In this theme techniques enabling this have been developed.

Related projects
2008 - 2010   Hierarchical and distributed model predictive control of large-scale complex systems   EU FP7 STREP HD-MPC
2008 - 2010Intelligent control methods for flood and water managementNext Generation Infrastructures (BSIK NGI)
2009 - 2010   Hybrid model predictive control for the Maeslant Barrier   Huub van Ekeren, MSc graduation project

Research theme: Multi-agent coordination and intelligent control of energy infrastructure networks


Due to the liberalisation of the electricity sector, the number of players involved in the generation and distribution of electricity has increased significantly. In the near future the number of input nodes will even further increase as more small-scale solar and wind energy installations will start to feed electricity into the network. Coordination among the growing number of different suppliers and distributors needs to be efficient to ensure a reliable and smooth energy supply. In this theme such coordination techniques have been developed.

Related projects
2004 - 2008   HYbrid CONtrol: Taming Heterogeneity and Complexity of Networked Embedded Systems, Workpackage 4a: Energy Management   EU FP6 NoE HYCON
2004 - 2007Multi-agent coordination and intelligent control of infrastructure networksNext Generation Infrastructures (BSIK NGI)
2004 - 2007   Multi-agent control of large-scale hybrid systems   NWO STW VIDI
2008   Monitoring & Control of Household Energy Consumption   Mohamad Alamili, Mohammad Hosseini, Tarak Jabri, Bart Kersbergen, Wouter Mense, Folkert Roscam Abbing, BSc graduation project
2004 - 2005   Model Predictive Control for Load Frequency Control in a Restructured Power Market   Yik Teh, MSc graduation project

Research theme: Control and estimation for mobile robotics
Related projects
2005   Control of groups of robots    Rogier den Breeje and Jos de Jong, BSc graduation project
2005   Learning control for an inverted pendulum using reinforcement learning    Arjan Degenaar and Daan Mastenbroek, BSc graduation project
2005   Communication and Cooperation in Multi-Agent Systems for Robot Soccer    Alex Verbart, Menno Ronde, Thomas Poiesz, Stefan Taal, BSc graduation project
2002 - 2003   Robot Localization and Kalman Filters   MSc graduation project
2002 - 2003Reinforcement Learning with RobotsMSc research project

Send me any comments. Follow my updates on Twitter.