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    • School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Wireless Energy Transfer This PHD project is concerned with exciting new technology focussed on the transfer of electrical power by wireless means. For example, efficient wireless energy transfer can be used either to recharge batteries in electric vehicles from transmitters built in the road or, even more to the point, to provide an alternative means of direct vehicle power. Skills required: Mathematics and Physics Smart Energy Management The proposed work aims to design an agent based power management system. The proposed power management system will be a new concept with novel capabilities including the prediction of energy demands, and the optimization of the use of energy generation and the supply and prioritization of the loads. This research will have important implication in energy reduction Skills required: Computing, Control Engineering Control of Power Electronics Systems The aim of the project is to develop, design and test a range of power electronics converter topologies that use optimal switching strategies that have been synthesized from a bond graph approach to control optimisation. It is shown that Neural Network has promising result in the field of optimisation in reducing the number of switching and incidentally power. Skill required: Control Engineering, Electronics Rehabilitation Engineering The aim is to carry out a pilot study to develop and test systems which allow paraplegics to stabilize the trunk, using Electrical Stimulation (ES) of their paralysed trunk muscles. This study is the first step towards achieving our very challenging long-term goal, specifically, to develop the basic control methodology and subsequently assistive devices that would improve trunk posture control with a minimum of encumbrance to the patient. Skills required: Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Empirical Mode Decomposition This project will develop methods to analyse complex neurological signals obtained from different regions of healthy and diseased human brains. The new approach will be based on Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) methods. This is particularly exciting and novel aspect of the project as it will open up a possibility to explore means of much more efficient computations of EMD based analysis. Skills required: Mathematics Optimal control This research project is about the development of efficient pseudospectral optimal control methods for real-time robot motion planning. Spectral and pseudospectral methods have been very successful for the solution of partial differential equations. These problems arise as a result of requiring a robot to move from an initial position to a final position in space, with due consideration of actuation constraints, energy efficiency, obstacles, safety, transit time, etc. Skills required: Mathematics, Control Engineering Geometric Control This research encompasses theoretical and new developments in the area of motion control of Hybrid Dynamical Systems, with an emphasis on global motion planning. For hybrid linear systems defined on Lie groups the equations of motion can be expressed in a coordinate free way and therefore analysis of these equations are global up to a submanifold restriction. Skills required: Mathematics, Control Engineering Quantum Control One of the most challenging and modern applications of the control of PDEs is the control of Quantum Mechanical Systems. Indeed the problem of inducing transitions between molecular levels or spin states is relevant to many applications of chemical physics. These experiments are often very delicate and expensive and control theory can bring new perspectives. Skills required: Mathematics and Physics Unmanned Air Vehicle The purpose of this study is to develop computational methods for the design of optimal low thrust spacecraft trajectories subject to uncertainties, which may occur in the assumed dynamics of the system, or due to lack of accurate knowledge on the terminal constraints associated with a mission. Skills required: Mathematics, Control Engineering


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    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    My research program has concentrated on furthering the field of control theory and modelling. My early work was focused on hybrid dynamical systems. This work culminated in the development of the Hamiltonian systems on Lie Group, and that has become widely recognised nationally and internationally through seminar invitation in Universities worldwide. Over the past fifteen years I have applied my control expertise to several applications and in particular rehabilitation engineering and energy transmission, storage for electrical systems, and power systems. In rehabilitation engineering a major contribution was techniques for controlling the trunk standing up using electrical stimulation. Furthermore my research in energy storage has given promising result in the use of multiple agent systems and intelligent control to minimise energy consumption when using multiple storage combined with harvesting technology. Novel research in creating a model of wireless power transfer has enormous potential in the automotive industry and already early results through publications has shown promising results. Finally my research is also in autonomous flying vehicle and in particular in the area of motion planning and visualisation.


    C.F.P Certificate in Further Professional Studies in Higher Education (Reading UK)

    PhD Doctorat de l’universite de Lille "Automatic control and Signal-Processing” obtained with honours. Thesis title: Methodology to design new control laws for systems with Boolean inputs (Outstanding PhD graduating in 33 months). (Lille France)

    D.E.A (Diplome d’Etude Appronfondies) "Instrumentation and Control". University of Caen (qualifying exams for the Ph.D). (Caen, France)

    Maitrise E.E.A (MsC equiv) Option Signal-processing and Control Systems. University of Reims (Reims, France)

    Licence E.E.A (Beng equiv.) (Electronic - Electrical engineering - Automatic). University of Reims (Reims, France)

    M.Sc Master of Science in Mathematics option: Pure Mathematics (Open University UK)

    B.Sc Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics (First-class Honours) option Pure Mathematics (Open University UK)



    July 16 : Manchester Metropolitan University Professor in Control Enegineering

    Sept-01- : University of Reading as Lecturer, Senior lecturer and Professor

    Oct 99- Sept 01:University of Glasgow (Scotland) Research Assistant EPSRC project Grant GR/M47256

    Oct 96-Sept 99: University of Lille (France) Research Assistant Automatic control Laboratory: PhD research funded by the French Ministry for Research and Technology Teaching assistant 96 hours per year 

    May 96- Jun 96: Collège SAINT-JOSEPH – Mesnières-en-Bray Teacher of technology (secondary school)

    Mar 94- Sept 94: University of Caen Research Assistant L.A.C.P. (Laboratory in Automatic and Control Process)

    Mar 91-Aug 91:Bernay (France)  ATOCHEM (Associate to ELF AQUITAINE) as computer scientist.

    Sept 90- June 94:I worked as a supervisor at different secondary schools during my two years of study towards the D.U.T. and until completion of my D.E.A.

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where William Holderbaum is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Research Output

    • 25 Article
    • 1 Conference contribution
    • 1 Editorial

    A Comparative Study of Optimal Energy Management Strategies for Energy Storage with Stochastic Loads

    Alasali, F., Haben, S., Foudeh, H. & Holderbaum, W., 20 May 2020, In : Energies. 13, 10, 2596.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • A Comparative Study of Energy Storage Systems and Active Front Ends for Networks of Two Electrified RTG Cranes

    Alasali, F., Luque, A., Mayer, R. & Holderbaum, W., 10 May 2019, In : Energies. 12, 9, 1771.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Energy management systems for a network of electrified cranes with energy storage

    Holderbaum, W., Alasali, F. & Haben, S., 1 Mar 2019, In : International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems. 106, p. 210-222 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Novel instrumented frame for standing exercising of users with complete spinal cord injuries

    Zoulias, I. D., Armengol, M., Poulton, A., Andrews, B., Gibbons, R., Harwin, W. S. & Holderbaum, W., 10 Sep 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 13003.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Stochastic optimal energy management system for RTG cranes network using genetic algorithm and ensemble forecasts

    Holderbaum, W., Alasali, F. & Haben, S., 1 Aug 2019, In : Journal of Energy Storage. 24, 100759.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle