RWTH Aachen adopted MathWorks software campus-wide, providing students and faculty with access to MATLAB®, Simulink®, and more than 50 companion toolboxes, blocksets, and other products.
With their colleagues from other departments, Abel and his researchers offer special workshops and weekly sessions to help students expand their use of MathWorks tools. Attended by about 100 students and lasting one to two hours, these meetings include introductions to MATLAB, Simulink, and Stateflow®, as well as advanced sessions on applying the tools in image processing, GUI programming, and bioengineering.
MathWorks tools are incorporated in courses across many disciplines. In the course Advanced Controls, students tackle complex problems in nonlinear control and optimal control using MATLAB and Simulink for analysis and simulation.
Biology and chemistry students interested in control theory can take Control Engineering for Biomedical Engineering Science, a graduate-level course. In this course, Maschuw teaches system theory and control using MATLAB and Control System Toolbox™ to present examples from the students’ own fields.
Engineering students in Abel’s Rapid Control Prototyping course use MATLAB, Simulink, and Simulink Coder™ to design, simulate, optimize, and implement a real-time control system for a specially modified Segway personal transporter. Students are also beginning to work with Simulink Real-Time™ for rapid prototyping on robotics projects.
Abel and Maschuw use the same MathWorks tools for rapid control prototyping in their own research. In one project that focused on the lateral and longitudinal control of automobiles, they designed and simulated the control system with Simulink. They used Simulink Coder to generate code in preparation for test trials and to perform on-road tuning of the controller in the vehicle. Later, they analyzed the data recorded during the trial using MATLAB.
In cooperation with the university’s industry partners, students study model predictive control and use MATLAB and Model Predictive Control Toolbox™ to program a control solution that can be integrated into a Siemens process control system.