Prof. Mario Garcia-Sanz, ARPA-E Program Director

In January 2018, Prof. Mario Garcia-Sanz was appointed Program Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), at the U.S. Department of Energy, in Washington DC. Since then, he is leading and developing new programs and projects on renewable and conventional power generation, advanced control engineering, wind energy systems, smart grid technologies and water treatment plants and networks. See link.

New book!!!

Robust Control Engineering: Practical QFT Solutions


Mario Garcia-Sanz
CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, USA, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-138-03207-1.

This book is indispensable for engineers and researchers designing reliable control solutions for industrial, energy, environmental, biomedical, chemical, electrical, mechanical and aerospace applications. It covers the fundamentals of the QFT robust control as well as practical control solutions for unstable, time-delay, non-minimum phase or distributed parameter systems, plants with large model uncertainty, with high-performance specifications, nonlinear components, multi-input multi-output characteristics or asymmetric topologies.

The reader will discover practical applications through a large collection of successful real-world projects where Prof. Garcia-Sanz has been involved over the last 25 years, including commercial wind turbines, wastewater treatment plants, power systems, satellites with flexible appendages and flying in formation, large radio telescopes and industrial manufacturing systems. Furthermore, the book presents problems and projects with the popular QFT Control Toolbox (the QFTCT) for MATLAB developed by the author.

Publication Impact!!!

More than 5000 downloads

Our book chapter,

Attitude and Position MIMO Robust Control Strategies for Telescope-Type Spacecraft with Large Flexible Appendages, by Mario Garcia-Sanz, Irene Eguinoa and Marta Barreras,

has achieved impressive readership results, with more than 5000 downloads from InTechOpen from over 100 countries. The top countries from which the chapter has been downloaded are: USA, India, China, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Spain, Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Click here to download and/or read this chapter

The chapter is part of the Intech book Advances in Spacecraft Technologies. InTechOpen is a leading global publisher of Journals and Books within the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine. [InTech]

New Frontiers on Innovative Wind Energy Systems

Prof. Garcia-Sanz in Unzue (Spain) with a TWT-1.65, one of the direct-drive variable-speed pitch-controlled wind turbines of 1.65 MW he designed with M.Torres at the end of the 90s.

The Control & Energy Systems Center offers new research projects on design and experimentation of wind energy systems

With the over 25 years of experience of Prof. Garcia-Sanz in the design of commercial multi-megawatt wind turbines with European wind turbine manufacturers, the CESC offers new reseach projects on:

a.- Design, manufacturing and experimentation of new wind turbine concepts,
b.- Advanced high-performance wind turbine control,
c.- Cooperative wind farm control,
d.- Offshore floating wind turbines,
e.- Wind energy grid integration and impact in transmission/distribution systems,
f.- Airborne wind energy systems: The EAGLE System,
g.- Large wind turbines under extreme weather conditions.

(Click here to see projects' details)

Smart Cities and Power Systems: International Project

Prof. Garcia-Sanz completes the design
of the electrical distribution system
for the Historic Center of Quito (Ecuador)

Prof. Garcia-Sanz has completed the design of the electrical distribution system for the Historic Center of Quito (Unesco's World Heritage Site). The project was developed for EEQ (Empresa Electrica de Quito), the municipal electrical utility of Quito, capital of Ecuador, and for an international consortium of companies from Europe, South America and USA. The Historic Center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas, with about 20000 customers, 800 streets, 130 monumental buildings, and 5000 properties registered in the municipal heritage inventory, on an area of 320 hectares (790 acres).

The work was performed by using the CoDyPower Optimum Planning Software for Electrical Distribution Systems, an integrated platform developed by Prof. Garcia-Sanz that is used by electrical utilities to design optimum power distribution grids. The project considered: (1) the optimization of substations and feeder facilities while satisfying the street geometry, power limits, voltage and current limits and security constraints; (2) the determination of the optimal types, location and number of substations and circuit facilities, considering also future potential grid expansion, power flow analysis and power system stability; and (3) the minimum investment capital cost, operational losses in lines and transformers and environmental impact. The project designed an optimum solution for both low-voltage and medium-voltage electrical distribution networks.

Encyclopedia of Systems and Control

Prof. Garcia-Sanz expert on Quantitative Feedback Theory
for the Encyclopedia of Systems and Control

The Encyclopedia of Systems and Control collects a broad range of short expository articles that describe the current state of the art in the central topics of control and systems engineering as well as in many of the related fields in which control is an enabling technology. A carefully chosen team of leading authorities in the field has written the well over 200 articles that comprise the work. The topics range from basic principles of feedback in servomechanisms to advanced systems and control topics. Our contribution is:

M. Garcia-Sanz, “Quantitative Feedback Theory”. Chapter in Encyclopedia of Systems and Control. Editors: John Baillieul, Tariq Samad. Article ID: 366609, Chapter ID: 238. Springer Verlag, 2015.
The book is available at: Encyclopedia of Control (Springer)

Best-selling Book!!!

Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design


Mario Garcia-Sanz, Constantine H. Houpis
CRC Press, Taylor & Francis. Florida, USA., ISBN: 978-1-4398-2179-4, 2012.

A. This book describes the design and field experimentation of real-world multi-megawatt wind turbines and their control systems. It introduces the main topics of modern wind turbine design and control, including (1) the description of classical and advanced turbines, (2) dynamic modeling, (3) control objectives and strategies, (4) standards and certification, (5) controller design, and (6) a large number of applications like onshore and offshore wind turbines, floating wind turbines, airborne wind energy systems, advanced manufacturing and real experimentation.
B. The book also presents the main concepts of the QFT robust control engineering technique in such a manner that students and practicing engineers can readily grasp the fundamentals and appreciate its transparency in bridging the gap between theory and the real world.
C. The book applies the QFT Control Toolbox for MATLAB: QFTCT.

Prof. Garcia-Sanz's courses

Click here to see Courses' description and Original material

Control Engineering I with Laboratory
Spring Semester. 3c+1c. Offered as EECS-304 + optional EECS-305

Advanced Control & Energy Systems
Fall Semester. 3c. Offered as EECS-474 and EECS-374

Applied Control
Fall Semester. 3c. Offered as EECS-475 and EECS-375

The QFT Control Toolbox (QFTCT) for Matlab

QFT Control Toolbox (QFTCT)

CDP recently announced the release of a new version of the QFT Control Toolbox for Matlab, Prof. Garcia-Sanz's integrated platform that enables engineers to design QFT control system solutions. The new version includes new features and improved performance.

This release includes new and enhanced algorithms with the latest Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT) robust control methods, within a user-friendly and interactive environment.

The tool runs under Matlab and shows an architecture based on interactive windows for plant model description, control specifications definition, controller design, prefilter design, frequency-domain analysis and time-domain analysis.

Research Projects

Advanced Control for Extra-large Radio Telescopes

Collaboration with Green Bank Telescope (GBT)
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope and the world's largest land-based movable structure. It is part of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) site at Green Bank, West Virginia, USA. The surface area of the GBT is a 100 by 110 meter active surface with 2,209 actuators. (see picture on the right).

With several research projects, the CESC is currently looking for advanced control solutions to extend the operational frequencies range of the GBT and to increase the time available for astronomical observations. Click here to see projects' details

Research Projects

The E.A.G.L.E. System takes off at CESC

Airborne wind energy (AWE) systems are essentially tethered flying wind turbines with a unique method of collecting clean, renewable energy.

The EAGLE system (Electrical Airborne Generator with a Lighter-than-air Eolian system) is a novel, low-altitude, AWE system under design at CESC (see PCT/2012/058136 International Patent). Click here to see project's details

It consists of a tethered and controllable flyer supporting an independent, counter-rotating wind turbine. The lift system is a lighter-than-air low-drag airship, equipped with aerodynamic wings and control surfaces to provide longitudinal/lateral control. This design reduces the land footprint, enabling more turbines per unit area than other AWE approaches. The wind turbine is a variable-speed, aerodynamic rotor system with a counter-rotating generator. The tether serves to both anchor the device and transmit electricity to ground-based power electronics. A multi-input multi-output, robust, and nonlinear control system coordinates the flight and energy sub-systems.

2012 John S. Diekhoff Teaching Award

Prof. Garcia-Sanz wins the Diekhoff Award

The John S. Diekhoff Award is presented to full-time faculty members who make exemplary contributions to the education and development of graduate students at Case Western Reserve University. In 1978 the university created the award to recognize outstanding contributions to the education of graduate students through advising, mentoring, and classroom teaching.

The award is sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate and School of Graduate Studies. A committee of graduate and professional students that represents all the university's colleges and schools reviews the nominations and recommends the winners.

Mario Garcia-Sanz, the inaugural Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor in Energy Innovation and director of the Control and Energy Systems Center, wins the 2012 John S. Diekhoff Teaching Award. (Picture: Award ceremony)

Read more: The Daily (May 1st, 2012)

Control for Renewable Energy and Smart Grids

The Impact of Control Technology, IEEE

The Control Systems Society (IEEE) has published a report that discusses the accomplishments and future opportunities of control technology. We collaborated with the section about renewable energy and smart grids:

"Control for renewable energy and smart grids",
E.F. Camacho, T. Samad, M. Garcia-Sanz and I. Hiskens

From: The Impact of Control Technology, T. Samad, A.M. Annaswamy (eds.),
IEEE - Control Systems Society, 2011.

The paper is available here.
For the entire report click here.

Special Courses

Advanced Control & Energy Systems    (Fall Semester)

EECS-474 and EECS-374

Description: The first part of this course introduces the main concepts of the QFT robust control methodology. The theory is presented in such a manner that students and practicing engineers can readily grasp the fundamentals and appreciate its transparency to work with real world applications. The course includes lab sessions with our QFT Control Toolbox (QFTCT) for Matlab. The second part of the course deals with wind energy systems. Wind turbines are complex systems with large flexible aerodynamic and mechanical structures working under very turbulent and unpredictable environmental conditions and subject to a variable and demanding electrical grid. The efficiency and reliability of a wind energy system and the quality of its grid integration strongly depend on the applied control strategy. The course analyzes existing industrial solutions and applies QFT robust and switching control techniques to design and control wind energy systems. The course is based on our bestseller book "Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design", CRC Press.

Professor: Mario Garcia-Sanz

Special Courses

Applied Control    (Fall Semester)

EECS-475 and EECS-375

Description: This course provides a practical treatment of the study of control engineering systems. It emphasizes best practices in industry so that students learn what aspects of plant and control system design are critical. The course develops theory and practice for digital computer control systems; PID controller design (modes, forms and tuning methods); Control structure design (feedforward control, cascade control, predictive control, asymmetric topologies, multi-loop configurations, multivariable control); Actuators, sensors and common loops; Dynamic performance evaluation; and some advanced control techniques (quantitative robust control, gain-scheduling and adaptive control) to achieve a good performance over a range of operating conditions.

Professor: Mario Garcia-Sanz

Helicopter Control Competition

Control Engineering, Advanced Control & Energy Systems    

Once more our lab helicopter controller design competition for our undergraduate and graduate students has been very successful (see pictures on the right).

The system to be controlled is a bench-top helicopter with two propellers. The objectives for the controller are (1) to achieve the best reference tracking and (2) disturbance rejection behavior with (3) a minimum fuel consumption. A cost function J that measures and combines the experimental tracking error and the control effort clasifies the experiments in the competition.

The design faced significant real-world control problems, such as plant model uncertainty, performance specifications trade-offs, actuator constraints, nonlinear dynamics, sensor noise and real implementation among others.

Our students developed, implemented and tested in the lab the control strategies. After the competition we had a very interesting analysis and discussion of the different approaches. EECS-304, EECS-305.

High school students develop wind turbine model at CESC

Wind turbine Lego model with sensors, actuators and control system

A new successful wind turbine project was developed at CESC this summer. This time the project was carried out by the high school students Ojas Sathe and Ankur Amesh (see pictures on the right), with the supervision of the design lab technician George Daher and Professors Sree Sreenath and Mario Garcia-Sanz.

The wind turbine model was composed of a multi-blade rotor, a DC electrical generator, a tower structure, a mobile foundation and a variable electrical grid. The system also included sensors, actuators and a real-time control system. It was built using Lego Mindstorm.

An additional motor allowed the turbine to tilt up and down, changing the rotor speed according to some control specifications and objectives. The blades position, rotor speed, voltages, currents and generated power were measured using a National Instruments data acquisition board and were analyzed through Labview and Matlab. The experimental results validated the design hypothesis.


Great Lakes Offshore Wind: Utility and Regional Integration Study

Supported by: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Team:      - Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) -leader-

- FirstEnergy (FE)

- General Electric (GE)

- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

- PJM Interconnection

Description: The project undertakes a case study to evaluate the transmission system impacts of integrating 1000MW of offshore wind energy into the FirstEnergy service area in the Great Lakes region. The project's goal is to provide regional stakeholders with the knowledgebase and capabilities to develop state-of-the-art, long-range strategies for mitigating the impact of offshore wind interconnection, as well as realizing the economic cost reductions and benefits that can be achieved.


Mr. Milton Maltz, President of the Maltz Family Foundation, and Prof. Mario Garcia-Sanz, the inaugural Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor in Energy Innovation, at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation

Chair ceremony

The Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation, the university's first endowed professorship in energy, was established in 2008 with a $2 million grant from the Maltz Family Foundation. Prof. Mario Garcia-Sanz was named the inaugural Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor in Energy Innovation.

"The appointment of this chair demonstrates Case Western Reserve's commitment to energy innovation," said Milton Maltz, president of the Maltz Family Foundation. "Energy conservation and innovation must be a collaborative effort, and we are thrilled that the Foundation's grant has allowed the university to bring world-class talent to Cleveland". The professorship serves as the cornerstone for the university's energy program and will provide leadership for the program's academic and research nucleus.

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