dr.ir. S (Simon) van Mourik

dr.ir. S (Simon) van Mourik

Assistant professor

Our goal for the 21st century is to achieve food production with optimal use of resources, minimal environmental impact, sufficient production capacity, and maximally efficient human labour input. There is continuous development in precise and efficient management, and automated control through precision technology and machine intelligence. However, food production systems are particularly challenging due their extreme complexity, fragility, variability, and limitations in observability and controllability.

The research in my group focuses on observation, prediction, and control methods to understand how to optimize performance by improving machine intelligence and precision technology. The key is to combine knowledge from biophysical models with information available from sensing technology, and capability of actuation technology.
Our methodology includes biophysical modelling, feedback control, model predictive control, state and parameter identification, optimization, and uncertainty analysis.

Our key domain expertise is on protected horticulture (greenhouse, vertical farm), and animal systems.

Figure: Decision support for operational management. Two feedback loops are shown: a low-level management loop (with a low-level controller) with input consisting of the set-points provided by users, and a high-level management loop, in which users make decisions on settings and set-points based on sensor information, forecasts and decision support (observation, prediction or control advice).