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A Year in Review:
Message from the FrontSeat Project Coordinator

by Prof. Miroslav Fikar (STUBA)

As we wrap up the inaugural year of the FrontSeat project, it's heartening to see our vision coming to life. Our journey has been marked by STUBA's unwavering commitment to excellence in automatic control. Our partnerships with UNIPI and RUB have flourished, leading to collaborative activities at the STU Project Center and joint endeavors under the Horizon Europe program, several exchanges of doctoral students and researchers, joint international conference and journal papers, discussions on STUBA research school, and preparation of a new doctoral study program.


Our industrial council has been buzzing with activity, paving the way for deeper ties with our industrial allies. Dive into this newsletter to discover more about our milestones and upcoming ventures. I believe your future collaboration with FrontSeat will become a part of the next issue of our newsletter.



Miroslav Fikar

FrontSeat Advisory Board

Introducing the Advisory Board of FrontSeat:

FrontSeat’s newly-formed Advisory Board, a blend of esteemed scientists and project managers, is set to play a pivotal role in the future of our project. Their expertise will guide us in identifying promising research avenues and impactful dissemination strategies. With a keen eye on both industrial and technological landscapes, they'll offer invaluable insights throughout the project's journey. We're grateful for their commitment as “active observers”, and we anticipate three enriching meetings with them over the project's lifespan.

Our recent gathering in Yokohama at the IFAC World Congress was not just any meeting. Alongside our General Assembly, we had the privilege of engaging with our Advisory Board. Together, we delved into discussions about potential EU projects, assessed our recent milestones, and brainstormed about upcoming exchanges and pedagogical collaborations. And yes, the wheels are already in motion for our next rendezvous in Pisa!

Meet the Minds Behind the Mission:

General Assembly:

  • Prof. Miroslav Fikar, STUBA
  • Prof. Martin Mönnigmann, RUB
  • Prof. Gabriele Pannocchia, UNIPI

Advisory Board:

  • Prof. Sorin Olaru, Paris Saclay, France
  • Prof. Morten Hovd, NTNU Trondheim, Norway
  • Dr. Viera Pechancová, UTB Zlín, Czech Republic

FrontSeat Events

Prof. Fikar at the workshop “Advanced Materials & Processes and Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability”

Professor Miroslav Fikar took part in a workshop entitled “Advanced Materials & Processes and Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability” held in Regensburg, Germany, March 22-23, 2023.

The workshop was aimed at initiating consortia and applications in the European funding program “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions: Doctoral Networks”. It was organized by the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR), the Bavarian Academic Center for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (BAYHOST), and the Bavarian-Czech Academic Agency (BTHA). The event featured informative sessions, Q&A sessions, pitch talks from workshop attendees, and best-practice examples of successful ongoing or completed projects.

During the workshop, Professor Fikar presented a pitch talk on the proposal “Data-Based Process Control and Estimation”, exploring potential future collaborations arising from the FrontSeat project, both for MSCA and RIA (Research and Innovation Action) calls. He also delivered an invited lecture titled “How to Write a Successful MSCA IF Proposal,” sharing insights from his completed MSCA individual fellowship project, GuEst.

Read more

IEEE International Conference on Process Control 2023

FrontSeat Academia Meets Industry

The 24th International Conference on Process Control, which was coordinated and attended by FrontSeat partners, took place in June 2023. This biannual event, sponsored by IEEE and IFAC, convened experts from academia and industry, providing an ideal platform to enhance STUBA's visibility and foster collaboration with potential industrial partners for future Horizon Europe projects. It assembled experts in theoretical aspects and professionals in control systems, with Professor Pannocchia from UNIPI delivering a plenary lecture.

STUBA & UNIPI Collaborate for Knowledge Exchange

FrontSeat Academia Meets Industry

In a continued spirit of collaboration, STUBA had the privilege of engaging in a series of enriching seminars and workshops, organized in tandem with our esteemed colleagues from the University of Pisa (UNIPI).

Highlights from the Sessions:

  • June 20: Martina Calamusa from UNIPI led a seminar on the European Innovation Council Pathfinder Programme, emphasizing its role in fostering innovative technological ideas. The session also provided valuable tips on proposal crafting and managing the rebuttal phase.
  • June 21: A day of hands-on learning! Francesca Ceron from UNIPI spearheaded two workshops, focusing on the non-scientific sections of Horizon Europe proposals and the intricacies of budget setting across various programs.

These sessions not only equipped our team with practical insights but also fostered a deeper understanding of key topics like Open Science, Gender in Science, and more.

RUB Research School visits STUBA for initiating new PhD programme

FrontSeat Academia Meets Industry

Organizers of the RUB Research School visited STUBA to shed light on their robust support system for PhD students. This insightful exchange also delved into the potential of introducing similar measures at STUBA.

Highlights from the Sessions:

  • June 28: Dr. Christiane Wüllner and Dr. Jörn Benzinger from RUB Research School engaged with STUBA's leadership, followed by discussions on the diverse offerings of RUB for PhD aspirants. The day culminated with insights into funding opportunities available for STUBA's budding researchers.
  • June 29: The focus shifted to the potential of a graduate school at STUBA and the pivotal role of ethics in research.

FrontSeat's Collaborative Endeavors at the IFAC World Congress

We are thrilled to share highlights from our recent General Assembly meeting held at the prestigious IFAC World Congress in Yokohama, Japan, on July 9-14, 2023.

The IFAC World Congress, held every three years, is the flagship conference of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), the global organization for control professionals. As the premier IFAC event, it gave the FrontSeat team a chance to stay updated on industry advancements and showcase FrontSeat as a potential leader in future control consortia. It also allowed us to showcase our new visual identity.

IFAC World Congress in Yokohama, Japan

IFAC World Congress Highlights:

  • We were happy to present and share the results of our scientific research to a worldwide audience. The members of the FrontSeat consortium presented 10 research papers.

  • We are proud that the members of the project FrontSeat consortium were also the Chairs and Co-Chairs of various sessions.

  • We are thrilled to announce that Professor Miroslav Fikar and Associate Professor Martin Klaučo from STUBA have successfully applied to organize and host the IFAC Symposium on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems (DYCOPS) 2025 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Chairs and Co-Chairs of the sessions:

  • Prof. Martin Mönnigmann (RUB) was the Chair of the open invited session: Model Reduction for Modeling, Analysis and Control – Methods and Applications; and he was also the Co-Chair of the regular session: Predictive Control II.
  • Prof. Gabriele Pannocchia (UNIPI) was the Co-Chair of the regular session: Model Predictive and Optimization-Based Control I.
  • Dr. Peter Bakaráč (STUBA) was the Chair of the regular session: Control Education Using Laboratory Equipment.
Read more about our visit to the IFAC World Congress

FrontSeat Summer School on Embedded Optimal Control

FrontSeat Academia Meets Industry

The FrontSeat Summer School on Embedded Optimal Control was held in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, from September 11-15, 2023. The course was designed to provide young scientists with a solid theoretical foundation and practical skills in advanced methods and tools for embedded optimal control. Approximately twenty Ph.D. students and young researchers from various European regions attended the event.

The FrontSeat Summer School covered state-of-the-art approaches to solving optimal control problems, including real-time model predictive control design and data-driven alternatives using machine learning, with a specific emphasis on their applicability to embedded computing hardware. Each lecture was accompanied by hands-on computer exercises.

The second part of the course introduced participants to a range of microcontroller-based pocket laboratories that integrated various control experiments. This interactive experience enabled participants to tackle self-selected application problems, applying the knowledge shared by our expert presenters. The course concluded with a lecture focused on enhancing presentation skills, ensuring that participants could effectively communicate their findings and ideas in their scientific work.


Academia meets industry is a series designed to kindle meaningful conversations between the academic realm and industry stalwarts. Our vision? To ensure that the industry's pressing needs and evolving challenges shape the academic research trajectory.

A shout-out to our collaborative industrial partners:

  • Garrett Motion Slovakia, s.r.o. - Contact: Ing. Tomáš Polóni, PhD.
  • IQLOGY s.r.o. - Contact: Ing. Daniel Zverko
  • Photoneo - Contact: Ing. Peter Beňo, PhD.
  • Prosystemy s.r.o. - Contact: Ing. Hynek Procházka, PhD.
  • SCHUNK Intec s.r.o. - Contact: Ing. František Jantoška
  • Slovnaft a.s. - Contact: Ing. Karol Ľubušký
  • SmartBase - Contact: Ing. Ondrej Kolimár
  • SOVA Digital a.s. - Contact: Ing. Martin Morháč
  • VUEZ a.s. - Contact: Ing. Zuzana Kovaríková
  • ŽP VVC s.r.o. - Contact: Ing. Pavol Buček, PhD.

Academia Meets Industry Seminar #2
June 15-16, 2023

The FrontSeat Industry Council for Cybernetics reconvened for its second “Academia Meets Industry” seminar at the picturesque Wellness Hotel Patince, located in the southernmost part of Slovakia. This gathering, while less formal than its predecessor, was no less impactful.

FrontSeat Academia Meets Industry

The afternoon session revisited discussions from the initial February meeting. Representatives from five faculties of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, including Prof. Fikar, Prof. Vrábel,
Prof. Rosinová, Prof. Duchoň, and Dr. Juhás, showcased their institutes' endeavors, research activities, and notable industry collaborations. Engaging dialogues with industrial partners from seven esteemed companies ensued, punctuated by a presentation from Ing. Zuzana Kovaríková of VÚEZ, a.s.

The evening was enriched with wine-tasting, fostering deeper connections and discussions that spilled over to the next day. The council is now gearing up for its next meeting this fall at STUBA, where industry partners will take center stage.

Visits and cooperation

RUB Visited STU in Bratislava for an Audit

Professor Fikar Visit at Regensburg, Germany

From August 21 to August 24, Prof. Martin Mönnigmann (RUB Bochum) and David Müller (RUB Bochum) spent a week with the partners of the FrontSeat project at STU in Bratislava (STUBA). The visit was carried out within the Horizon Europe Project FrontSeat.

The purpose of the visit was to assess the curent state of research and educational initiatives within the Department of Information Engineering and Process Control at FCHPT STU. The main goal was to identify potenial for optimization in research and teaching practices that would ensure the long-term sucess of STU. Additionally, the visit included a sharing of teaching resources for upcoming collaborative courses focused on optimal and predictive control.

Researchers from STU at the University of Pisa

Professor Fikar Visit at Regensburg, Germany

On March 20-24, 2023, Rastislav Fáber and Radoslav Paulen from STU participated in an exchange stay at the Faculty of Chemical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Pisa.

The visit aimed to strengthen research collaboration between STU and UNIPI. Rastislav Fáber, a doctoral student at the Institute of Information Engineering, Automation, and Mathematics at STU, gave a lecture on “Machine Learning-Based Classification of Industrial Datasets.” Radoslav Paulen, associate professor at the Institute of Information Engineering, Automation, and Mathematics at STU, gave two lectures during the visit: a scientific lecture on “Optimal Control of Batch Membrane Processes" and a pedagogical lecture for the master students on “Introduction to Optimization”.

Upcoming Events

14th IFAC Symposium on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems, including Biosystems (DYCOPS) 2025 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Second Academia Meets Industry

Date: June 24-27, 2025

Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

Organized by: STUBA

We're happy to announce that Prof. Miroslav Fikar and Assoc. Prof. Martin Klaučo secured the opportunity to host the 14th IFAC Symposium on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems, including Biosystems (DYCOPS) in Bratislava, Slovakia, for the year 2025, overcoming competition from Spain (Barcelona) and the Republic of South Africa (Stellenbosch).

Stay tuned for more info!

FrontSeat publications are accessible to everyone.

You can access all of our research resources and scientific publications on Zenodo.


Contact us:

Project Coordinator:
Prof. Miroslav Fikar

Tel.: +421 918 674 354


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