Sep 18, 2024
Sep 18, 2024

Data-Driven Control Methods for Energy and Manufacturing

Co-organized by SDSC and Empa, together with Bühler
09:00h — 18:00h
Empa, Dübendorf (Zürich)
In-Person Workshop



Controlling processes is a critical aspect of industrial systems, playing a pivotal role in maintaining process efficiency and safety and ensuring the quality of industrial products. Control methods are also used to optimize energy usage, for example, by controlling the operation of a building’s heating system and electric vehicle charging.Existing strategies range from simple feedback control loops to complex algorithms incorporating predictive models and artificial intelligence. During this one-day workshop, we will review the current state-of-the-art in data-driven control methods and discuss the existing challenges and opportunities related to their adoption in a production environment.


Target Audience

Experienced professionals and data scientists from Energy and Manufacturing who wish to acquire hands-on knowledge of data-driven control methods and their usage are invited to attend. The workshop will be in English.


By the end of the day, participants will:

  • Learn the main principles behind the existing data-driven control methods mostly used in an industrial context.
  • See how these methods work on real data collected by companies in manufacturing and energy domains.
  • Gain an overview of the challenges related to deploying these methods in production.

Workshop organizers

Eleni Pratsini and Georgios Mavromatidis (Empa), Matthias Graeber (Bühler), Roberto Castello (SDSC).


Instructors and speakers

Prof. Zoltan Nagy, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Director of the Intelligent Environments Laboratory

Dr. Matthias Graeber, Head of Data Science at Bühler AG

Dr. Felix Bunning, Co-Founder and CEO at viboo

Dr. Georgios Mavromatidis, Head of Urban Energy Systems Laboratory at Empa

Dr. Carl Remlinger, Senior Data Scientist at SDSC, EPFL

Mr. Victor Van Wymeersch, Data Scientist at SDSC, ETHZ

Mr. Giulio Romanelli, Data Scientist at SDSC, EPFL

Dr. Roberto Castello, Principal Data Scientist at SDSC, EPFL

Registration Details

Registration fee: 150 CHF per person.
(Limited free seats for Empa, Bühler and SDSC partners. Coffee breaks and lunch are included.)

Maximum number of participants: 50

Please pre-register for the workshop by writing an email to including your full name, company name, email address.

Note: Due to the limited number of seats, the participation will be confirmed by email a few weeks after the registration.


Welcome Coffee

Welcome and introduction:
 Empa, Bühler, SDSC

Intro to Model Predictive Controls:
Victor Van Wymeersch (SDSC)

Intro to Reinforcement Learning: 
Giulio Romanelli (SDSC)

Coffee Break

AI process control at Bühler. From decision support to autonomous operation: 
Matthias Gräber (Bühler)

Presentation + Demo (TBD)

Lunch break

Keynote (Zoom): “Reinforcement learning for building energy management”: 
Prof. Zoltan Nagy (University of Texas)

Scalability of Building Energy Management Solutions: 
Carl Remlinger (SDSC)

Lightning Talk (TBD) + Demo: 
Felix Bünning (viboo)

Breakout rooms in preparation of the round table: 
All participants in groups

Coffee Break

Round table: “Real-world implementation of data-driven control methods: obstacles and opportunities.”
Matthias Gräber, Felix Bünning, Georgios Mavromatidis, Zoltan Nagy, Roberto Castello (moderator)

Closing remarks: 
Empa, Bühler, SDSC


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