In December Viktor Leek successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled "Optimal Control for Energy Efficient Vehicle Propulsion: Methodology, Application, and Tools".

Transport is an integral part of society and one of its basic prerequisites. Society is now facing a transition as it must go from dependence on fossil fuels to sustainability. Despite large investments by the vehicle manufacturers, the transition needs to be accelerated for the two-degree (Celsius) target to be reached, which requires new innovations and solutions.

The development of computers has led to efficient software being available today to numerically solve optimization problems, which enables mathematical modeling and optimization as a systematic problem-solving method. However, taking advantage of the numerical solvers requires specialized knowledge and is a barrier for many engineers. To overcome this and make the problem-solving methodology available, tools that bridge the gap between the engineer’s problem and the numerical solvers are needed.

The dissertation covers the complete chain from problem to solution, with methods and tools that support the problem-solving process. Software for optimal control is investigated with the aim of making the numerical solvers available to the user. The result is a design based on the introduction of a domain-specific programming language. It makes it possible to automatically reformulate the user’s problem into a form that the computer can handle, while making the program more user-friendly by reducing the difference between the problem domain and the computer’s domain. The result has been developed together with the software Yop, which is used by engineers and researchers nationally and internationally to solve control engineering problems, in academia as well as in industry.

The software is used to investigate whether an electrified powertrain can be made more efficient by equipping the diesel engine with a larger and more efficient turbocharger, at the expense of increased inertia. The result indicates a gain and that the increased inertia can be compensated by the electric motor. As part of the work, a diesel engine model has been developed, where it has been investigated how relevant effects for turbocharger selection can be included in a way suitable for optimal control. The result is a validated and dynamic diesel engine model that has been made available to the research community through publications and open-source code.

Opponent: Professor Giorgio Rizzoni, The Ohio State University, USA
Supervisor: Professor Lars Eriksson, LiU.
Time: 20221209, 10:15
Place: TEMCAS, T-building, Campus Valla.