The 2015 European PhD Award on Control for Complex and Heterogeneous Systems awarded to Dr Thomas Prescott (LSI 2010)

Dr Thomas Prescott (LSI DTC 2010) has been awarded the 2015 European PhD Award for his DPhil thesis by the European Embedded Control Institute (EECI). The award was presented on 30th June at the 2016 European Control Conference in Aalborg, Denmark.

The title of Dr Prescott’s DPhil thesis is “Large-Scale Layered Systems and Synthetic Biology: Model Reduction and Decomposition”. The thesis develops a novel framework to model, analyse and design multi-layered networks that arise in biology. The framework decomposes networks in layers rather than in modules, offering a different perspective about the properties of networks in general and biochemical networks in particular. It also opens up several research directions in network science, large-scale optimization decomposition or how multi-agent systems with multi-scale dynamics can be treated, e.g. cyber-physical systems where the control layer and the physical layer interact to give complex behaviours. The work was supervised by Professor Antonis Papachristodoulou in the Control group at the Department of Engineering Science, and was funded by EPSRC through a scholarship from the LSI DTC. Since January 2015, Dr Prescott has been a PDRA working on Synthetic Biology with Prof Papachristodoulou.

The EECI PhD Award is given annually in recognition of the best PhD thesis in Europe in the field of Control for Complex and Heterogeneous Systems. The aim is “to encourage high-quality work among young researchers in their first research period”. As winner, Dr Prescott will share a cash award of €1000, and receive a certificate and trophy.