IFAC Foundation Kwon Award Public Lecture (Citizens' Forum)



IFAC Foundation Kwon Award Public Lecture (Citizens' Forum)

Speakers: Manuel Berenguel and Juan Diego Gil (University of Almería, Spain)

Title of the lecture:  Advances in control and optimization techniques in sustainable water desalination using solar energy and application examples in the water-energy-food nexus

Date and time: Wednesday, 12 July 2023, 18:15-19:00
Room: Main Hall (1st Floor, Conference Center, Pacifico Yokohama) and online hybrid


This is a public lecture, and all are welcome to attend. All attendees of the IFAC WC can join with their name tags of the congress. For others, please make preregistration through the following registration form.
Once you have completed the registration, you will receive a zoom link and other information to your registered email address. If you have not received it, please contact <e-mail address closed>.




This lecture will present recent developments in control and optimization techniques to improve the performance of water distillation systems coupled to low-temperature solar thermal energy systems. Control strategies are aimed at improving both dispatchability of the facilities and performance indexes related to the amount of distillate produced and the thermal energy consumption. Automatic control is essential for the technological development and commercialisation of this technology. The work has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Solar Energy Research Centre (CIESOL), belonging to the University of Almeria (UAL) and the Almeria Solar Platform (PSA), and from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil). Examples of application in the PSA facilities and in the Agroconnect infrastructure located close to the UAL will be presented.

Kwon Award

The IFAC Foundation aims at fostering the scientific and social goals of the International Federation of Automatic Control, IFAC. The Foundation promotes the awareness and dissemination of the social relevance of automatic control. The IFAC Foundation Kwon Award recognizes at each IFAC World Congress the contributions of individuals or a group of individuals who through their work have shown how automatic control science and technology can contribute to significant advances in the broad area of "sustainable development". This includes work on the topics of renewable and clean energy, management of energy, water and resources in general, control in agriculture, pollution control, climate control or similar. We are pleased to announce the winner as follows:


2023 Kwon Award Winner

J.D. Gil, L. Roca, G. Zaragoza, J.E. Normey-Rico, M. Berenguel (ES).

Hierarchical control for the start-up procedure of solar thermal fields with direct storage. Control Engineering Practice 95, 104254, 2020. 

The winning authors will present their work as part of the Citizens' Forum at the IFAC 2023 World Congress.

More about the Kwon Award:



Biography of Speakers

Manuel Berenguel received the M.S. degree in industrial engineering (1992) and Ph.D. degree (1996, Hons.) from the University of Seville, Spain. He is currently a Full Professor of automatic control and systems engineering with the University of Almería (UAL), Spain. He is responsible for the Automatic Control, Robotics and Mechatronics research group at the UAL (arm.ual.es). Since May 2019 he is Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Brescia (Italy). His research interests include predictive and hierarchical control, with applications to solar energy systems, agriculture, and biotechnology. Another important line of research is on education in engineering, through the development of new paradigms based on interactivity and the development of interactive tools, virtual and remote laboratories and electronic books.



Juan D. Gil received the B.S. degree in industrial electronic engineering, the M.S. degree in advanced and industrial computing, the M.S. degree in industrial engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Almería, Spain, in 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020, respectively, and the Laurea degree in ingegneria dell’automazione industriale from the University of Brescia, Italy, in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor of automatic control and systems engineering with the University of Almería. His research activity is mainly focused on the implementation of hierarchical and predictive control strategies for solar-powered membrane desalination systems and solar thermal systems.