Call for participation

The South African Council for Automation and Control will be presenting a one-day interactive workshop on model-based observer design on 21 October 2016. The aim is to determine which states and parameters of an observer model can be estimated with reasonable accuracy from available measurements. This can be established using observability theory. Once observability is established, development of Kalman filters will be discussed to estimate the unknown states and parameters. The grinding mill from the mineral processing industry will be used as the main illustrative example. At the end of the event, attendees will be equipped to assess the observability of the states and parameters of a process model, and apply an Extended Kalman Filter to estimate the unknowns.

The workshop will be presented by Mr Derik le Roux, a PhD student at the University of Pretoria.

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More information on this event

Who should attend

The workshop is intended for practitioners and academics involved with model-based design and implementation of observers. The workshop will have a strong theoretical component, but with adequate examples and problems.


A background knowledge of linear system theory, state-space models and linear algebra is recommended. The workshop will be held in a computer laboratory. Personal computers will not be necessary. Application examples will be presented in Matlab on the computers. The Matlab code will be made available.


08:00 – 8:30 Registration (Tea/Coffee)

Session 1: Background

  • Discretisation of Non-linear and Linear systems
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Lie Derivatives

Session 2: Observability Theory (1)

  • Non-linear Observability
  • Examples

10:00 –10:15 Tea Break

Session 3: Observability Theory (2)

  • Linear Observability
  • Kalman Decomposition
  • Examples

12:15–13:00 Lunch Break

Session 3: Kalman Filters (1)

  • Extended Kalman Filter
  • Unscented Kalman Filter

14:30 – 14:45 Tea Break

Session 4: Kalman Filters (2)

  • Examples

16:30 Closing and Evaluation

Workshop fees

SACAC Members: R 1900
Non-members: R 2400
Students: R 900

Invoices will be sent to delegates. Fees include workshop material, tea/coffee and lunch.


University of Pretoria
Engineering Building 3 Computer Laboratory on Floor 7 across Bridge 7A.


  • Drive to entrance in University Road

  • Enter parking garage. (Two left most lanes at entrance.)

  • Park on either floor 3, 2, or 1

  • Take escalator to floor 5

  • Walk along hallway to foyer. The bridges to the office section of the building should be visible in the foyer

  • Go to floor 7 and bridge 7A

  • Laboratory is through the glass doors to the right

Enquiries & contact information

Keri Caitlin Garland
Tel. (011) 021-8196
Mobile: (086) 570-7909