The South African Council for Automation and Control will be presenting a one-day interactive course on model-based observer design. This will be a hybrid event that can be attended in person or online.

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 unknown variables.

More information on this event


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. A laptop is necessary to complete the exercises in Matlab.
Access to Matlab will be provided by Opti-Num.


This will be a hybrid event. The event will be held at Lynnwood Conference Centre in Pretoria where all the necessary Covid19 regulations will be followed. The event
can be attended virtually. However, physical attendance is recommended.


08:00 – 08:30 Registration
08:30 – 09:00 Session 1: Background
09:00 – 10:00 Session 2: Observability (1)
– Linear Observability
– Eigenvalues and vectors
10:00 – 10:15 Tea Break
10:15 – 12:15 Session 3: Observability (2)
– Non-Linear Observability
– Luenberger Observer
12:15 – 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:30 Session 3: Kalman Filters (1)
– Kalman Filter
– Extended Kalman Filter
14:30 – 14:50 Tea Break
14:50 – 16:30 Session 4: Kalman Filters (2)
– Examples
16:30 Closing


Dr Derik le Roux is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria (UP). He received his BEng (2009), MEng (2013) and PhD (2017) degrees from UP. His research focus is to resolve impediments to the implementation of advanced process control for the
processing industry. Specifically, he focusses on realistic approaches to system analysis and synthesis for complex systems, the design of accurate control-relevant process models for model-based control and observer design, and the development of advanced control strategies. He served as treasurer of the SACAC since 2015, as a member of the Publication Board of IFAC since 2017, and as a member of the Early Career Advisory Board for Control Engineering Practice since 2021.


You can register and pay on the SACAC website.

Otherwise, please email the followings details to Ms Keri Garland at
SACAC Member: Yes/No
Contact Number

An invoice will be sent via email.


Keri Garland 011 021 8196
Derik le Roux 012 420 2201


Physical Attendance

  • SACAC Members: R 2’000
  • Non-members: R 3’000
  • Students: R 1’000

Virtual Attendance

  • SACAC Members: R 1’400
  • Non-members: R 2’100
  • Students: R 700

Fees include workshop material, tea/coffee and lunch


Lynnwood Conference Centre
Address: 435 Flinders Lane, Lynnwood, Pretoria, 0081
Contact: +27 12 361 1067
Link to location on Google Maps
– If you are traveling North on the N1, take the Lynnwood Road off-ramp in Pretoria.
– Turn left (West) on Lynnwood Road.
– At the first Turn right into Flinders Lane.
– The venue entrance is in Flinders Lane.


Download the SACAC Flyer here: SACAC Observer Design Oct 2021

© 2016 South African Council for Automatic Control