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Curtin researcher wins WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award

Media release

Curtin University systems and control engineer, Dr Lorenzo Ntogramatzidis, has won a WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his outstanding research in applied mathematics.

The recipient of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Post-doctoral Fellowship, Dr Ntogramatzidis has used his mathematics expertise to gain a better understanding of control systems – devices responsible for managing, commanding, directing or regulating the behaviour of other devices or systems.

Dr Ntogramatzidis said he was thrilled to win the award for his research, which focuses on the fundamental role control systems play in our everyday lives.

“We are literally surrounded by control systems – household washing machines, heating and cooling systems, aircrafts and satellites – to name just a few examples of systems where control plays a fundamental role,” Dr Ntogramatzidis said.

“However, as users of these devices, we usually take control for granted. When we fly, we don’t realise that every technological aspect of an aircraft is part of a control system.

“My goal is to look into the design of controllers, which can influence the behaviour of mechanical, electrical, fluid, chemical, environmental and biological systems, taking into account the presence of disturbances, to obtain a desired outcome.

“For example, in the design of an autopilot of an aircraft, the objective is to influence the movement of the various mechanical parts to reach and maintain a stable cruise trajectory, minimising the effect of wind and air pockets, which would be considered disturbances.

“Another example is the positioning of a CD read/write head. The design objective is to move the CD head along the spiral tracks where information is encoded, despite the presence of disturbances such as shocks due to driving along a bumpy road while listening to a portable CD player.”

Curtin’s Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Louis Caccetta, said Dr Ntogramatzidis had shown immense research potential in the six years since the completion of his PhD.

“His numerous scientific results, obtained during his PhD and postdoctoral appointments, have been published in the highest impact international journals in the control and systems theory field and presented at the major refereed conferences in the area,” Professor Caccetta said.

“Within just six years from the completion of his PhD, he has authored 25 journal articles and 36 peer reviewed conference papers.

“He has always shown to be extremely active in the communication of his research outcomes through oral presentations at international conferences, seminars and workshops.

“He is also the Associate Editor for the elite international journal, Systems & Control Letters. To be appointed as an Associate Editor for a premier international journal is a rare achievement for an early career researcher, and is testimony to the thorough and rigorous of his work.”

Dr Ntogramatzidis said he had always been aware of the importance of promoting the role of mathematics in the wider community.

“I am honoured to receive this award and I am committed to developing my outreach and communication capabilities further in the future,” he said.

Dr Ntogramatzidis has four papers in the journal Automatica, with one paper in the highest significant category of the journal’s publication categories. He also has two papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. These two journals are considered the most prestigious journals in the control area.

Dr Ntogramatzidis has established strong links with eminent international and Australian researchers during his employment at Curtin, including Melbourne University, and the Universities of Padua, Bologna and Siena in Italy.

He will also contribute lectures, seminars and tutorials towards Curtin’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics efforts to better inform the public of the role of mathematics in modern society.

Contacts :

Dr Lorenzo Ntogramatzidis, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 3141, Email:

Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mob: 0401 103 755, Email: