My name is Gergely Takács and and I am a university professor and researcher specializing in control engineering and mechatronics at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia. I am fascinated by technology and fond of good ideas; thus the previous exposure to both of these led me to a continuing career in research. I also appreciate elegant solutions and creating things that have never existed before, you could say I am a "maker" by nature and profession.
This website has been created to inform anyone who is interested about my research, publications, writing and professional interests. If you are interested in a formal CV, you may download it as a PDF from the top of this page.
I currently work as a full professor at the Institute of Automation, Measurement and Applied Informatics (IAMAI), of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME), Slovak University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava.
I have received my bachelor's (2004) and master's degrees (2006) from this university in the field of mechatronics, later pursued my doctoral studies in the same engineering discipline in which I have received my PhD in 2009. I joined the ranks of this institute after defending my dissertation thesis and have been working in academia since then. I have submitted and defended my habilitation thesis in 2015, and became an associate professor (docent) of mechatronics. After putting forward my research and teaching materials for the complex inauguration process, in 2020 I have been named as a full professor by the president of the Slovak Republic - a honor awarded regardless of employment for life.
The breadth of my research interests mainly encompasses the general discipline of mechatronics, where I apply advanced control engineering concepts to low-level miniature computers deeply integrated into the logical and functional structure of modern machines. This type of professional orientation requires carefully balanced knowledge from the fields of control systems theory, electronics, embedded systems, programming and others. I have been trained as a mechanical engineer thus, although not at the center of attention at the moment, I can handle multiphysics FEM simulations, CAD and other classical technical topics.
My work recently is focused on the application of notoriously memory and computationally intensive methods of optimal control and state estimation to low cost microcontroller units (MCU) having limited hardware capabilities. I am involved in researching the practical boundaries of applying advanced decision making algorithms to minimal hardware, that could help the proliferation of state-of-the-art control engineering to miniaturized devices outside of industrial use. I am also interested in active vibration control, estimation and monitoring of vibration phenomena.
You can read more about my research at the relevant section of this website and check out my publications as well.
I am responsible for leading several undergraduate and graduate level university courses at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. My lectures include "Theory of automatic control III", which covers the method of model predictive control for final year graduate students. I am also teaching the basics of "Microcontroller technology" to undergraduates and a more advanced subject on the same topic of embedded systems design to first year graduate students.
It is essential to provide university level textbooks for students in their native language, therefore I am the co-author of three works on various control engineering topics. I have been the lead author of the textbook titled "Basics of Model Predictive Control" that is the first of its kind in our country and language. I have authored two other university textbooks titled "System Identification" and "Robotics". All of these works are recommended to graduate students.
Besides the formal courses at STU in Bratislava I am the supervisor of Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral dissertation theses. Several thesis works have been connected to my ongoing research activities, and because of this, numerous students have been involved in writing and publishing their very first scientific papers.
I strongly believe in project-based education and the power of self-study. Students in some of my courses simulate start-up companies where in addition to developing their product prototypes, they are also encouraged to think about issues of production, distribution, marketing and management. In other courses students are involved in complex efforts to create open-source hardware and software that can be potentially used at other institutions of higher learning.
I have had the honor to receive the Arany János Young Researcher Prize from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, MTA) in 2014. This award is meant to recognize early-career researchers demonstrating noteworthy achievements in their fields. My conference papers and presentations have also received awards, for example at the COMSOL Conference in Bangalore, India (2010); at the Forum Acusticum in Krakow, Poland (2014) by the European Acoustics Association (EAA) and at the IFAC World Congress in Berlin, Germany (2020). Furthermore, I have been awarded a travel prize from the Slovak Literary Fund to present my work at a conference in Beijing, China in 2014.
The book "Model Predictive Vibration Control" has been among the top 25% in sales at Springer in the year of its publication, while our article in the Journal of Vibration and Control was the most read article in the month of its release. The graduate-level engineering textbook "Basics of Predictive Control" has been nominated for the prize of the Literary Fund. As a university student I have received a prize for the best master's thesis (2006), the Rector's (2006) and Dean's award for my academic achievements.
I have had the honor to stay at the Control Group of the Engineering Department of the University of Oxford on three separate occasions as a visiting researcher. My professional interests have taken me to present papers at international conferences and congresses in Oxford, Cambridge, New York, Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Novosibirsk and many more places around the world. Before embarking on my university studies I have also spent a year in the United States as a high school student.
Thanks to the extended time spent in the United States and United Kingdom I have been immersed in English from early on, and have been writing my articles, theses and some of my books in this language. In addition to that, I speak Slovak fluently and use it in everyday spoken and written communication, moreover, I can communicate in Czech due to the proximity of the two languages. My native language is Hungarian, which I can practice with my family and friends.
I enjoy a loving relationship with my dear wife Janka who is an English teacher and aspiring contemporary poet. Our toddler daughter Blanka Franciska (2018) is the source of much joy and delight in our life, along with the string of broken remote controls and ruined sleep / furniture. With my son Soma Konrád (2020) joining the one-person team of mischievous rascals, there is no wall free of crayons.
We live close to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, in a small town called Dunajská Streda. I like travel, books, sunshine and spicy food. I fervidly hate commuting, trains, people on trains, train conductors, Thomas the Tank Engine or anything reminding me of commuting. My passion—besides engineering—is street photography, I've been voted the okayest artist of the year twice. Regarding of personal well being, I always listen to my body; although it mostly says I should eat pizza and lay down on the couch for a while.