William Heath

William Heath


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Personal profile


William Heath is Chair of Feedback and Control with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

His personal page is here.

He received a BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University in 1987. He received an MSc in Systems and Control and a PhD from the Control Systems Centre, UMIST, in 1989 and 1992 respectively. He continued at the Control Systems Centre until 1994, and was then with Lucas Advanced Engineering Centre until 1998. From 1998 to 2004 he was a Research Academic with CIDAC, University of Newcastle, Australia. He returned to the University of Manchester in 2004.


Research interests

My research is focused on feedback control theory and its applications. A recurrent theme has been to balance the simplicity and insight of classical control with the power and potential of digital control implementation to address nonlinear control problems. The focus is systems with actuator nonlinearities such as saturation, rate constraints, backlash and hysteresis.

I am interested in multiplier theory within the framework of absolute stability theory. Recent highlights include a tutorial paper on the Zames-Falb multipliers, a generalisation of the class of Zames-Falb multipliers useful for asymmetric saturation and the discovery of second-order counter-examples to the discrete-time Kalman conjecture. I apply these techniques to model predictive control and antiwindup.

Current application projects include nanopositioning, engine controls, process control and robotics.


My group


Will currently supervises four PhD students. He welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students in any of his stated areas of interest.

He has supervised the following PhD students to completion:
Dr Adrian Wills is Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, NSW Australia.
Dr Simon Dodds is Business Continuity Coordinator with Roche, Switzerland after a postdoc at the University of Nijmegen.
Dr Rafael Morales is a Lecturer at the University of Leicester, UK.
Dr Yiqun Zou is a Lecturer at the Institution of Artificial Intelligence, School of Information Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, China.
Dr Oskar Vivero with Perceptive Engineering.
Dr Ambrose Adegbege is Assistant Professor at the College of New Jersey, USA.
Dr Nur Syazreen Ahmad is Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Dr Maria del Carmen Rodriguez-Linan is with the Instituto Technologico de Ensenada, Mexico.
Dr Razak Alli-Oke is Lecturer at the Elizade University, Nigeria.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute


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