Prof. Colin Jones

Associate Professor

Colin Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Automatic Control Laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He was a Senior Researcher at the Automatic Control Lab at ETH Zurich until 2011 and obtained a PhD in 2005 from the University of Cambridge for his work on polyhedral computational methods for constrained control. Prior to that, he was at the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he took a BASc and MASc in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. Colin has worked in a variety of industrial roles, ranging from commercial building control to the development of custom optimization tools focusing on retail human resource scheduling. His current research interests are in the theory and computation of predictive control and optimization, and their application to green energy generation, distribution and management.


Research Area

We study the theory and practice of model predictive control applied to constrained systems, with an emphasis on problems arising from renewable power. We are particularly interested in the following topics:

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We focus on green energy systems that require advanced control theory and mechanisms in order to achieve their energy-optimal targets. Our current areas of research include:

  • Smart Building / Smart Grid Interactions

    Buildings are responsible for 40% of the planet's energy consumption both directly and indirectly. This makes them ideal targets both for economically positive energy efficiency programs and as beneficial actors on the future smart grid. We are studying optimal control methodologies that will both reduce the energy consumption of current and next-generation buildings, as well as enable them to react to grid conditions and offer positive stabilizing energy.

  • Kite power systems

    We develop control systems that enable and optimize the capture of energy from high-altitude winds utilizing tethered airfoils, or kites. Such winds are faster, and more regular than wind at altitudes accessible to existing turbines. 


ME C2 408 (Bâtiment ME)
Station 9
CH-1015 Lausanne