Automatic Control develops methods and tools for the modelling of dynamic systems (physical, chemical, biological, economic, social) for their analysis and for their control, in order to perform tasks and/or optimize criteria. Automatic Control makes use of mathematics, signal processing, computer science and knowledge on various fields of application. This discipline is essential for analysis, design and simulation, optimize, validate and verify technological and socio-technological systems that are to become more and more interconnected in the next decade. It currently focuses, among other topics, on the treatment of massive volume of data and information, and on the new forms of synergy between humans and technological systems. In addition, these complex systems will have to meet more and more requirements on performance, reliability and energy efficiency.
The Industrial Engineering community addresses issues related to products, processes, organizations and networks of organizations, at all stages of their life cycle: design, management, improvement and end of life (including the preservation of knowledge in the very long term). In that purpose, we consider models, approaches and tools from automatic control (modelling, system management), IT (artificial intelligence, computer engineering, information technology, etc.), mechanical engineering (product design and manufacturing processes) or operational research (planning, scheduling, optimisation). Being of multidisciplinary nature, this domain is often addressed in collaboration with other research communities, such as economics and management sciences and the humanities (business sociology, law, etc.).
The aim of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) is to promote the Science and Technology of systems theory and automatic control in diverse systems – from engineering, biological, social to economic systems, while maintaining the highest technical level of scientific excellence.
Automatic Control has a long tradition in France. IFAC was founded in Paris in 1957, and since then 115 IFAC events have been organized in France, including the 1972 IFAC World Congress in Paris, and the 2017 IFAC World Congress in Toulouse. Many French personalities have served IFAC in various positions, including two IFAC Presidents: Victor Broïda, from 1969 to 1972, and Janan Zaytoon, from 2014 to 2017.