Rudolf Seethaler competed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1997 where he developed process control systems for metal cutting operations.

After his PhD, he joined BMW in Germany to manage the introduction of parametric surfacing technologies to the CAD systems at BMW. He then took on a lead roll in developing electromagnetic valve trains for internal combustion engines.  Thereafter, he managed a team responsible for the R&D of motion control applications for internal combustion engines.

In 2006 he joined the University of British Columbia, Canada.  In 2013/14 he spent a year at the Institute of Systems Theory and Automatic Control at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.  In 2019 he was invited to work for six months at the Precision Mechatronics Lab at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Current Research

  • Sensorless control of piezoelectric actuators
  • Electromagnetic valve actuation of internal combustion engines
  • High speed contouring control of CNC machine tools
  • Design of viscoelastic impact absorption technologies
  • Optimisation of carbon reinforced composite materials


  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Kinematics & Dynamics of Machinery
  • Mechatronics


Selected Patents

  • 62/820,937, provisional US Patent, awarded March 20, 2019, “Constant Airgap Solenoid”, R.Seethaler, B. Reinholz, G. McTaggart-Cowan, A. Singh.
  • 62/277,666, provisional US Patent: awarded Jan 12, 2016 “Sensorless control of electromagnetic Fuel injectors”, B. Reinholz, R. Seethaler, G. McTaggard-Cowan,
  • WO2012149649, published: 8. Nov. 2012, “Apparatus and Method for in situ Impedance Measurement of a Piezoelectric Actuator”, Inventors: Rudolf Seethaler, M. Islam
  • DE10252991/WO2004044392 Pivoting actuator for controlling the stroke of a gas exchange valve in the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine. Inventors: Rudolf Seethaler, Johannes Meyer, Axel Knaut, Karl-Heinz Gaubatz
  • DE102004054773/WO2006050789 Device for controlling the lift of a gas exchange valve in an internal Combustion engine, Inventors: Rudolf Seethaler, Christian Beierlieb.
  • DE102004054776, Granted: 16.03.2006, WO2006050796, published 18.05.2006. Method for calibration of a positional Sensor on a rotational actuator device for control of a gas-exchange valve in an internal combustion engine. Inventors: Rudolf Seethaler, Martin Lamprecht
  • US 5519602, granted: 1996 / EP 0712510, granted: 1997. Multiple Slave Control. Inventors: Ian Yellowley, Ramin Ardekani, Rudolf Seethaler.

Selected Papers

  • S.Z. Mansour, R. Seethaler, “Displacement and Force Self-Sensing Technique for Piezoelectric Actuators Using a Nonlinear Constitutive Model”, IEEE Industrial Electronics, accepted January 18, 2019
  • S.Z. Mansour, R. Seethaler, R., Yik R. Teo, Yuen K. Yong, Andrew J. Fleming, “Piezoelectric Bimorph Actuator with Integrated Strain Sensing Electrodes”. Accepted by IEEE Sensors, May 25, 2018, Sensors-21916-2018.
  • S.Z. Mansour, R. Seethaler, “Simultaneous Displacement and Force Estimation of Piezoelectric Stack Actuators Using Charge and Voltage Measurements”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 2619-2624, 2017.
  • S.Z. Mansour, R. Seethaler, “Feedrate Optimization for CNC Machine Tools Using Modeled and Measured Process Constraints”, ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. Vol 139, no 1, pp. 011012, 2016,
  • B. Reinholz, R. Seethaler “Experimental Validation of a Cogging Torque Assisted Valve Actuation System for Internal Combustion Engines”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 21, no, 1, pp. 453-459, 2015,
  • M. Rahaman, R. Seethaler, I.Yellowley, “A New Approach to Contour Error Control in High Speed Machining”, Int. J. Mach. Tools Manufact. vol.88, pp. 42-50, 2015
  • M. N. Islam, R. Seethaler, “Sensorless Position Control For Piezoelectric Actuators Using A Hybrid Position Observer”, IEEE/ASME Transaction of Mechatronics, vol. 99, pp.1-9, 2013.
  • H. Rokni, Rudolf J. Seethaler, Abbas S. Milani, Xian-Fang Li, “Analytical closed-form solutions for size-dependent static pull-in behavior in electrostatic micro-actuators via Fredholm integral method”, Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, vol. 190, pp. 32–43, Feb 2013
  • J. Zhao, R. Seethaler, “A fully flexible valve actuation system for internal combustion engines”, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 361-370, 2011.
  • M. Omidi, H. Rokni D.T, A.S. Milani, R.J. Seethaler, R. Arasteh, “Prediction of the mechanical characteristics of multi-walled carbon nanotube/epoxy composites using a new form of the rule of mixtures”, CARBON vol. 48, pp. 3218 –3228, 2010.
  • R. Seethaler, I. Yellowley, „Process control and dynamic process planning“, Int. J. Mach. Tools Manufact., vol. 40, pp. 239-257, 2000.