Back Row (left to right): Cary, Mindy, Spencer, Chris, Professor Alleyne.
Front Row: Pamela, Oyuna, Ashely. (Not pictured: Nate)


Position Open

We are currently looking for someone to join our lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Contact us if you are interested!


Ph.D. Students

Nathan Weir: Precision Motion Control
My research focuses on the development of precision motion control strategies for inertially stabilized pointing systems. Precision pointing systems are used to aim and stabilize sensitive instrument or sensor payloads for a variety of applications including photography, videography, astronomy, remote sensing, and communications. The jitter requirements for future systems grow more demanding as higher resolution sensors become available. Pointing systems that require a large field of regard and high precision are often limited in performance with conventional bearing technologies. This research seeks to advance the state of the art of precision stabilization systems through the design, analysis, and experimental evaluation of a novel hybrid flexure bearing concept to minimize the effects of nonlinear friction that typically degrade jitter performance in systems with conventional ball bearing joints.

Oyuna Angatkina: Soft Robotics
headshot The inherent ease of manufacturing has made origami structures more popular in robotic systems. However, the increasing complexity of these systems has made them difficult to model and control. Oyuna focuses on the design and control of an autonomous caterpillar crawling robot that can locomote in the 2D plane by using the two origami towers driven by the servomotors. A servomotor can expand and contract the origami towers, allowing the robot body to move forward.

Ashley Armstrong: Dynamic Modeling and Control of a Micro Robotic Deposition System
Dynamic modeling and control of a Micro Robotic Deposition System, with bone scaffold manufacturing as the target application. In this research, precision motion control techniques will be explored to achieve the high levels of precision and response time demanded by microscale applications. Movement coordination between two additive manufacturing extrusion heads will be used to print bone scaffolds with advanced architecture.

Pamela Tannous: Estimation and Control of Electro-Thermal Systems
Hierarchical control has been proven to guarantee successful management of the coupling between the fast transients and slow dynamics of multi-timescale dynamical systems. It is usually prohibitively expensive or even infeasible to measure every signal in the system. Therefore, a reliable estimation framework that provides accurate estimates is needed. My current research focuses on the design of a multi-level hierarchical estimation approach that can supply reliable estimates to hierarchical controllers for electrified vehicles.

Spencer Igram: Additive Manufacturing and Optimization of Superparamagnetic Electronics Components
Profile - Spencer Igram

    Iterative learning control (ILC) is a control strategy utilized when target applications are repetitive in nature – manufacturing and tooling practice are prime examples. Precision motion control of manufacturing systems is a target application of this research. Previous work has focused on the additive manufacturing of ferrite cores for pulsed power applications. This work resulted in reducing the size of inductors and increased power density of electronic systems.

Christopher Aksland: Control and Optimization of Electro-Thermal Power Systems
Improved power management techniques are required to enhance the operating behavior of hybridized and electrified vehicles. However, the complex, multi-domain, and multi-timescale dynamics for this class of systems create challenges for real-time capable control design. Additionally, these vehicles have strict electrical and thermal operating constraints to maintain reliable operation. Chris’ latest work has focused on the application of model predictive control for the multi-timescale coordination of the electro-mechanical dynamics of a hybrid electric UAV powertrain. Simulated and hardware demonstrations of the predictive control designs showed improvements in the overall system performance, reliability, and efficiency in comparison to a well designed baseline controller. Chris’ ongoing work considers the control design and validation for a full aircraft power system.

M.S. Students

Cary Laird: Control and Design Optimization of Electro-Thermal Energy Storage Systems
Vehicle power systems commonly experience load profiles with high peak-to-average power levels, necessitating power-dense electrical energy storage systems. Due to the inherent coupling of electrical and thermal domains, these electrical loads generate high peak power thermal loads which are often too burdensome for traditional cooling systems. For these types of loads, hybrid energy storage systems have been utilized, which combine dissimilar energy storage elements into a single system with improved power and energy density. My research focuses on hybrid electro-thermal energy storage systems and the development of control and design strategies thereof in order to improve the power density and high peak power performance of vehicle systems. 

Mindy Wagenmaker: Electro-Thermal Power Systems

    As the trend towards electrification continues, improving thermal management control has become an important consideration in designing reliable systems. My current research is to understand and build models of electro-thermal systems so that we can quickly simulate and analyze how these complex multi-domain power systems perform. Our models allow us to analyze the sensitivity of each of the system components and inputs on the plant. We are developing these tools to aid in the co-design of the plant and controller which can produce the desired response during a mission profile.