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


Donald Docimo: Modeling and Control of Energy Systems
Donald Docimo, Ph.D. conducts research in the area of advanced, model-based control and design as applied to energy systems. His focus is use of tools from control, model reduction, optimization, and estimation theory to address major challenges in applications that span electrified vehicles, aircraft, and advanced thermal management devices. He is an experienced educator, having instructed junior- and senior-level controls courses, developed online multimedia courses, and mentored students. Ongoing work includes extensions of hierarchical control strategies for energy management, system design optimization, and testbed development to validate electro-thermal device performance.

Herschel Pangborn: Dynamic Modeling and Control of Energy Systems

Optimizing the performance, efficiency, and safety of energy systems is a critical research area. Improvements in energy management are needed for both stationary systems (e.g., air conditioning and refrigeration) and vehicle systems (e.g., aircraft and automobiles). My research spans a number of challenges associated with the control of energy systems.  For vehicle systems, I work to develop modeling and control frameworks that capture and coordinate multi-domain and multi-timescale interactions. Ongoing work includes the development of model-based hierarchical controllers that leverage knowledge of system interconnections to robustly optimize system-wide performance and efficiency. For air conditioning and refrigeration systems, I work to better understand and control the complex dynamics of multi-phase heat exchangers. These systems can be captured in modeling by treating them as a collection of distinct operating modes, each with its own model formulation. Controllers for these systems can also benefit from a switched framework, allowing for the development of model-based control laws for each mode.

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: Thermosys Improvements
headshot My current research is about making Thermosys more user-friendly. In the Fall semester I worked on the thermostatic expansion valve model to better align the model parameters with information available on manufacturer data sheets.

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: Electrical Thermal Power Systems
My current research is sensors placement and optimization. High temperature has negative effects on the lifetime and the efficiency of electronic components. This research objective is to decide on the minimum number and placement of temperature sensors needed in order to estimate the temperature distribution of an inverter so that the highest temperature of the board can be maintained below a certain specific temperature.

M.S. Students

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

    My current work aims to create a new class of novel inductors and related passive devices from superparamagnetic nanomaterials. Specially formulated to maintain magnetic properties, we extrude the nanoparticles in an expoy substrate using additive manufacturing techniques similar to microRobotic Deposition for fast prototyping and development as opposed to common molding methods.

Christopher Aksland: Electro-Thermal Power Systems
My research focuses on the modeling of electro-thermal systems and components such as batteries and battery packs. The performance of batteries is closely related to their operating temperature; if a battery is to hot, its lifetime degrades. By modeling these components and integrating them with HVAC components, we can better understand and control a variety of power systems, such as those that exist in HEVs.


Cary Laird: Electrical/Thermal Power Systems

My research focuses on improving the pulsed power capabilities of current energy storage systems by combining battery packs with supercapacitors. By modeling these hybrid energy storage systems (HESS), we can demonstrate improved power capabilities and battery life.




Mindy Wagenmaker: Electrical/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 electrical-thermal systems so that we can simulate how they would respond to a controller. This will benefit our research process as it allows us to run simulations and quickly determine how our systems interact when they’re coupled and in which controllers would be suitable, before actually running time-consuming experimental tests.