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NEWS & INFORMATION

The News and Information section of this ASME DSCD Website serves as a repository for the latest events, announcements, and congratulatory statements associated with our scholarly and educational activities. Periodically, this information is archived into a "hard copy" Newsletter. After being archived, this information is removed from this section of the website. Check out the archived Newsletters at the bottom of this page. If you have information you would like to be posted here (and archived to the Newsletter), please send it to the Newsletter Editor. Don't be bashful...we love to celebrate each and everyone one of you!

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ASME DSCD 2013 Awards Announced:  

2013 Rufus T. Oldenburger Medal – Graham Goodwin

Federation Fellow and Professor of Electrical Engineering

The University of NewCastle

Citation: For his pioneering contributions to adaptive control of time-varying and uncertain systems, to discrete time and stochastic adaptive control solutions, and to digital control solutions for real world systems using the delta-operator.

2013 Nyquist Lecturer – Galip Ulsoy

C.D. Mote, Jr. Distinguished University Professor and William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

 Presentation Title: “Reconfigurable Systems: The Role of Dynamics and Control

2013 Rudolph Kalman Best Paper Award

Nikhil Ravi, Hsien-Hsin Liao, Adam F. Jungkunz, Chen-Fang Chang, Han Ho Song, and J. Christian Gerdes

For their paper: “Modeling and Control of an Exhaust Recompression HCCI Engine Using Split Injection, ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, Volume 134, Issue 1, January 2012.

2013 Outstanding Young Investigator Award – Maurizio Porfiri

Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Citation: For contributions to biomimetic underwater robotics and collective dynamics of networked dynamical systems.


 2014 American Control Conference, in downtown Portland OR, June 4-6, 2014

Draft papers are currently being solicited through September 27, 2013. For conference and submission details, please refer to the conference website (http://a2c2.org/conferences/acc2014/index.php).


DSCC 2013

The 6th annual Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC), sponsored by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, will take place October 21-23, at the Stanford University Munger Center in Palo Alto CA. The DSCC is a premier conference on dynamic systems and control covering a broad range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Automotive and transportation systems
  • Bio-systems and health care
  • Energy systems
  • Mechatronics
  • Modeling, identification, and intelligent systems
  • Robotics
  • Vibration and control of smart structures

We hope to see you all there!

MESSAGE FROM THE PAST CHAIR

(contributed by Huei Peng)

It has been a true honor and pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to serve as the Division Chair over the last year.  As my term comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a summary of what I see as the current state of the Division.

Overall, the Dynamics and Control Division is doing quite well.  Mastering fundamental knowledge in modeling, analysis, control and estimation of dynamic systems enables Division members to tackle existing and emerging engineering problems.  Over the last couple of years, two new technical committees were established in Bio-Systems and Health Care, and Energy Systems.  These new technical committees were founded by Division members who were mainly active in the mechatronics and automotive areas.  Many of them have built successful research programs in these thriving application fields, indicating their ability to adapt and to lead.

Over the last year the Division also witnessed the launching of the new DSC magazine, which was distributed as an insert of the ASME magazine to all the 80,000+ ASME members.  The goal of this magazine is to provide a platform to communicate topical research results and achievements of Division members to a general engineering audience who may not have deep dynamics and control knowledge.  The response to the first two issues of the magazine has been quite positive.  Over 70% of the Division members polled during the 2013 ACC Division meeting have read articles from the DSC magazine.  This new initiative represents a major outreach and education effort by the Division over the last year.

The Division successfully offered its DSC Conference independently (not as part of IMECE) for the fifth time.  The separate conference made it possible for us to have total control of the conference program and activities.  I personally think the DSC Conferences have proven to be a positive step in providing better service and value to the Division members.  We are aware of the concerns that DSC Conference papers are published slowly and continue to work to get this issue improved and resolved.

The past Division chair, Professor Dawn Tilbury, is quite passionate about improving the industrial participation in the Division activities.  Under her leadership, an Industrial Advisory Board was established.  We are quite fortunate to have a few enthusiastic industrial members who continue to get involved in the Division activities and provide valuable suggestions.  Given that roughly 90% of past conference registered attendees are from academia, we must continue to improve industrial participation.

A Division strategic planning meeting was held following the 2013 ACC, to review current status and future focus areas of the Division.  One of the concerns raised repeatedly by many of the meeting attendees is the low impact factor and long publication cycle of JDSMC. Some suggested that we should implement the 90/90 rule, i.e., 90% of the papers should finish the first round of review within 90 days. I personally think this is a great idea and will be thrilled to see it implemented.  However, I also realize that the fast turn-around can only be achieved through the collected effort of all Division members, and not just the editorial board.  This is one thing I hope to work on with all the Division members in the coming years. 

REPORT ON THE ACC 2013

(contributed by Lucy Pao the General Chair and Danny Abramovitch the Program Chair)

The 2013 American Control Conference (ACC) took place June 17–19 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. The conference featured several innovations and set a record for number of ACC registrants.  Attendees enjoyed the city and the numerous museums and monuments within walking distance of the conference hotel.  

The ACC is the annual conference of the American Automatic Control Council (AACC, www.a2c2.org), the US national member organization (NMO) of the International Federation of Automatic  Control (IFAC). AACC is an association of the control-related groups of eight member societies: AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), ISA (International Society of Automation), SCS (Society for Modeling & Simulation International), and SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics). 

ACC 2013 featured a strong program of regular, invited, and tutorial sessions; preconference workshops (held on June 15 and 16); special sessions over the lunch break; and a unique evening banquet at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) on the National Mall!  Other highlights of the conference included: 

  •  A plenary lecture given by Maarten Steinbuch, and 4 semi-plenary lectures presented by Xi-Ren Cao, Paul Torcellini, Markus Fromherz, and Jason Marden.

  • The first ever public lecture at an ACC, where David Mindell delivered a talk of broad appeal. The lecture drew not only conference attendees but also members of the general public

  • Twelve workshops, of half-day, full-day, and day-and-a-half durations. Workshop-only registration was also offered.  In total, 134 people participated in the workshops.

  •  Two high-school student workshops, one on Fostering Excellence in Robotics and another on the Beauty of Controls, were offered to local area high school students as well as to middle school and high school aged children of ACC 2013 attendees.

  •  A record twelve tutorial sessions, on topics ranging from identification of nonlinear parameter-varying systems and modern power systems to phase locked loops, laser interferometry, and online advertising systems.

  • Over 20 conference sponsors, where most of the Gold sponsors held lunchtime special sessions.

  • A post-conference survey conducted to help the organizers assess ACC 2013 as well as determine how best to continue to improve future ACCs.

The acceptance rate for papers submitted to the conference was 61%, where 1137 papers were accepted from among the 1864 submissions received in regular, invited, and tutorial sessions. Approximately 59% of registrants were from the US, 19% from Europe, 11% from Asia, 5% from Canada, 3% from Central/South America, and 1% from Australia/New Zealand. Recordings of the public and plenary lectures will be made available on the IEEE CSS Online Lecture Library (http://www.ieeecss-oll.org). 

ACC 2013 supported students in a variety of ways.  Students were offered lower registration rates (while still being given a conference banquet ticket) and were also offered lower room rates at the conference hotel.  ACC 2013 also coordinated a conference-wide Student Best Paper Award and provided Student Travel Grants.  Thanks to funds the ASME Dynamic Systems and Controls Division, partial travel support was provided to 20 ASME students presenting papers at ACC 2013.   

ACC is the venue for the annual announcements of the awards of the American Automatic Control Council as well as the Student Best Paper Award given by the conference.  This year’s winners were:

  • A. Stephen Morse received the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award
  • Mathukumalli Vidyasagar received the John R. Ragazzini Education Award
  • H. Eric Tseng received the Control Engineering Practice Award
  • Vijay Gupta received the Donald P. Eckman Award
  • Laurent Lessard and Sanjay Lall received the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award
  • Konstantinos Gatsis received the Student Best Paper Award 

ACC 2013 initiated several innovations which required extra efforts on the part of our superb Operating Committee:  Sean B. Andersson (Exhibits Chair), Randal W. Beard (Publications Chair), Carolyn Beck (Vice Chair for Student Affairs), Linda Bushnell (Vice Chair for Workshops), Santosh Devasia (Publicity Chair), Eric W. Frew (Registration Chair), Haitham Hindi (Vice Chair for Industry and Applications), Katie Johnson (Vice Chair for Invited Sessions), Zongli Lin (Local Arrangements Chair), Peter Meckl (Finance Chair), and Lalit K. Mestha (Vice Chair for Special Sessions). 

We learned a lot from working hard to organize such a large conference, and we thank all the attendees and volunteers at all levels for their help!

PAPER AWARDS FROM THE ACC 2013

All papers accepted to the ACC2013 conference were evaluated as a potential best conference paper award or best student paper award. The criteria for the selection of the finalists was that the paper must have uniformly high reviewer ratings and was praised by either reviewers or associate editors; present an innovative idea or new and important research outcome; and/or discuss an interesting or highly topical subject. In order to receive the Best Student Paper Award, the first-listed author of a regular contributed paper must have been a student at the time of submission.


The ACC 2013 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award was given to Laurent Lessard and Sanjay Lall for their work on "Optimal Controller Synthesis for the Decentralized Two-player Problem with Output Feedback". Let us all congratulate them on this accomplishment.

 

Best Student Paper Finalists:

Konstantinos Gatsis, A. Ribeiro and G. Pappas [winner] Optimal Power Management in Wireless Control Systems
Javad Ghaderi, and R. Srikant Opinion Dynamics in Social Networks: A Local Interaction Game with Stubborn Agents
Pontus Giselsson Optimal Preconditioning and Iteration Complexity Bounds for Gradient-based Optimization in MPC
Shuo Han, U. Topcu, M. Tao, H. Owhadi, and R. Murray Convex Optimal Uncertainty Quantification: Algorithms and a Case Study in Energy Storage Placement for Power Grids
Anup Menon and J. Baras Convergence Guarantees for a Decentralized Algorithm Achieving Pareto Optimality


CONFERENCE WORKSHOP SUMMARIES

ACC 2012, Controlling Green Buildings: Challenges and Opportunties

(contributed by Francesco Borrelli)


This workshop focused on high performance green buildings, both from a systems and a control perspective. New trends, ideas and recent results from research and development projects were presented both from academia and industry. The workshop was organized by Francesco Borrelli, U.C. Berkeley and Meli Stylianou, CanmetENERGY. The presenters were Allan Daly (Taylor Engineering), Jose Candanedo (CanmetENERGY), Duncan Callaway (UC Berkeley), Sonja Glavaski (UTRC), Wendy Foslien (Honeywell) and Roy Smith (ETHZ). The workshop was among the most attended at the ACC 2012 and the discussions were lively.

Some of the topics covered included: the use of weather and load prediction to manage operation of the building's electromechanical and thermal storage systems; control of building-integrated photovoltaic installations; combined heat and power systems and other renewable energy systems; optimization of single and multi-building performance subject to smart grid signals; and innovative ways to overcome interdisciplinary barriers to implement advanced control techniques in building systems.

The website of the workshop is http://www.mpc.berkeley.edu/acc2012


UPCOMING EVENTS

ASME/IEEE 2013 International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, July 9-12, 2013, Wollongong, Australia.

ASME Dynamic Systems and Controls Conference, October 21-23, 2013, Stanford University, Palo Alto CA.

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 15-21, 2013, San Diego CA.

ASME/IEEE/IFAC 2014 American Control ConferenceJune 4-6, 2014, Portland OR.

ASME/ISCIE 2014 International Symposium on Flexible Automation (ISFA2014), July 14-16, 2014, Hyogo Japan.

International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC2014), August 24-29, 2014, Cape Town South Africa.


CALL FOR PAPERS / BOOKS / POSTERS

CALL FOR PAPERS: IFAC 2014, you are invited to submit original papers covering the broad spectrum of topics in Automation and Control spanned by IFAC; papers should be of high quality in accordance with the traditions of previous IFAC World Congresses.

CALL FOR PAPERS: ACC 2014, you are invited to submit papers as well as proposals for workshops and invited/special sessions. The first deadline for papers or proposals is September 27, 2013.


RECOGNITION / AWARDS 

Throughout the past year several of our DSCD members have received special recognition for contributions to our community through scholarship and service. We would like to recognize these efforts.   

DSCD member Galip Ulsoy (distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Michigan) receives the ASME Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award. The Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award is presented to the engineering graduate who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in mechanical engineering twenty years or more following graduation. Professor Ulsoy will receive this award at the upcoming 2013 ASME IMECE conference. Past recipients of the award from DSCD include Masayoshi Tomizuka (1997) and the late Lowen Shearer (1966).

DSCD members Shan Hu, Rajesh Rajamani and Xun Yu received an outstanding paper recognition from Applied Physics Letters (APL).  Their paper on flexible solid state paper-based carbon nanotube supercapacitors was selected for the 50th Anniversary Editor's Choice Collection by the editorial board of APL.  This is a select group of 50 papers chosen from over 12,000 papers that were published in APL during 2009-2012.

DSCD member, and previous chair of the division, Professor Dawn Tilbury has been selected to receive the Society of Women Engineers' Distinguished Engineering Educator Award. This award is presented to a woman who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and has made significant contributions to the engineering profession. The Distinguished Educator Award was introduced this year and can only be awarded to SWE Members. The candidate is selected based on her teaching ability and ability to inspire students to attain high levels of accomplishment, her scholarly work, and her professional society activities. Tilbury's research interests include control theory and applications in many different domains, such as robotics, manufacturing, logic control and networked control systems. Dawn has also just been elected a Fellow of ASME.  

 

 OPEN POSITIONS 

  • Post-Doc: University Partnerships for Faculty Diversity, President's and Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to support new scholars interested in faculty careers who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their teaching, research and service. This partnership aligns programs at the ten-campus University of California system and the University of Michigan to offer postdoctoral research fellowships, coupled with faculty mentoring, professional development and academic networking opportunities. (ongoing) 
  • Post-Doc: the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts seeks a post-doc for a new, multi-year NIH project. The objective of the research is show that an individualized anemia management protocol can be derived through application of feedback control theory to simplified physiology‐driven erythropoiesis models. Candidates should have solid knowledge of system identification, statistics, dynamical systems, and controls.  Background in physiological systems will be considered a plus, although it is not required.  For candidates interested in pursuing an academic career, there may be an option for teaching relevant courses for additional compensation. For further details please send an email to Prof. Yossi Chait, ychait@umass.edu. (posted 9/13)

  • Post-Doc: Prof. Porifiri and his colleagues have an open post-doc position available immediately on the project: Can systems science explain variation in state alcohol and traffic policies? This project is funded by the NIH with further information available at: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_details.cfm?aid=8511909&icde=17413358Interested candidates should contact Prof. Porfiri at mporfiri@poly.edu with their detailed resume, a brief statement describing their experience and motivation to apply for the position, and a list of references.

  • Asst/Assoc/Full Professor: The Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, seeks candidates for multiple full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty positions in the area of Transportation Systems and Design/Innovation. Candidates are encouraged to apply now and before December 1, 2013. (posted 9/13)
  • Asst/Assoc ProfessorThe Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota is conducting a search for multiple faculty positions.  The Department encourages applications of individuals with an interest in building strong research programs and teaching activities in the areas of thermal sciences including heat and mass transfer and combustion; advanced manufacturing; materials design and processing including biomaterials; and energy and environmental research including the indoor environment.  (posted 7/13)

  • Asst/Assoc Professor: The Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Northeastern University invite applications and nominations for a tenure-track faculty position beginning in September 2013 at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, as a possible joint appointment between the two departments in the College of Engineering. Candidates are sought to expand the college’s research efforts in security including but not limited to threat-detection and mitigation such as for use in the screening of suicide bombers or airline passengers; security of critical infrastructures such as transportation, power, and communication systems; unmanned or remote-controlled devices for harsh environment exploration, hazard diagnosis and removal; enhanced armor or exo-skeletal systems for intelligent hazard diagnosis.  (posted 7/13)

  • Asst/Assoc/Full Professor: The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas invites applications for faculty positions in Mechanical Engineering at the Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor. Dynamical systems and control is an area of interest. (posted 7/13)

  • Lecturer: Penn State’s Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering department has multi-year openings for non-tenure track instructional faculty. (posted 7/13)

  • Asst/Assoc/Full Professor: The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Kansas State University invites applications from individuals with a background in internal combustion engines or closely related field for a tenured or tenure-track position in the thermal-fluids area. (posted 7/13)

  

EDUCATIONAL CORNER

TA-­‐ing for Trolls: A Surprising Contrast Between MOOCs and Traditional, Brick and Mortar Classrooms

(contributed by Amy LaViers)


In the spring of 2013, while a graduate student at Georgia Tech, I TA--ed for an unual class: a freely distributed online course (aka a MOOC) with over 40,000 students enrolled. I never saw any of my students' faces, but they saw mine in weekly pre-recorded lectures and were free to post their opinions, anonymously, in the course's discussion forums. Overall, the experience was a great triumph of the internet: in a single offering, thousands of students passed a college-level course on control theory, which they took at their own pace for free online. However, the course also introduced me to a nastier aspect of the Internet: the Internet troll. As I imagine the term, an Internet troll is a person who uses the veil of the Internet to behave, online, in a way that they would not behave in person.

If I take a walk around my current place of work, I see a model learning setting where students cohabit solid brick arcades, timeworn classrooms, and modern eating spaced alongside their professors. Instead of this small-scale, collegial setting, the MOOC reached a very large number of students and took place in my apartment, in coffee shops all over Atlanta, at my tiny gray desk - wherever my Internet connection was. Likewise, my students were all over the world in any number of settings. The anonymity this type of arrangement allows for is significant. Sometimes people are mean: I was told that I was a "disgrace" to my university and that I was causing undue "suffering" for students. Sometimes people are positive: I was told that I was "the most beautiful teaching assistant" and that I looked "cute" when played at 2x speed. In both cases, the comments were inappropriate and were enabled by the cyber setting. Such extraneous comments occlude useful information and hamper professionalism in online education.

MOOCs are challenging traditional models of education in very exciting ways, but many open questions remain. Not the least of which is how to enable accountability and enforce civility on these frontiers of higher education. 

Amy LaViers is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. For more on the pitfalls and possibilities of online education and the specifics of this course, check out Magnus Egerstedt’s longer, more detailed article entitled “Controls for the Masses” in the September edition of IEEE Control Systems Magazine.

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Chief Editor

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Associate Editor

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