Dynamics & Control Research Group Wiki:About

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The Dynamics and Control Research Group's history dates from the arrival of Professor John L. Junkins. Junkins joined Professors Donald T. Ward and Thomas C. Pollock in 1985, the Aerospace Engineering department at that time was known for strength in basic solid and fluid mechanics but had little historical strength in mechanics and control of flight. During the late 1980s Junkins, Ward, and Pollock were joined by Professors S. Rao Vadali, Andrew J. Kurdila and Thomas C. Strganac, and with these six faculty, the program quickly achieved critical mass. Over the past two decades population of graduate students grew from 2 to 50 students by 2007, while the number of faculty in dynamics and control doubled to a dozen. By virtually any quality metric, the graduate research program in aerospace dynamics and control is among the strongest in the nation. The Aerospace Engineering Department as a whole grew from a total of 15 faculty in 1985 to 33 faculty in 2007, while the graduate student population grew from about 40 to over 110 graduate students, over the same time period. The department has reached top ten caliber nationally and is rapidly improving. While the plans for growing the size of the department faculty have been largely fulfilled, the aerospace engineering graduate student steady state population is projected to be over 150 by 2010.

The research program in Dynamics and Control is diverse, spanning basic theory, computational methods, design, experimental methods, advanced prototypes, and collaboration with industry to develop flight experiments. The following areas are being pursued:

- Navigation, Guidance, and Control of Aerospace Vehicles - Dynamical Modeling, Simulation, and Optimization - Probabilistic Analysis and Optimization, Estimation Theory - Aeroelasticity and Fluid/Structure Interaction - Autonomous Intelligent Control of Robotic Systems - Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Real-Time Inference - Spacecraft Constellations and Formations - Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles - Cooperative Robotics - Design

Our research has been realized in successful software, hardware and commercializations. Our former students are our most important product, they are active contributors in all sectors of industry, government and academia around the world. Our graduates are marked by excellent academic prepartation and research expertise. Their ability to blend recent research contributions with pragmatic tailoring of engineering developments lead to efficient realizations of advanced technology.

During recent years, our work has been documented in eight books, several hundred journal articles, and over a thousand conference papers. Our faculty participate in many consulting, advisory, editorial and other service roles, and are recognized with numerous national and international awards for research excellence. The faculty's technical society memberships include several individuals holding the rank of AIAA and AAS Fellow and we have two members of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Dynamics and Control Group's research is sponsored by government, industry and national laboratories. Our sponsors include: NASA, JPL, NSF, AFOSR, AFRL, ONR, NRO, ESA, State of Texas, Sandia, MacDonald Dettweiler Associates, Aliance Spacesystems, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Aeolus, Aero Probe, C. S. Draper Laboratory, and StarVision Technologies.

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