The 2017 American Control Conference, May 24–26, Seattle, WA, USA

  Header Photo Credits, left to right: Photos 1, 7, 8: Tim Thompson; Photos 2–6: Harold Frisk

Sponsoring Organizations

2017 ACC Special Sessions

From Theory to Market Commercialization
Session Organizer: R. Rajamani, University of Minnesota, USA

This special evening session features three outstanding control system experts who have successfully commercialized their technologies in the marketplace. The session will include a brief presentation from each speaker about their start-up company and the story behind its evolution. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion where the speakers will share their perspectives on what it takes to succeed in the marketplace.

Dr. Swaminathan Gopalswamy
Swami Gopalswamy is the founder and CEO of Engineered Mechatronics, Inc., a company looking at bringing the latest advances in controls and software engineering to the mechatronics systems development process. Prior to this, he was an LMS-Vice President of Controls at Siemens PL, which had acquired LMS International, where he was a VP of Model Based Systems Engineering. LMS, in turn, had acquired Emmeskay, which he had co-founded with his wife. Dr. Gopalswamy obtained his B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and his Masters and PhD from University of California at Berkeley, focusing on nonlinear and adaptive control. He worked at the General Motors R&D Center before founding Emmeskay.


Dr. Brad E. Paden
Brad E. Paden is a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978, 1982, and 1985 respectively. His research interests include nonlinear control theory and its application to electromechanical systems. He is a co-founder and the Chairman of the Board of LaunchPoint Technologies Inc., an incubator, where he has participated in number technology commercialization efforts. Dr. Paden received the Kalman Best Paper Award from the ASME JDSMC in 1993, the IEEE Control System Society Technology Award, in 2001, and the ASME DSCD Charles S. Draper Award for Innovative Practice, in 2010. He is also co-inventor on 18 patents.

Dr. Kameshwar Poolla
Kameshwar Poolla is the Cadence Distinguished Professor at UC Berkeley in EECS and ME. His current research interests include many aspects of future energy systems including economics, security, and commercialization. He was the Founding Director of the IMPACT Center for Integrated Circuit manufacturing. Dr. Poolla co-founded OnWafer Technologies which was acquired by KLA-Tencor in 2007. He has served as a technology and mergers/acquisitions consultant for Cadence Design Systems. Dr. Poolla has been awarded a 1988 NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 1993 Hugo Schuck Best Paper Prize, the 1994 Donald P. Eckman Award, the 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California, the 2005 and 2007 IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing Best Paper Prizes, and the 2009 IEEE CSS Transition to Practice Award.

Transforming Intelligent Vehicles to Autonomous Vehicles--Gaps and Opportunities in Control, Decision, and Artificial Intelligence
Session Organizer: Huei Peng, University of Michigan, USA

This special evening session features three outstanding researchers from around the world. The session will include a brief presentation from each speaker about their past autonomous vehicle research, and their views of the gaps and opportunity in control, decision, and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Jan Becker
Jan Becker is a Sr. Director of Automated Driving at the Faraday Future, and lecturer of Automated Driving at the Stanford University. With 19 years of experience in the field of Vehicle Automation, Jan is leading Faraday Future’s Automated Driving division to develop industry-first technologies for the company’s future product lineup. Prior to joining FF, Jan was Director for Automated Driving at Bosch in Silicon Valley. Jan has also been a lecturer at Stanford University since 2010 in the field of Automated Driving, Driver Assistance, and Vehicle Automation.
Dr. Keqiang Li
Keqiang Li is a Professor of Automotive Engineering at the Tsinghua University, China. His main research areas include automotive control system, driver assistance system, and network/networked dynamics and control. Currently he is leading the national key project on ICV (Intelligent and Connected Vehicles) of China. Dr. Li has authored about 180 journal/conference papers and is a co-inventor of over 60 patents in China and Japan. Dr. Li has served as senior member of Society of Automotive Engineers of China, editorial boards of International Journal of Automotive Technology and International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems, and Chairperson of Technical Committee of CAICV (China Industrial Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance for ICV). Dr. Li has been a recipient of “Changjiang Scholar Program Professor”, National Award for Technological Invention in China.
Dr. Henk Nijmeijer
Henk Nijmeijer is a full professor at Eindhoven, and chairs the Dynamics and Control group. He has published a large number of journal and conference papers, and several books, and is or was at the editorial board of numerous journals. He is an editor of Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulations. He is a fellow of the IEEE since 2000 and was awarded in 1990 the IEE Heaviside premium. He is appointed honorary knight of the ‘golden feedback loop’ (NTNU) in 2011. He is since 2011 an IFAC Council Member. Per January 2015 he is scientific director of the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC). He is recipient of the 2015 IEEE Control Systems Technology Award. He is program leader of the Dutch research program ‘Integrated Cooperative Automated Vehicles’ (i-CAVE).

Measuring the Success of Federally Funded Research Projects
Session Organizers: B. Cheng and A. Martin, Pennsylvania State University, USA

This special session will explore what defines a successful, federally funded research project. It will specifically explore what happens after the project gets funded. Two outstanding panelists will discuss the definition of success, how success is measured, and best practices in post-award research management. The session will begin with a moderated panel discussion followed by a question and answer session.

Dr. Jordan M. Berg
Jordan Berg received the BSE and MSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1981 and 1984. He worked in the commercial space industry before returning to graduate school in 1986. He received the PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, and the MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Drexel University in 1992 followed by postdoctoral appointments at the USAF Wright Laboratory in Dayton, OH, and the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, MN. Since 1996 he has been on the Mechanical Engineering faculty of Texas Tech University. In 2008 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Ruhuna and the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. His current research interests include nonlinear and geometric control, and the control of nano- and microsystems. In 2014 he joined the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division of the Engineering (ENG) Directorate of the National Science Foundation as an IPA rotator. He is currently serving as co-Director of the Dynamics, Control, and System Diagnostic (DCSD) program, and as a Program Director for the National Robotics Initiative.
Dr. George T. Chiu
George T. Chiu is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering with courtesy appointments in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. He received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Taiwan University in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1990 and 1994, respectively. Before joining Purdue, he worked at Hewlett-Packard, designing printers and multifunction devices. From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Program Director for the Control Systems Program at the National Science Foundation while on leave from Purdue. Dr. Chiu's current research interests are mechatronics and dynamic systems and control with applications to digital printing and imaging systems, digital fabrications and functional printing, human motor control, motion and vibration perception and control. He received the 2012 NSF Director’s Collaboration Award, the 2010 IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology Outstanding Paper Award, the Purdue University College of Engineering Faculty Engagement/Service Excellence Award in 2010, and Team Excellence Award in 2006. He is the Editor-in-Chief Elect for the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. Dr. Chiu served on the Executive Committee of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division (DSCD) from 2007 to 2014. He is a Fellow of ASME and a Fellow of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T).

In the Big Data Era: Science and Applications for Control Researchers and Engineers
Panel Organizers: J. Sun and J. Lynch, University of Michigan, USA
Panel Moderator: J. Lynch, University of Michigan, USA

This special evening session addresses the emerging topics of big data and its ubiquitous roles in science, engineering, and service applications. It features leading researchers who are working at the cutting edge of various aspects of data analytics, from collecting and maintaining data to mining large and diverse datasets, with applications to service systems, power grids, and civil infrastructure. The session will include a brief presentation from each speaker about their perspectives on the state-of-the-art and challenges associated with data analytics in their respective application areas. The future directions of data science and engineering important to the controls community will also be emphasized.

Dr. Avishal Mandelbaum
Avishai Mandelbaum is the Benjamin & Florence Free Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion, Israel. His Ph.D. is in Operations Research, from Cornell University. After graduation, in 1983, he joined the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He then left the U.S.A., in 1991, to assume a position at the Technion. Prof. Mandelbaum is an INFORMS fellow. His research has covered stochastic models (analysis, asymptotics, control) and statistics, with applications to queueing theory/science and service systems (e.g. tele‐services, hospitals). Prof. Mandelbaum is a founder and the director of the Technion SEE Laboratory. This lab has been collecting and maintaining a unique rich repository of data from service operations. And through its data, the SEELab has been supporting worldwide research and teaching of Service Science, Engineering and Management.
Dr. Joe H. Chow
Joe H Chow is Professor, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Campus Director, NSF/DOE CURENT ERC. His research interests include large-scale power system modeling and analysis, control of renewable resources, and synchrophasor data applications. He received his PhD degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. He was a past recipient of the Donald P. Eckman Award from American Automatic Control Council, the Control Systems Technology Award from the IEEE Control Systems Society, and Charles Concordia Power System Award from the IEEE Power and Energy Society.
Dr. Daniel Work
Daniel Work is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (courtesy), and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois, Work was a research intern at Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto from 2008-2009, and a guest researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond in 2010. Prof. Work has research interests in control, estimation, and optimization of transportation cyber physical systems. Prof. Work has received a number of honors and awards including selection to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2016 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, being named a UIUC CEE Excellence Faculty Fellow in 2016, the 2015 UIUC ASCE Outstanding Professor Award, and the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2014.

Why Should I Study Control Theory?

The prevalence of student loan debt dictates that many engineering students start their careers with the BS degree. How can we as a profession attract undergraduate students to control engineering when the MS degree is thought to be essential? Can we assure that there are entry-level positions for young graduates in which there is a place to get started so that training and both continuing and distance education produces the controls engineering professional? To bring this about, are there industrial and academic changes that can be had to make this career path a common reality?

Industry Panel
Mr. John Mills
John Mills heads SimuQuest, Inc., a company providing software products and services, to enable rapid control-system development and automatic generation of software to control various electronic devices. John founded SimuQuest in 2001 and is responsible for organizational leadership, overseeing sales and marketing efforts and product innovation. Previously John was a software manager at Motorola, where he initiated and managed the transition from hand-coding to automatic code generation for electronic products. Prior to that he worked in a variety of leadership and technical roles focusing on engine and vehicle control systems at Motorola, Hyundai, GM and Ford. John has an MS in Electronics and Computer Control Systems from Wayne State University and BS in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Aston in Birmingham, UK.
Mr. Craig Stephens
Craig Stephens is Chief Engineer for Controls Engineering in the Autonomous Vehicles and Controls Research and Advanced activity in Ford Motor Company. He joined Ford Motor Company in 1987 working in Powertrain Calibration and Controls for Ford of Europe and in 1991 he moved to Dearborn, Michigan holding a variety of positions in P/T Controls and Software development. These positions have spanned the full technology cycle from Research through to Production. In his current position his work has expanded to include support for Driver Assistance Technologies and Autonomous Vehicles where his team contributes primarily in the areas of Systems Engineering, Functional Safety and Controls. He received a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds and an MS in Electronics and Computer Control from Wayne State University. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Dr. Greg Stewart
Greg Stewart is a Senior Fellow with Honeywell. His interests are in developing and deploying advanced control and analytic technologies to solve industrial problems. He has led all phases of the research, development and industrial deployment of technology for several areas including robust paper machine control, microalgae cultivation, and an internal-to-Honeywell startup initiative for automotive powertrain control which was subsequently stood up as new business – Honeywell Automotive Software. Dr Stewart is a Fellow of the IEEE, received the IFAC Industrial Achievement Award 2017, twice received the IEEE Control Systems Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award. He holds 33 patents, has published more than 50 technical publications, and his designs reside on over 300 industrial installations.
Mr. Tyson Zevenbergen
Tyson Zevenbergen received his BS degree in engineering from Gonzaga University in 2005. Since graduating, Tyson has built a successful and evolving career as an electrical engineer in industrial automation. He was a senior engineer at Concept Systems, a Certified System Integrator Association 2016 Integrator of the Year winner. At Concept Systems, Tyson supported engineering and project management roles in projects for aerospace, wood products, petrochemical, and food & beverage industries. His work at Rockwell Automation began as a field service engineer supporting maintenance and capital projects in the western United States. Tyson is currently a Technical Consultant for Rockwell Automation, a major supplier of control and information solutions for manufacturers. In this role, Tyson develops and provides code to machine builders to use in their automation controllers and operator terminals. He has worked with numerous customers throughout the country supporting their recruiting and development of employees. He is currently enrolled in graduate courses at the University of Washington for Human Center Design and Engineering. His areas of interest include mechatronics, software user experience, data analytics and the application to prevent unplanned downtime in factories.
Faculty Panel
Dr. Bonnie Ferri
Bonnie Ferri is a Professor and the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. She does research in embedded control systems and in engineering education. She has received many honors and awards including the 2017 IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award and the 2016 Regent’s Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. She is the co-chair of a campus-wide commission at Georgia Tech on the future of higher education, and she was an invited speaker at a National Academy of Engineering workshop on education. She received the B.S degree in EE from Notre Dame, the M.S. degree in ME/AE from Princeton, and the Ph.D. degree in EE from Georgia Tech.
Dr. Russ Rhinehart
Russ Rhinehart, professor and BP Chair emeritus in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University, has experience in both industry (13 years) and academe (29 years). He was Head of the School for 13 years. His career interest has been the application of first-principles models in process control. He is a fellow of the International Society of Automation (ISA), and served as Editor-in-Chief of ISA Transactions, was inducted into the CONTROL Automation Hall of Fame, and received a Fray International Sustainability Award. He is Past President of the American Automatic Control Council. Now “retired” he is working to disseminate techniques with his web site,, books, and articles.
Dr. Mario A. Rotea
Mario A. Rotea is the holder of the Erik Jonsson Chair in Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he is also the department head of mechanical engineering. Rotea spent 17 years at Purdue University as a professor of aeronautics and astronautics, developing and teaching methods for the analysis and design of control systems. He also worked for the United Technologies Research Center as senior research engineer on advanced control systems for helicopters, gas turbines, and machine tools. Rotea was the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he expanded the department in the area of wind energy and applications of industrial engineering to the health care sector. His career includes terms as director of the Control Systems Program and division director of Engineering Education and Centers at the National Science Foundation. Rotea is cofounder of WindSTAR, an NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center aimed at bringing together academia and industry to advance wind energy through industry-relevant research and education. Rotea joined UT Dallas in 2009 to serve as professor and inaugural head of the then newly-created mechanical engineering department. He directed the department’s rapid growth, increasing student enrollment from 10 students to more than 1000 in 2016. Rotea is a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to robust and optimal control of multivariable systems. Rotea graduated with a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Rosario. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering and his Ph.D. in control science and dynamical systems from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Dawn M. Tilbury
Dawn M. Tilbury received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1989, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. In 1995, she joined the faculty of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Her research interests lie broadly in the area of control systems, including applications to robotics and manufacturing systems. She has published more than 150 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. She was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 and Fellow of the ASME in 2012, and is a Life Member of SWE.
Practicing Engineer Panel
Mr. Chris Jacobus
Chris Jacobus is a Guidance, Navigation, and Control engineer at Boeing Defense, Space and Security in St. Louis, Missouri. Within the Flight Engineering Capability Center, he is working on the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling boom actuator control systems integration team, assisting in boom control law development, redundancy management, modeling & simulation, software integration test and experimental flight test. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering with distinction from Purdue University in 2015, concentrating in vehicle dynamics & controls and aerodynamics. In addition, Chris is currently enrolled at Purdue University in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering Management with a technical concentration in flight dynamics and control systems.
Mr. Nate McCormick
Nate McCormick works for Emerson as the manager of the global product evaluation group for Fisher valves and instruments based at the Emerson Innovation Center in Marshalltown, IA. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University with an emphasis in instrumentation and controls. Throughout his time working with Emerson Nate has focused on creating automated test systems, designing and troubleshooting fluid control systems and mentoring new test engineers. His team at Emerson is responsible for mechanical testing and simulation of a wide range of control devices for the process industry.

Curriculum Vita Review for PhD Candidates
Session Organizer: N. Jain, Purdue University, USA

This special session is geared towards PhD candidates within 1-2 years of degree completion who are interested in strengthening their CVs prior to entering the job market. The session will begin with a short overview of what constitutes a strong CV, followed by 10-minute one-on-one reviews between PhD students and faculty and/or industry hiring managers. PhD candidates will be required to sign up in advance to have their CV reviewed – see instructions below. Preference in sign up will be given to those students who have already passed their preliminary exam (i.e. exam prior to the final defense), and second priority to students who are official PhD candidates (i.e. have passed their qualifying exam). We believe that students should be on clear path towards degree completion, but also have sufficient time to act on the feedback they receive to strengthen their CVs before they go on the job market.

Note that the initial overview is open to anyone and does not require prior registration. The registration process is only required if a student is interested in a one-on-one review of their CV.

Registration Instructions:
    1. Complete the Google Form using this link:
    2. E-mail a PDF of your CV to
      a. Use the following subject line for your e-mail: FirstName LastName CV,; for example, John Doe CV
      b. Use the following naming convention for the PDF file: LastName_FirstName_CV.pdf . For example, Doe_John_CV.pdf
The deadline to register and submit CVs is April 15, 2017. Students will be notified one week before ACC of whether or not they were selected for the one-on-one reviews along with the time and location of their review (if selected). Reviewers will be provided with the CVs in advance and encouraged to mark them up prior to their one-on-one meeting with the student so that the 10 minutes can be used for discussion.

Conference Submission Site

Conference Registration Site
Hotel Reservation Site

Key Dates

Draft Manuscripts:
Monday September 19, 2016

Best Student Paper Nominations:
Friday, September 30, 2016

Workshop Proposals:
Monday, October 10, 2016

Acceptance/Rejection Notice:
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Final Manuscript Submission:
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Contacts for Sponsors:

Junmin Wang
(Vice Chair for Industry Activities)

Stefano Di Cairano
(Exhibits Chair)

Jing Sun
(General Chair)