Special Sessions

Wednesday Noon Special Sessions

Family-Friendly Session: Engineering Shorts with Themed Games

Organizer:      Helen Durand

Time:               9:30 – 12:00, Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:         Aqua 310A

In this family-friendly session, children will watch a series of animated shorts which convey different aspects of engineering followed by appropriately themed games.  Games will be tuned to best serve the age level of students in the room at the time (e.g. preschool/pre-K age range, K-2nd grade age range, and 3rd-5th grade age range). A parent or guardian is required to attend the session with their child(ren).

Helen Durand

IEEE CSS Women in Control Luncheon

Organizers:     Afef Fekih and Dennice Gayme

Time:               12:00 – 13:30, Wednesday, May 31 2023

Location:         Sapphire KLOP

 All women attendees of the American Control Conference are cordially invited to attend the WiC Luncheon. This session will feature two key talks, the first by Dr. Martha Grover, Georgia Tech focusing on Service and community and the second by Dr. Jing Sun, University of Michigan about Takeaways from the 1st CSS Day.

Mission statement of WiC: The Women in Control Committee shall be responsible for, but not limited to, promoting membership, gathering and disseminating appropriate information about women in the IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) and the profession and facilitating the development of mentoring and programs to promote the retention, recruitment, and growth of women CSS members. Please follow us on LinkedIn1 and Facebook2 to stay up to date with our events and stay informed.

1LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5090839/

2Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CSS.WiC/

Dr. Afef Fekih
Dennice Gayme
Martha Grover
Jing Sun

Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers: Adding Feedback Princip les and Understanding to Teaching Robotics, Programming, and Other STEM Classes

Organizer:      Daniel Abramovitch

Time:               10:00 – 13:30, Wednesday, May 31 2023

Location:         Aqua Salon EF

This special session aims at initiate engagement with middle and high school teachers interested in augmenting their STEM curricula with feedback principles. The workshop will dovetail with online resources being developed to make these concepts accessible to classes during the school year. While many students already take part in robotics clubs and programming clubs, few of these have any aspects of signal processing or feedback methods in them. This session will focus on why and how to teach control concepts to middle and high school students by building the following connections to classes and projects they already study:

  • Relate feedback concepts to robotics classes.
  • Relate feedback concepts to programming classes.
  • Relate to other STEM subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

At the core of this effort are instructional videos available online and take-home material for the teachers.

Da Headshot

An Overview of NSF Programs

Organizer:      Jordan Berg, Harry Dankowicz, and Eva Kanso

Time:               11:30 – 13:00, Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:         Aqua 314

The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers several of funding opportunities for investigators working in the field of controls, both within the disciplinary programs in Engineering and other directorates, and through cross-cutting initiatives that are foundation-wide. This presentation will describe opportunities that are relevant to the robotics, dynamics and controls communities. The presentation will also describe programs targeted toward junior investigators, as well as guidelines for proposal preparation and NSF’s Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. 


AI Made Easy using Quanser Hardware and MathWorks Tools

Organizer:      John Pineros (Quanser) and Craig Buhr (Mathworks)

Time:               12:30 – 13:30 Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:         Sapphire 411B


Artificial Intelligence is a tool with the potential to tackle complex decision-making problems using the human brain as inspiration. Reinforcement Learning uses a trial-and-error learning approach which enables the computer to make a series of decisions without human intervention and without being explicitly programmed to perform the task. Reinforcement Learning has been applied in many applications, such as industrial automation, aerospace, autonomous driving, and robotics. In this session, Reinforcement Learning will be presented as a practical approach applied to Quanser Qube Servo 2 using the toolsets available from MathWorks. An extension to Deep Reinforcement Learning will be given to demonstrate the wide range of applications where Machine Learning can help accelerate different areas of research.


Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories: Industry Lunch Session

Organizer:      Stefano Di Cairano, Karl Berntorp, Rien Quirynen, Abraham Vinod, Avishai Weiss

Time:               12:30 – 13:30 Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:       Sapphire EF

Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) is a leading research organization located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA that conducts fundamental research for industrially motivated problems. MERL is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, a $40B global manufacturer of a wide range of products including industrial robots, automotive electronics, HVAC systems, factory automation equipment, electrical power systems, elevators, satellites, and information visualization systems. MERL is an active and collaborative member of both the academic and industrial communities. MERL researchers collaborate with corporate laboratories and business units in Japan, as well as with academic partners from around the world to develop novel solutions to challenging problems. Several groups and researchers at MERL develop new theoretical results in control and systems theory, robotics, autonomy, optimization, and learning, and apply them to a wide variety of products and applications.

In this talk we will present an overview of research activities at MERL, including fundamental research in control and its application to a variety of future products. We will focus on fundamental research topics including model predictive control and the control of constrained systems, estimation and motion planning for autonomous systems, real-time optimization and integration of learning and control methods. Then, we will describe how these fundamental research areas have impacted real world applications and products such as autonomous vehicles, energy-efficient HVAC systems, high-precision manufacturing, and spacecraft guidance and control.

We encourage students and researchers interested in collaborating with MERL to attend this talk and inquire of opportunities.


Lockheed Martin: Industry Lunch Session

Organizer:      Daniel W. Kwon (LM Space), James A. Ramsey (LM

                          Aeronautics), Alberto Speranzon (LM Advanced Tech. Labs)

Time:               12:30 – 13:30 Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:         Aqua 313

 At Lockheed Martin we tackle complex problems across all possible environments. At the Space Advanced Technology Center (ATC), innovation extends beyond incremental change. We push for first-of-a-kind capability with enduring impact. Whatever the application, our charter is to create game-changing technologies. We are the research labs for Lockheed Martin Space. The ATC creates foundational technologies that inspire, protect, and connect our world. Our history goes back to 1956, founded in Palo Alto, California, helping seed what would become Silicon Valley. Today, we still carry on the legacy that started our labs, like the very beginnings of solar science and rocket technology (even underwater). We continue to evolve and lead the way in new realms, like lasers, nanomaterials and informatics. At the ATC, we are driving change in our endless pursuit of what’s next. The future of aerospace is being shaped by the infusion of knowledge into our algorithms—knowledge comprised of fundamental physics and mathematics, engineering ingenuity, advanced computing techniques, and experience.  At LM Aeronautics Skunks Works® the notion that, “what we don’t know can’t hurt us”, does not apply to what we do in aerospace design and control.  Knowledge, whether acquired directly or indirectly, a priori or on-the-fly, is critical to the decision-making process.  Inflight adjustments are a vital part of meeting aircraft stability and performance requirements for both manned and unmanned vehicles in the presence of disturbances and/or parametric uncertainty.

The Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) is the research and development center for scientific advancement for LM in the areas of autonomy, robotics, artificial intelligence, command & control, human-machine symbiosis, spectrum operations, hypersonics and cyber. ATL engineers and scientists develop and apply leading edge technologies to our customers’ most difficult problems and needs, redefining global security and transforming emerging ideas into solutions. In this session we will present ongoing research across LM and make the case that “what we don’t know can hurt us”.


An Overview of the US Department of Transportation’s New Research Initiatives and Funding Programs

Organizers:     Chris Atkinson and Shreshta Rajakumar Deshpande

Time:               13:00 – 14:00, Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Location:         Aqua 311A


This special session aims to discuss some of the new advanced R&D initiatives at the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The speaker, Dr. Chris Atkinson, Deputy Director for Advanced Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) at DOT, will provide a background on the goals, priorities, and objectives of the DOT, particularly in light of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. Dr. Atkinson will explain the newly created and funded Advanced Research Projects Agency – Infrastructure (ARPA-I) within DOT, modeled after ARPA-E and DARPA. Further, this presentation will highlight the DOT’s efforts in Intersection Safety – using AV technologies including machine vision and perception, AI & ML, PNT, trajectory planning and real-time control, and decision-making to enhance the safety of vulnerable road users at intersections in real-time. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Thursday Special Sessions

Halliburton: Industry Lunch Session

Organizer:      Robert Darbe and Zhijie (Alan) Sun

Time:               12:00 – 13:00 Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Sapphire 411A

Please join a special session to learn about control challenges in the energy service sector and how Halliburton’s Controls Center of Excellence approaches them.  Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.  The company is leveraging control theory, data analytics, and digital technologies to bring automation to the upstream oil and gas industry.  This session intends to provide insight into technologies that are advancing the energy service industry.  We will introduce some practical and challenging control problems, such as wellbore trajectory control, active vibration suppression, and process optimization to maximize hydrocarbon recovery.  Students and researchers interested in collaborating with Halliburton are encouraged to attend this session. 

Teaching system identification and mechatronics with the low-cost portable balancing bi-copter

Organizers:  Melda Ulusoy, Craig Buhr – Mathworks, and
Eniko T. Enikov – University of Arizona

Time:              12:00 – 13:00 Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:        Sapphire 411B

This session will demonstrate the development of system identification and controller design experiments with a low-cost mechatronic system – the “bi-copter”. The intended audience are instructors of system identification, controls, and mechatronics courses, interested in implementing low-cost experiments based on Arduino and MATLAB/Simulink environment. More specifically, the session will demonstrate a miniature balancing-beam, driven by two propellers. The kit is connected to MATLAB/Simulink via Arduino Nano-IoT board. Wireless link between MATLAB/Simulink environment and the kit allows students to supply different test inputs, collect the response data (tilt angle) and identify various dynamic models (ARMAX, ARX, Box-Jenkins, State-Space). Models are examined in terms of their validity. The importance of selecting appropriate input signal is also examined. Concepts such as persistent excitation, residual cross-correlation and auto-correlation are illustrated using experimental data. The accuracy of the DC gain of the model is examined using classical techniques such as root locus analysis and compared with experimentally obtained stability limit. The validated model is then used to design a PID controller and a dead-beat controller. The presentation is illustrated by examples of student assignments used in graduate and mixed-level (undergraduate-graduate) courses at the University of Arizona.


ASML: Industry Information Session

Organizer:      Pratap Bhanu Solanki, Ram Sai Gorugantu, and Josh DeBan

Time:               11:30 – 12:30, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Aqua 314

 ASML brings together the most creative minds in science and technology to develop lithography machines that are key to producing faster, cheaper, more energy-efficient microchips. We design, develop, integrate, market and service these advanced machines, which enable our customers—the world’s leading chipmakers —to reduce the size and increase the functionality of their microchips, which in turn leads to smaller, more powerful consumer electronics. Our headquarters are in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, and we have 18 office locations around the United States. The ASML industrial information talk will focus on ASML’s key products and technologies, ASML’s impact on the semiconductor industry and future of technology in general. The talk will also cover major aspects of life at ASML, the onsite recruitment process and overview of benefits of working at ASML.

In this session, a collection of late-breaking results will be presented as posters. Meanwhile, small portable experiments that conference participants have built for education or research purposes will be demonstrated. This session is co-sponsored by the CSS Technical Committee on Education.

Increasing recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented groups through research experience

Organizer:      Satadru Dey, Damoon Soudbakhsh, Polina Ringler, Stephanie

                          Stockar, Reza Amini, Ankush Chakrabarty

Time:               16:30 – 18:00, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Sapphire 411A

In recent years, the paucity of skilled research engineers and scientists in various domains worldwide is becoming increasingly alarming. This has been exacerbated by recent pandemic-related uncertainties leading to career changes. A crucial factor that contributes to this issue is the inability to retain undergraduate students for graduate programs. Lack of retention can be additionally attributed to the lack of representation in research careers by various minority groups, and lack of infrastructure attracting and promoting these groups. These issues can be ameliorated by enhancing the research experience of undergraduate students. In this context, this special session proposes a panel discussion by three speakers who will share their experiences, best practices, and recommendations on how to improve undergraduate research experience at both academic- and industrial-research institutions. The format of the session will be three 10-minute talks followed by a 30-min panel discussion. The speakers include, Prof. Mahasweta Sarkar from San Diego State University, Dr. Sara Mohon, an Electrified Powertrain Engineer at BorgWarner, and Lisa Barclay, Assistant Dean and Chief Diversity Officer in the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University.

A Panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—A Necessity for Humanity

Organizers: Prasanta Ghosh, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Amir Aghdam

Time: 16:30 – 18:00, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location: Sapphire 411B

In this global world we must work together in creating a workplace that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all. Diversity, equality, and inclusion enhance everyone’s identity through acceptance and recognizing individuality. Looking back, we have seen that racism and implicit bias have led to a lack of diversity in workplaces, as related to women, people from underrepresented groups, cultural differences, and stereotyping. Therefore, despite many challenges, we must work together to find ways to create a workplace with an environment of opportunity for only brains and hearts. This panel will discuss the gaps in data, theory, and scale which in turn will point to future needed work in creating a diverse, equal, and inclusive work environment. We will have panel members with diverse expertise. Each panel member will first talk briefly about terminology and ways to promote the development of an equal, inclusive, and diverse workforce in academia, private, public, and volunteer organizations. The panel will provide a platform where engineers, scientists, medical doctors, and administrators will discuss and find ways to work together realizing that they are intrinsically tied to each other.

Student Networking Event at ACC 2023

Organizer:      Audrey Blizard, Lily Li, Rui Huang, and Joe Drallmeier

Time:               16:30 – 18:00, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Sapphire AB

This event will provide an opportunity for all interested students attending ACC to receive career advice from professionals working in industry, academia, and national laboratories during a structured event. The goal of this event is to provide an engaging experience to students that illustrates the benefits of involvement in the control community, encouraging the students’ continued participation as the future leaders in the field. Following a 15-minute introductory presentation, during which the invited professions will provide an overview of their background and areas of interest, the format will consist of three rounds of rotating round-table discussions.  In each round, a group of 6-7 students will have an approximately 20-minute open discussion with one of the professional attendees, before rotating to another table and repeat this process two more times. In the final 15 minutes, students will be given open social time which will allow them to meet with any panelists with whom they did not have a rotation and exchange contact information to grow their networks.

Attendees must register for the session in advance using the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/FZG4edJQje

Family-Friendly Session: Robotics Themed Outreach

Organizer:      Anouck Girard

Time:               16:00 – 18:00, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Aqua 310A

In this family-friendly session, children will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of robotics-themed activities.  These include “Toothbrush” robots (Pre-K to grade 5) in which attendees build robots from a toothbrush head, a pager motor, tape and pipe cleaners. A second activity will be a robot secret code hunt (grades 3-5) in which attendees decode ten different cyphers and secret codes. Children are required to have a parent or guardian with them at the session and can attend at any time during the two-hour session

Status and Trends of Automotive and Transportation Systems: Electrification, Connection, and Automation

Organizer:      Shreshta Rajakumar Deshpande, Joe Drallmeier, Mehmet Ozkan

Time:               16:30 – 18:00, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Aqua 311A

The transportation sector is facing an unprecedented shift towards electrification and automation. This trend influences researchers in academia and industry alike, as well as students with interests in automotive and transportation systems. Understanding the problems, challenges, and opportunities in this shift with different perspectives from academia and industry alike is paramount for researchers looking to participate in this area. This session will provide an opportunity for researchers to hear and engage with experts in the field who are navigating and facilitating this transition. Further, this discussion will introduce students to the broad range of career paths available to them along with providing dedicated time for them to ask questions and seek advice from a panel of speakers with varying technical backgrounds and career experiences.

Getting Funded by NSF: Proposal Preparation and the Merit Review Process

Organizer:      Harry Dankowicz, Jordan Berg, and Eva Kanso

Time:               16:30 – 18:30, Thursday, June 1, 2023

Location:         Aqua 314

This session targets junior faculty and researchers who might be new to NSF and describes detailed guidelines and practical advice for proposal preparation. The presenters will go over NSF review process and Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria, as well as share most common mistakes made by the Primary Investigators when submitting a proposal. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.