IEEE ICMA 2007 Conference
Plenary Talk 2

Optimization and Control of Mechatronic Systems

Mario A. Rotea, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
160 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Tel: 413-545-4052, Fax: 413-545-1027
E-mail rotea@ecs.umass.edu

This plenary talk gives an overview of our research in optimization and control of mechatronic systems. In the first part of the talk, a convex program known as semidefinite program (SDP) will be presented. An SDP is an optimization problem with a linear objective function, and constraints on the eigenvalues of a linear matrix-valued function of the optimization variables. Key practical features of the SDP will be reviewed using mathematical language common to most control and automation engineers. The value of utilizing semidefinite programming in several important engineering problems will be discussed. In particular, it will be shown how SDP has facilitated advancements in the following areas: the design of estimation and control algorithms with fixed point arithmetic, the design of control laws with multiple specifications, the analysis of vibrations in turbomachinery components, and the design of state estimation algorithms with probability constraints on the state trajectories. In the second part of this talk, a (virtually) model-free optimization algorithm for control known as extremum seeking control (ESC) will be described. The ESC is based on the gradient method of nonlinear programming. The effectiveness of ESC to identify and track operating points of maximum performance of complex nonlinear mechatronic systems will be illustrated using a thermoacoustic cooling process. This talk will conclude with a personal perspective of growth opportunities for higher education in mechatronics and automation, which was developed essentially during my recent tenure as Program Director for Control Systems at the National Science Foundation.

Mario A. Rotea received his degree of Electronic Engineer from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, in 1983. He received his M.S.E.E. (1988) and Ph.D. (1990) in Control Science and Dynamical Systems, from the University of Minnesota. In April 2007, Dr. Rotea joined the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as Professor and Department Head of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He is also Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass. He came to UMass after sixteen years with Purdue University as Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Mechanical Engineering (by courtesy). Dr. Rotea was a Senior Research Engineer (1997-98) at the United Technologies Research Center. He was also the Director of the Control Systems Program (2005-2007) in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Rotea乫s research lies in the optimization and control of dynamical systems, with broad applicability to complex engineered systems. He has made fundamental contributions in optimal and robust estimation and control. Dr. Rotea has also been active in the development and transition of advanced methods for control systems analysis and design in industry, with applications that include flutter control and vibration analysis in gas turbine engines, noise and vibration control in helicopters, and chatter suppression in machine tools. His current interests include health management strategies for engineered systems and improved algorithms for model predictive control.

Dr. Rotea乫s contributions have been documented in more than one hundred archival and conference publications, and several reports to industry and government agencies. He is also the co-author of computer codes to predict the effect of manufacturing variations, wear, and aging in mechanical turbomachinery components. He is a recipient of the NSF Young Investigator Award (1993), and the C.T. Sun School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Excellence in Research Award (2006). Dr. Rotea is a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to robust and optimal control of multivariable systems.

Dr. Rotea has been on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control and the Conference Editorial Board of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He has served as member and chair of the D.P. Eckman Award Committee of the American Automatic Control Council. He has served in the Program Committee of the American Control Conference. Dr. Rotea is also a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society.