New Dean Takes Expertise in Robotics to Russia
Incoming Head of Jonsson School Delivers Address at Engineering Conference
July 17, 2008
Dr. Mark W. Spong is a pre-eminent robotics and engineering researcher in high demand—both at home and abroad.
Stateside, he recently accepted the deanship of UT Dallas’ Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, where he will start in mid-August.
But before that, he boarded a plane bound for St. Petersburg, Russia, where he delivered the opening plenary address at the European Mechanics Society’s Nonlinear Oscillations Conference (ENOC).
Spong, currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a noted expert on robotic control systems.
His talk at ENOC on June 30 focused on the difficulties of synchronizing and coordinating multi-agent systems, such as coordinating a room full of robots controlled by a room full of teleoperators.
“This was the Sixth Euromech Nonlinear Dynamics Conference,” Spong said. “It brought together many of the world’s leading researchers in nonlinear dynamics and control.
“And one step better, it’s a great opportunity to meet people in the Russian scientific community that I’ve not yet had a chance to meet.”
Spong had been invited to deliver his talk, titled “Control of multi-agent system: A passivity-based perspective,” by Professor Alexander Fradkov of the Institute for Problems of Mechanical Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Fradkov had heard Spong deliver the keynote address of the inaugural Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Multiconference on Systems and Control in Singapore. Based on the strength of the presentation and the interest it generated, Fradkov invited Spong to speak in St. Petersburg.
Spong joined an array of leading European experts to discuss a host of related topics. Experts came from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Scotland and beyond.