2018 American Control Conference: From Theory to Practice in Control - Enhancing Innovation and Impact | Technological Leadership Institute

Date: June 26, 2018 - 8:30am

Location: Wisconsin Center | 400 W Wisconsin Ave Milwaukee, WI 53203

Speakers: Tariq Samad (TLI) and O. Lucia Quintero (Universidad EAFIT)

From Theory to Practice in Control: Enhancing Innovation and Impact
ACC 2018 Workshop, Tuesday, June 26, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Organizers and Chairs
• Tariq Samad, Senior Fellow, Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, tsamad@umn.edu
• O. Lucia Quintero, Program Director, Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia, oquinte1@eafit.edu.co

Additional Presenters
• Ankur Ganguli, Director of Engineering for Propulsion Controls Software, General Motors, Detroit
• Sahika Genc, Senior Applied Scientist, Amazon Artificial Intelligence, Seattle
• Benyamin Grosman, Senior Principal Scientist, Medtronic, Northridge, California
• Atul Kelkar, Program Director, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, Virginia, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
• Pramod Khargonekar, Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine
• Greg Stewart, Senior Fellow, Honeywell, Vancouver, Canada

For realizing commercial, industry, or societal benefit, the mindset in the control community needs to expand from theorems and algorithms to innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology management. The level of theory and rigor in control science and engineering will always distinguish the field from most engineering disciplines, but it has become increasingly critical to connect the dots that lead to viable products, solutions, services, and thereby to broader impact. This is no abstract objective; it is intimately connected to the prospects for graduate students seeking industry positions and prospering in them, for faculty whose research developments may be ready for tech transfer, and for industry researchers faced with crossing the “valley of death” from their lab environments. Indeed, all stakeholders of our discipline should care.

This workshop will convene leaders in control, with experience across industry, academia, and government, to discuss opportunities and develop recommendations for furthering the real-world impact of control technology. Either in current roles or recent positions, workshop presenters include:

  • Academics who have succeeded in taking research to commercial offerings;
  • Industry leaders who have led control-driven innovations across multiple industry sectors;
  • Government agency representatives who have championed the role of control technology for meeting critical societal challenges;
  • Researchers, practitioners, and educators who have thought deeply and pragmatically about the research-to-practice challenge for control.

This workshop is also an activity of the newly formed IFAC Industry Committee, of which the organizer is the founding chair and the co-organizer a member of the Executive Subcommittee. This workshop will help the IFAC Industry Committee in pursuing its objectives of industry impact from control research and industry engagement with IFAC and related associations. Discussions and panel sessions have already been organized under the auspices of the Industry Committee (e.g., two sessions in Toulouse during the 2017 IFAC World Congress) and outcomes of these will inform the workshop proceedings.

Click here for the workshop schedule with descriptions of each session.
Presenters’ slides will be made available to registered attendees at the workshop.

Intended Audience
We are targeting the workshop to the following constituencies, for each of which specific questions and issues will be covered:

  • Graduate students interested in corporate careers: Students will better understand issues such as: How is technology developed and productized in industry? What processes do companies follow for innovation? How are pursuits of breakthrough and incremental innovation followed? What are C-suite leaders looking for?
  • Faculty, students, and other innovators interested in commercializing research developments: What are different paths to commercialization and the pros and cons of each? What funding sources are available?
  • Junior industry R&D staff: What are the challenges of effective R&D in large companies? What are failure modes of technology transfer from lab to business? How can implementation challenges be overcome? How can effective industry/university collaborations be developed?
  • Graduate students and faculty seeking to identify impactful topics for research: What are important societal problems that control technology can address? What considerations must be kept in mind in pursuing such research? How important is domain knowledge and how can it be gained effectively?

Presenter Biographies:

Tariq Samad (organizer) holds the Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair at the Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota. He was with Honeywell until 2016, retiring as Corporate Fellow and Global Innovation Leader. His interests relate broadly to automation, intelligence, and autonomy for complex engineering systems. Dr. Samad was President of IEEE Control Systems Society in 2009 and of the American Automatic Control Council in 2014-15. He is a Fellow of IEEE and IFAC. He is editor-in-chief of IEEE Press. His publications include the Encyclopedia of Systems and Control (co-editor-in-chief, Springer, 2014) and The Impact of Control Technology reports (co-editor, IEEE CSS, 2008 and 2011). Dr. Samad holds a B.S. from Yale University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the founding chair of the IFAC Industry Committee.

O. Lucia Quintero (co-organizer) is the Academic Director of the Mathematical Engineering PhD Program and Mathematical Modeling Research Group at Universidad EAFIT. She received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Colombia-Medellin and her PhD in Control Engineering Systems from the Institute of Automation in Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina. She has worked as a consultant and as a process control engineer for oil and gas companies in Latin America for several years and she was also involved in developing solutions for the telecommunications market in the region. She was also a professor at USFQ in Quito, Ecuador. Her research interests are in control systems but also Bayesian filtering, multidimensional signal analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning. At EAFIT she directs collaborative programs with industry partners as well as national initiatives in seismic migration, air pollution, and digital agriculture introduction.

Ankur Ganguli is Director of Engineering for Propulsion Controls Software at General Motors, leading the development of safety critical, embedded controls software for engines, transmissions, and hybrid vehicles. Prior to joining General Motors she worked at Eaton where she held several positions leading various engineering teams in the area of automatic controls and safety critical systems for vehicle, hydraulics, and aerospace applications. Ankur received her B.E. (1998) from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India and M.S. & Ph.D. (2004) in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, where she serves as a member of the department’s advisory council. She is an honoree of the 2017 STEP Ahead awards, recognized for her contributions in science, technology, engineering and production.

Sahika Genc is a Senior Applied Scientist at Amazon Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Seattle, WA. She is also affiliated with Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab., consulting to current and potential Amazon Web Services (AWS) clients in applying machine learning at scale. Her current focus areas span across several AWS services including Internet-of-Things (IoT), reinforcement learning, and deep-learning. Prior to that, she was a Senior Machine Learning Scientist with GE Global Research for over 10 years, where she worked on industrial applications of machine learning and control in biomedical systems, self-healing power grids, cyber security, and energy management in commercial buildings. She was also an Adjunct Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has published over 25 papers and has over 20 patents issued or applied for. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and a Ph.D. in EE from the University of Michigan.

Benyamin Grosman received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Technion, Israel, in 1998, 2002, and 2008 respectively. From 2008 to 2010 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a guest investigator at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute involved in developing artificial pancreas algorithms. In 2010 he joined Medtronic, where he is now a Senior Principal Scientist. He has been leading the closed-loop algorithm development of the Medtronic 670G hybrid closed-loop insulin pump system, from early feasibility to pivotal trials and full product. He has received several awards for his work at Medtronic. Dr. Grosman has a broad background in diabetes, process mathematical modeling, process control and clinical trials design and coordination. He serves on the IFAC Industry Committee.

Atul Kelkar Dr. Kelkar is a Program Director in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation at NSF. He is also Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Prior to joining NSF, he was Associate Chair for Research and Technology Transfer in Mechanical Engineering and also Professor-in-Charge, Industry Research and Entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering at Iowa State. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, in 1993 while working as a Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA. Dr. Kelkar is a Fellow of ASME and an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a recipient of an NSF CAREER award. His research interests include modeling and control of aerospace systems, active control of vibrations and noise, and alternative energy technologies. Dr. Kelkar is also co-founder of five technology start-ups that have garnered awards and have successfully commercialized new technologies. Dr. Kelkar’s research and entrepreneurial success have led to significant national and regional media exposure.

Pramod Khargonekar received a B. Tech. degree in electrical engineering in 1977 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, and an M.S. degree in mathematics in 1980 and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1981 from the University of Florida. He has been on the faculties of the University of Florida, University of Minnesota, The University of Michigan, and the University of California, Irvine. He also served as Deputy Director of Technology at ARPA-E, U. S. Department of Energy in 2012-13, and as Assistant Director for the Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), 2013-16. In this latter position, Khargonekar led the Engineering Directorate with an annual budget of more than $950 million. In addition, he served as a member of the NSF senior leadership and management team and participated in setting priorities and policies. In June 2016, he assumed his current position as Vice Chancellor for Research and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. He has authored more than 150 refereed journal publications and 180 conference publications and has been recognized as a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher. He is a Fellow of IEEE and IFAC. He is a recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, AACC’s Donald Eckman Award, the Japan Society for Promotion of Science fellowships, the IEEE W. R. G. Baker Prize Award, the IEEE CSS George Axelby Best Paper Award, the Hugo Schuck ACC Best Paper Award, and the Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Service Awards from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. His current research and teaching interests include systems and control theory, machine learning, and applications to smart electric grid and neural engineering.

Greg Stewart is a Senior Fellow with Honeywell. His interests are in developing and deploying advanced control and data 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 has coordinated university-industry collaborations for research that led to Honeywell products while serving as Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received the IFAC Industrial Achievement Award 2017, the IEEE Control Systems Technology Award (twice), and the IEEE Transactions on Control 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.