Stipanović receives prestigious Humboldt research award


August Schiess, CSL

CSL Associate Professor Dušan Stipanović has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s committee for mathematics, physics, and engineering for his research accomplishments in “control theory and calculus of variations.”

Dušan Stipanović
Dušan Stipanovic
With this award, Stipanović, associate professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering, will continue his fundamental work in control theory and calculus of variations, two areas that have applications in control of multiple satellites and unmanned vehicles. This prestigious research award is granted to only 20 applicants annually across all fields of research.

“I am very pleased that this award was given for my fundamental research results in computing explicit control laws based on convergent and differentiable approximations of minimum and maximum functions that I developed earlier,” said Stipanović.

He plans to spend a part of his sabbatical leave at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg in Germany, working with Klaus Schilling, professor and chair of robotics and telematics department at the University of Würzburg. They plan to collaborate on applications of Stipanović’s work to control formations of satellites as well as ground and aerial unmanned vehicles.

Some of his current research projects include work in mathematical mechanics with applications in medical robotics that power minimally invasive surgery. Controlling unmanned aerial vehicles have applications in helping the elderly population and agriculture. He also works on decentralized control and estimation of large-scale systems and control of discontinuous systems such as power electronic circuits.

“I have had a special place for mathematics going back to my high school days spent at the Mathematical Gymnasium in Belgrade,” Stipanović said. “I certainly plan to continue this basic research and an award like this is quite a justification to continue on this path.”

Stipanović earned his PhD in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University in 2000. He received an earlier Humboldt Research Fellowship Award, conducting research in Germany from 2008-2010. At the University of Illinois, he received the Arnold O. Beckman Research Award and Xerox Award for Faculty Research in 2009, and in 2014, he was awarded the Sharp Outstanding Teaching Award through ISE.