Visiting Fulbright Scholar
Experience Thus Far
Visiting Fulbright Scholar Bela Takarics joined the University's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics in December 2013. Working as a Research Associate, Takarics interests include reduced order modeling with a focus on aeroservoelastic vehicles and how their models vary across the flight envelope, and the application of a Tensor Product model based control design to aeroservoelastic vehicles. Now two months into his five-month stay, Takarics says his experience thus far has been "absolutely amazing."
Prior to applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program, Takarics received a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Control Theory from Budapest University of Technology and Economics. In 2010 he began working as a Research Fellow to develop a robust and multi-objective control and observer design based on Linear Parameter Varying (LPV) models and Linear Matrix Inequalities (LMI) at the Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
"The University of Minnesota Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics has one of the top research departments working in my research field and I was motivated to advance my work among the professionals here," says Takarics.
After connecting with AEM Professor Gary Balas through Professor József Bokor, Scientific Director of his home institute, the two wrote and submitted the application to the Fulbright committee in Hungary. The selection process is highly competitive and the criterion for Fulbright candidates includes high academic achievement, a compelling project proposal, demonstrated leadership potential, and an eagerness to interact with the host community abroad.
"Given his vast skill set and devoted approach to his studies it only made sense to welcome him to our team of researchers," explains Distinguished McKnight University Professor Gary Balas. "We are always looking to advance our research and see this as a great opportunity to do so. The department has had a strong connection with the Hungarian Academy of Science. We truly benefit from the exchange of scholars between our two institutions."
Only two months into his stay, Takarics is highly motivated by the work he has accomplished, claiming that his research is on the "fast track in terms of development" and expressing interest in extending his stay for an additional four months. When asked what is attributing to this success, Takarics explains that working in the laboratory and collaborating with other researchers has been incredibly helpful.
"In Hungary, theoretical research can be discovered and then lay dormant for some time," Takarics elaborates. "Here, our results are tested in practical applications and find their way to academic and industrial networks throughout the world; thereby contributing to a global understanding of the subject matter.
Moving forward, Takarics looks forward to devoting himself to his research and becoming integrated into the global network of researchers working with linear, parameter-varying control theory and aerospace applications around the world. Furthermore, he is eager to establish roots with the University and become a collaborator between AEM and his home institute.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 as a highly competitive, merit-based grant program with the intention of "[increasing] mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills." Today, the Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs in the world, providing approximately 1,000 grants to over 155 countries.