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Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Gary J. Balas
Distinguished McKnight University Professor

Gary Balas

Contact information
Office: 107A Akerman Hall
Phone: 612-625-8000
E-mail: balas (at) umn.edu

Personal web page
See a research Q&A
List of research topics
Current research projects

Professor Balas' main research interest is narrowing the gap between engineering requirements, real-time control implementation and theoretical control analysis and design techniques. He has focused on describing "real" physical systems via sets of models with the goal to develop an integrated framework for fault detection and isolation, control modeling, analysis, and synthesis, based on physically motivated assumptions, which make use of the specific characteristics of each system to be controlled. Research being pursued to achieve these goals includes: 1) development of theoretical tools for nonlinear robustness analysis, 2) theoretical extensions of nonlinear control algorithms, 3) applying these theoretical developments to real world control problems, and 4) experimentally validating results.

Dr. Balas' areas of research include: extension of receding horizon control (RHC), linear, parameter-varying (LPV) control and dynamic inversion techniques to address highly nonlinear and switched systems, development and application of a robust, multivariable control theory to flexible structures, flight and high speed underwater vehicle control and process control; development of a unifying approach to aircraft health management and control to dramatically increase flight safety. Specific topics being studied are: development of a systematic nonlinear robustness analysis tools to aid validation and verification of adaptive, flight control systems; design and experimental validation of vehicle control algorithms for a high speed, supercavitating underwater vehicle; development of a new control framework for impulse vehicle control, robustness of nonlinear inversion techniques in the presence of model error and development of an indoor, uninhabited aerial vehicle to help test and validate the theory, algorithms and real-time software being developed by his group.

Degrees

B.S., Civil and Electrical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 1982
M.S., Civil and Electrical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 1984
Ph.D., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 1989

Experience

2006 - 2014: Department Head Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2001 - Present: Professor Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics and Control Science & Dynamical Systems Center, University of Minnesota
1996 - 2001: Associate Professor Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics and Control Science & Dynamical Systems Center, University of Minnesota
1995 - Present: Co-Director Control Science and Dynamical Systems Program, University of Minnesota
1992 - 2004: Director of Graduate Studies Control Science & Dynamical Systems Department, University of Minnesota
1990 - 1996: Assistant Professor Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota
1990 - 1991: Visiting Research Fellow Department of Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
1984 - 1989: Research Assistant California Institute of Technology
1987 - 1988: Teaching Assistant California Institute of Technology 1984; Staff Engineer H R Textron, Systems Group, Irvine, CA
1982 - 1984: Research & Teaching Assistant University of California
1979 - 1984: Bachelor Fellowship Engineer Hughes Aircraft Company, Fullerton, CA

Five Recent Publications

  • Y.C. Paw and G.J. Balas, 2011, Development and application of an integrated framework for small UAV flight control development, Mechatronics: Special Issue on Development of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 789-802, (Journal Article) More Details
  • B. Vanek, P. Seiler, G.J. Balas, and Jozsef Bokor, 2011, Robust Model Matching for Geometric Fault Detection Filters: A Commercial Aircraft, Automatic Control in Aerospace (online journal), (Journal Article) More Details
  • A. Chakraborty, P. Seiler and G.J. Balas, 2011, Susceptibility of F/A-18 Flight Controllers to the Falling Leaf Mode: Nonlinear Analysis, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Dynamics and Control, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 73-85, (Journal Article) More Details, Request PDF
  • A. Chakraborty, P. Seiler and G.J. Balas, 2011, Susceptibility of F/A-18 Flight Controllers to the Falling Leaf Mode: Linear Analysis, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Dynamics and Control, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 57-72, (Journal Article) More Details, Request PDF
  • A. Chakraborty, P. Seiler and G.J. Balas, 2011, Nonlinear region of attraction analysis for flight control verification and validation, IFAC Control Engineering Practice Journal, vol. 19, issue 4, pp. 335-345, (Journal Article) More Details

See more publications

Honors and Fellowships

Chair, Aerospace Department Chairs Association (ADCA), 2010
Background
Distinguished McKnight Fellowship, 2007
Background
O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award, 2006
Background
IEEE Control System Society Fellow, 2005-2006
Background
Institute of Technology George Taylor Distinguished Research Award, 2003
Background
Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 1999
Background
McKnight-Land Grant Professorship, 1993-1995
Background
Hughes Aircraft Undergraduate Student Fellowship, 1980-82

Subjects and Courses Taught

Undergraduate
AEM 3101 -- Mathematical Modeling and Simulation in Aerospace Engineering
EE 4231 -- Linear Control Systems: Designed by Input/Output Methods
Graduate
EE 5235 -- Robust Control System Design
AEM 5495 -- Topics in Aerospace Systems
AEM 8400 -- Research Seminar in Dynamics and Controls
AEM 8401 -- Modern Feedback Control
AEM 8421 -- Robust Multivariable Control Design
AEM 8495 -- Selected Topics in Dynamical Systems and Controls
CSDY 8899 -- Control Science Seminar
Curriculum Vitae Brief Biographical Sketch

Last Modified: Tuesday, 14-Jan-2014 10:23:32 CST