Program - Workshops


We are planning an exciting conference this fall and look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

As you may know, this year we have five workshops being offered in the afternoon on Sunday, September 30, 2018. We very much hope you consider them and choose to register and attend one. Early bird registration ($75) ends on August 20, after which the price increases to $100.

Please note that the conference registration system, run by Orchid, unfortunately does not allow you to go back in and add a workshop to your registration if you did not select one when you registered. Not to worry, though! There is a simple workaround should you like to add one now. Simply send an e-mail to, letting them know which workshop you would like to add. The staff will then help you from that point.

All workshops will be held on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Workshop 1: From data to models and decisions in engineering systems
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Annalisa Scacchioli, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
Mahdi Shahbakhti, Associate Professor, Michigan Technological University

Dr. Prabir Barooah, Associate Professor, University of Florida (
Dr. John-Paul B. Clarke, Dean’s Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, (
Dr. Rahul Mangharam, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania (
Dr. Hamidreza Modares, Assistant Professor, Michigan State Univeristy (
Dr. Javad Mohammadpour, Associate Professor, University of Georgia (javadm@uga.eduj)
Dr. Manish Parashar, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University (

Workshop abstract
The design and control of next-generation of automotive and aerospace vehicles requires innovations in computational methods involving the role of big data in modeling and decisions. This workshop presents leading researchers working on various aspects of data analytics, including data management, data- driven modeling, machine learning, and control with applications to aerospace, driverless vehicles, human-machine interactions, and power grids. The future directions of data science and control engineering important to the mechanical engineering community will be emphasized in this workshop.

Workshop topics and outline

Outline and timing of topics covered (1-5pm)


Welcome and Workshop Introduction
Dr. Annalisa Scacchioli


1:05-1:40 pm
Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering
Dr. Manish Parashar


1:40-2:15 pm
A Driver’s License Test for Driverless Vehicles
Dr. Rahul Mangharam


Data-driven State-Space LPV Model Identification using Machine Learning with Applications in Robotics
Dr. Javad Mohammadpour


2:50-3:10 pm


3:10-3:45 pm
Data-driven Identification and Prediction for Optimization-based Predictive Control for Smart Building
Dr. Prabir Barooah


3:45-4:20 pm
Resilient Autonomous Decision Making in Multi-agent Cyber-physical Systems
Dr. Hamidreza Modares          


4:20-4:55 pm
Aerospace Analytics
Dr. John-Paul B. Clarke


4:55-5:00 pm
Discussion and Workshop Conclusion
Dr. Annalisa Scacchioli and Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti        


Workshop 2: Enhancing energetic performance for mobile and wearable robotic systems
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Anirban Mazumdar, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Aaron Young, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Workshop abstract
The interplay between energy and performance is particularly critical for mobile and human-worn systems that must carry their own energy supply (battery). There is an inherent trade-off between increasing performance capabilities of many robots and energetic cost. For example, low endurance can restrict the ability to perform many tasks, while a large battery can restrict performance through added weight and size. Minimizing energy consumption while maintaining high levels of functionality requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Actuator dynamics, drivetrain selection, gait control approaches, interface dynamics and harvesting capacity all influence the overall energetic performance of autonomous systems. Mobility itself may present new opportunities and recent works have shown how platooning or flocking strategies can increase vehicle range. Similarly, new studies have demonstrated the promise of using mobile systems that can optimize their location for harvesting energy from time and spatially varying flows. Wearable robots often have a dual and often competing objective function in terms of improving energetic economy of not only the robot but also the human operator. This frontier session seeks to advance knowledge and collaboration in this growing field by bringing together experts from legged robotics, prosthesis, exoskeletons, novel actuators, and energy harvesting.

Workshop topics and outline

  1. Greetings and introduction
  2. The need for efficient mobility
  3. Energy efficiency in wearable systems: tradeoffs between operator and robot
  4. Energy efficient mobile systems
  5. Examining energy in wearable technologies
  6. Energy harvesting with autonomous and mobile technologies

Workshop 3: Connected and automated vehicles
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm


Mahdi Shahbakhti, Associate Professor, Michigan Technological University
Hosam Fathy, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University
Ardalan Vahidi, Professor, Clemson University
Sean Brennan, Professor, Pennsylvania State University
Scout Moura, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Andreas Malikopoulos, Associate Professor, University of Delaware
Greg Shaver, Professor, Purdue University
Chen-Fang Chang, Lab Group Manager, Propulsion Control Systems Group, GM Global R&D
Marcello Canova, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University
Bo Chen, Associate Professor, Michigan Technological University
Junmin Wang, Professor, University of Texas, Austin
Anna Stefanopoulou, Professor, University of Michigan
Chris Vermillion, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Zongxuan Sun, Professor, University of Minnesota
Mr. Hotz, Southwest Research Institute’s Ann Arbor Technical Center
Pierluigi Pisu, Associate Professor, Clemson University
Giorgio Rizzoni, Professor, The Ohio State University
Jing Sun, Professor, University of Michigan

Workshop abstract
The automotive industry is undergoing major changes, with substantial growth in the areas of autonomy and connectivity. By 2021, the majority of vehicles sold in US will be connected vehicles. In addition, different automotive OEMs have launched large-scale programs for deploying autonomous vehicles (ranging from L2 to L5) on the road over the next 10 years. Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) reduce traffic congestion, improve mobility, and decrease vehicular energy consumption. To realize these benefits, integrated vehicle controls, including both vehicle dynamics and powertrain (VD&PT) control, eco-routing, and transportation analytics are required. Future CAVs call for advanced control and real-time energy-efficiency optimization methods. Some of major CAV challenges include: the development of computationally-efficient VD&PT control and optimization methods, virtual sensing and data construction, V2X (vehicle to vehicle, infrastructure, etc.), cyber security, real-time traffic data mining, diagnosis and fault tolerance. This workshop aims to discuss the CAV opportunities, challenges, and present some of the recent developments in the areas of controls, dynamical analysis, fault diagnosis, communication, cyber security, and traffic management of CAVs.

Workshop topics and outline

  1. Workshop overview
  2. Eco-driving with CAVs
  3. VX2 communications and vehicle instrumentation
  4. Real-time traffic modeling and speed profiling
  5. Intersection management for CAV fuel economy
  6. Vehicle platooning
  7. Vehicle dynamics and powertrain control for light-duty CAVs
  8. Advanced cylinder deactivation in 48V-mHEV powertrains with CAV capabilities
  9. Leveraging vehicle connectivity to optimize vehicle mode selection and powertrain energy management for connected multi-mode PHEVs
  10. There is energy in the air: using traffic info to stretch the battery range in a PHEV vehicle
  11. Personalized and intelligent efficiency and driving safety enhancements for connected and automated vehicles
  12. VD&PT control for heavy duty CAVs
  13. Evaluation of CAVs
  14. Demonstrating results – measuring the impact of CAV technologies on vehicle fuel consumption
  15. V2X cyber security
  16. Diagnosis, functional safety, and fault tolerance in automated vehicles- new challenges for the automotive industry
  17. Outlook – open issues and future directions

Workshop 4: The future of mechatronics and robotics education
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Vikram Kapila, Professor, New York University
Michael A. Gennert, Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
James Mynderse, Assistant Professor, Lawrence Technological University
Nima Lotfi, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Workshop abstract
Mechatronics and Robotics are experiencing tremendous, dynamic growth owing to recent advances in integrated circuits and electronics, embedded systems and computers, networks, and intelligent system as well as democratization of access through open source hardware/software, and Maker movement. Mechatronics and Robotics engineers are shaping the world by designing smart and autonomous systems and processes that can improve human life and welfare. Such engineers require an interdisciplinary knowledge of mechanical, electrical, computer, software, and systems engineering to oversee the entire design and development process. To address the needs of industry for trained individuals in this field, many universities and colleges have introduced courses, minors, and degree programs. Furthermore, numerous experimental platforms have been developed and utilized to provide engaging, hands-on experiences to students; however, these efforts lack cohesion. Now is the time to unify and standardize educational material, including frameworks, curricula, course outlines, experiments, and assignments to make Mechatronics and Robotics education more widely available.

The objectives of this workshop are to bring together industry and academic professionals in Mechatronics and Robotics, share experiences, and initiate efforts towards defining the field. We aim to encourage and facilitate the wide adoption of Mechatronics and Robotics degree programs. Workshop participants will learn about recent successes in offering these degrees, help influence the future of the field, and contribute to the growing Mechatronics and Robotics education community. This workshop will benefit a wide range of DSCC participants including educators teaching mechatronics, robotics, dynamics, and control courses; PhD students seeking academic careers in mechatronics and robotics; and industry professionals desiring to shape the future workforce.

Workshop topics and outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Interactive sessions I (choose a concurrent interactive session listed below)
    1. Mechatronic education knowledge base
    2. Robotics education knowledge base
    3. Project-based learning in mechatronics and robotics engineering
    4. Community building
  3. Report out and discussion
  4. Interactive sessions II (choose a concurrent interactive session listed below)
    1. Reducing barriers to adoption
    2. Accreditation
    3. Preparation to teach mechatronics and robotics engineering
    4. Community building
  5. Report out and discussion
  6. Summary

Workshop 5: Autonomous control for rotorcraft operation
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Cornel Sultan, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech

Workshop abstract
Autonomous operation of rotorcraft will greatly expand the range of achievable missions and operational envelopes. Autonomy is enabled by a multidisciplinary approach in which advanced feedback control plays a central role. This workshop discusses critical needs and challenges related to autonomy and control design for rotorcraft, along with recent contributions.

Highly constrained autonomous rotorcraft missions demand increasingly complex control models which capture the dynamics associated with mission requirements. Novel control technologies enable a larger space for control variables and improved control authority beyond what is typically achieved by conventional rotorcraft controls. Modern control in rotorcraft control is necessary to adequately handle the highly coupled large models and multiple objectives associated with complex missions. In this context, the current and future trend in rotorcraft design and control is towards integration of complex models and control designs.

By bringing together students and professionals from diverse related areas such as dynamics, control, structures, system design, computations, the workshop is expected to foster interdisciplinary cooperation. The workshop will educate the audience about challenges, solutions, future directions in rotorcraft autonomy, along with ramifications in other areas such as turbomachinery and turbine control, in which the presenter is also active. It will also illustrate how knowledge from different fields can be leveraged to address complex problems.

Workshop topics and outline

  1. Rotary versus fixed wing aircraft
    1. Introduction
    2. Aeromechanics
    3. Control, sensing, and actuation mechanisms
  2. Simulation versus control models
    1. Fundamentals
    2. Control models
    3. Examples
  3. Control design for rotorcraft
    1. Fundamentals
    2. Technological advances
    3. Modern control
  4. Example applications
    1. Model predictive control in helicopter shipboard operations
    2. Variance constrained control
    3. Simultaneous helicopter and control design: active rotor