IRIM Spring 2024 Seminar | From State Space Control to Intelligent Machines: A Five-Decade Journey in Mechanical Systems Control

Abstract:  I joined the Mechanical Engineering Department of UC Berkeley in 1974 after obtaining a PhD from MIT in the same year.  It was an exciting time for someone in the field of dynamic systems and control.  The 1960’s – 1970’s was the period when the state space control theories blossomed such as maximum principle, dynamic programming, Lyapunov stability, Kalman filtering, Linear Quadratic Gaussian Control and stability based adaptive control theory. At the same time, computer/information technology has made phenomenal advances during the period. At MIT I used IBM1130 (with a card reader and printer) and a PDP-8 mini-computer.   When I joined UC Berkeley, the campus mainframe computer was a CDC (Control Data Corporation) 6000 series computer, and the lab computer was PDP-7, which was upgraded to PDP-11, LSI-11, etc. The control program at Berkeley covered from both theory to implementation, and it was followed by many other schools. The1970’s was the time when a new generation of mechanical systems showed up; IBM introduced the Winchester Hard Disk Drive in 1973 and the FANUC Corporation was established in 1972.  My laboratory, Mechanical Systems Control (MSC) Laboratory, naturally evolved to a group to study both mathematical and implementation aspects of controls. The current research emphasis of the MSC Laboratory is on intelligent industrial robots and autonomous driving. Several representative current projects will be introduced.

Bio: Masayoshi Tomizuka received his Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 1974.  In 1974, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, where he currently holds the Cheryl and John Neerhout, Jr., Distinguished Professorship Chair and serves as Associate Dean for the Faculty in the College of Engineering.  His current research interests are control theory, merging model based control and machine learning, mechatronic systems such as intelligent robots and autonomous vehicles.  He served as Program Director of the Dynamic Systems and Control Program of the National Science Foundation (2002-2004). He has supervised about 140 Ph. D. students to completion.  He is the recipient of the Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (ASME, 1997), the Rufus Oldenburger Medal (ASME, 2002), the John R. Ragazzini Award (AACC, 2006), the Richard Bellman Control Heritage Award (AACC, 2018) and the Nichols Medal (IFAC, 2020).  He is an honorary member of ASME, Life Fellow of IEEE and is a member of the United State National Academy of Engineering.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, March 6, 2024
    12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building 1118
Fee(s): N/A

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