Sponsoring Organizations

Special Sessions

The conference program includes several special sessions in addition to the regular technical program. These sessions will be held over lunch on Wednesday and Friday and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Wednesday lunch

Sponsored Session: An Anthology of GE Control Solutions -- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Organizer: Roger Fittro, GE Global Research

Sponsored Session: The New Control Tutorials for MATLAB and Simulink
Organizer: Arkadiy Turevskiy, MathWorks

Sponsored Session: Oppportunities at Mitsubishi Electric Research
Organizer: Scott Bortoff, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories

Wednesday evening

Panel Session: Strengthening University / Industry Collaboration
Organizer: Maryam Khanbaghi, Corning

Panel Session: Academic Job Hunting
Organizers: Kira Barton, University of Michigan, and Andrew Alleyne, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Control Communities: Canada
Organizer: Michel Perrier, École Polytechnique Montréal

Control Systems for Multimedia Applications
Organizer: Carolina Brum Medeiros, McGill University

Thursday evening

Feedback, Interaction and Movement in Human Groups: A Participatory Event
Organizer: Naomi Leonard, Princeton University

Global Control Communities: Middle East
Organizer: Eyad Abed, UAE University

Panel Session: Industry Job Hunting
Organizers: Sahika Genc and Kit Siu, General Electric

Panel Session: Dos and Don'ts of Teaching Control
Organizer: Bill Messner, Carnegie Mellon University

Report from NSF: Funding Opportunities for System Science and Control Engineering
Organizers: Karlene Hoo and Eduardo Misawa, US National Science Foundation (NSF)

Friday lunch

Women in Control Luncheon Meeting
Organizer: Sonja Glavaski Radovanovic, United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)

Sponsored Session: Transforming Eaton Corporation Through Innovation in Power Management Solutions
Organizer: Ankur Ganguli, Eaton Corporation

Sponsored Session: Rapid Deployment of Deterministic Control Algorithms to Scalable, Real-Time Targets
Organizers: Jeannie Falcon and Margaret Barrett, National Instruments

Sponsored Session: Control Opportunities in Services
Organizer: Lalit Mestha, Xerox


Special Session Descriptions

Feedback, Interaction and Movement in Human Groups: A Participatory Event (6:15-7:30pm)
Organizers: Naomi Leonard, Princeton University; Amy Laviers, Georgia Institute of Technology; Susan Marshall, Princeton University
Location: Grand Ballroom

This special session will feature audience participation as a means of examining (and experiencing) the role of feedback and interaction through movement in the collective behavior of groups of people. The session derives from Flock Logic, a collaboration between a control theorist (Leonard) and a choreographer (Marshall). Flock Logic is a scientific and artistic exploration of the possibilities that can emerge when a group of dancers carry out the feedback rules for sensing and dynamic response used to model schools of fish and flocks of birds. The feedback rules govern how an individual moves in response to the relative position and motion of its close neighbors. Even these simple rules can produce complex, beautiful collective motion as observed in nature; neither leaders in the group nor prescribed choreography are needed.

Participants in the Flock Logic project have ranged from professional dancers to students to volunteers from the community with and without dance training. Differences in the way individuals choose neighbors and measure their behavior affect how information passes through the group. Likewise, differences in how people prioritize rules and resolve conflicts affect how the group as a whole responds to external forces. These differences motivate a rich set of artistic and scientific questions and possibilities. Of central importance is developing insights into how the prescribed individual-level feedback laws and the interconnections they impose connect to the aesthetics and functionality of the emergent group-level behaviors. These insights also have the potential to improve our understanding of and ability to design systems for human teams or crowds and animal groups in motion.

The session will start with a presentation of background material. This will be followed by a demonstration conducted by a small group of people with dance training. The session will then hold a participatory event—interested audience members will be trained with a few basic rules prior to engaging in formation control exercises. The session will conclude with short video clips of Flock Logic events held at Princeton.

We expect that some of the audience will want to participate as part of the movement event, while the rest may prefer to observe the event. Both will be rewarding, and perhaps especially so for engineers who study feedback, dynamics and networked control systems.

Panel Session: Strengthening University / Industry Collaboration (6:15-7:30pm)
Organizer: Maryam Khanbaghi, Corning
Panelists: Christos Cassandras, Boston University; Guy Dumont, University of British Columbia; Maryam Khanbaghi; Anthony Philips, Ford; Greg Stewart, Honeywell; Jakob Stoustrup, Aalborg University; Kevin Wise, Boeing
Location: Hochelaga 2 Room

Challenging control problems can be found in many industries: aerospace, automotive, biomedical, buildings, glass making, pulp and paper, ... the list is long and indicative of the potential for applications of advanced control. Yet, in many cases the controller of choice is still the PID or a variation thereof. Whether it's because of the lack of qualified staff in industry, low corporate investment in controls R&D, contractual issues with academic collaborations, different time horizons for university researchers and industry application developers, or because of "cultural" differences between industry and academia, clearly the promise of control in industry remains to be fully realized!

In this panel session, participants representing several industry sectors will share their experiences with academic/industry collaborations for research and development of advanced control applications. Both successes and failures will be reviewed, and best practices and guidelines offered.

The session will consist of short presentations from the panel chair and each panelist, followed by a moderated question and answer session with the audience. Specific questions that will be discussed include the following:

  • How have some collaborations overcome problems associated with intellectual property rights?
  • How can the different time horizons of industrial and academic research be reconciled?
  • Is deep domain knowledge necessary for successful applications of generic control theory?
  • What are some notable differences among different industry sectors that are relevant for advanced control applications?
  • What skills and competencies should graduate students interested in industrial careers try to gain?

Additional questions for the panel to address are welcome and can be sent to the organizer at khanbaghm@corning.com. We hope this panel will encourage participants from both companies and universities to increase their cross-cultural interactions!

Panel Session: Academic Job Hunting (6:15-7:45pm)
Organizers: Andrew Alleyne, University of Illinois; Kira Barton, University of Michigan
Panelists: Andrew Alleyne, University of Illinois; Richard Murray, CalTech; Matthew Franchek, University of Houston; Sandipan Mishra, RPI; Kira Barton, University of Michigan
Location: Hochelaga 3 Room

Being a professor seems like a great job, what is the secret to getting hired? This panel will discuss the ins and outs of the academic job hunt, including how to choose where to apply, how to make your CV stand out, what to discuss in your research plan, and what to say (and not say) in your interview talk. Panelists will represent views from search committees, department chairs, and interviewees. The first organizer is a recent search committee chair and the second organizer is a recent interviewee. Junior PhD students are encouraged to attend.

Global Control Communities: Canada (6:15-7:45pm)
Organizer: Michel Perrier, Polytechnique Montréal
Panelists: Martin Guay, Queen's University; Roland Malhamé and Michel Perrier, Polytechnique Montréal; Sirish Shah, University of Alberta
Location: Hochelaga 4 Room

Control science and engineering has a distinguished history of accomplishment in Canada, and the future is bright too! This panel session will review highlights from the past, discuss the current landscape of the discipline in the country, and discuss emerging interest areas in the Canadian control community. Specific topics to be covered include:

  • A look at the work and genealogy of some of the major contributors in the past, such as Zames, Francis, and Wonham.
  • A summary of the main control groups and researchers today, identifying areas of emphasis for each.
  • Who are the up-and-coming Canadian controls researchers? Brief profiles will be presented.
  • We will also review current developments in control for the process industries -- a major contributor to Canada's economy.
  • The control community in Canada is also engaged in several "hot topics" such as mean field stochastic control, smart grids, and systems biology; these activities will be noted.

The session will provide ample opportunity for questions and comments from the audience. Collaboration opportunities among Canadian institutions and internationally will also be discussed.

Global Control Communities: Middle East (6:15-7:30pm)
Organizer: Eyad Abed, United Arab Emirates University and University of Maryland; Abdulrahman Bajodah, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Panelists: Hüseyin Akçay, Anadolu University, Turkey; Abdulrahman Bajodah, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia; Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
Location: Hochelaga 2 Room

The Middle East has seen major growth in the field of higher education in recent years, and many new public and private universities have been established in the region. There have also been notable efforts to develop strong research and graduate programs. The panelists, who have experience with several different models from three Middle Eastern countries, will discuss these developments based on their knowledge of the region. The panel will also discuss opportunities for research collaboration in systems and control with universities and other institutions in the region.

Control Systems for Multimedia Applications (6:15-7:45pm)
Organizer: Carolina Brum Medeiros, McGill University
Location: Hochelaga 5 Room

Multimedia systems have increased in number, availability, capability and complexity. This trend requires the development of dedicated control topologies to accomplish observation and control of real-time multimedia system, where latency, synchronization, Human Machine Interaction issues, data storage and data treatment are special concerns.

The purpose of this special session is to present the particular requirements, challenges and goals on developing control solutions for sound, art and multimedia. Furthermore, we are looking forward to present some research and solutions running on two Research Centers: CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology) and Hexagram (Concordia Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technology), both based in Montréal/Canada.

During this session, there will be three short presentations and demonstrations from projects running at CIRMMT and Hexagram. Besides, there will be a moderated question and answer session with the audience. The audience will be welcome to try some of the presented hardware and software applications. The projects are the following:

  • E(MERGE) project | IDMIL/McGill and XModal/Concordia researchers
    Organizer: Christopher Salter
    The central goal of E(MERGE) is to create innovative open source software authoring tools to enable interactive media designers to analyze and model real time data derived from large numbers of heterogeneous sensors/input devices.

  • Sensor Fusion for Real Time Control of Digital Musical Instruments (DMI)
    Researchers: Carolina Brum Medeiros and Marcelo Wanderley
    Human gestures are unpredictable and complex. Selecting observers and controllers for HMI solutions can be an intricate task. In this context, control systems based on raw data are limited. For this reason, we perform sensor fusion and machine learning to process data from various sensor technologies and specifications.
  • Force Feedback Control for 1-D Digital Waveguide Modeling
    Researchers: Stephen Sinclair and Marcelo Wanderley
    In this project we investigated the application of a position-dependent friction model to control the resonator, avoiding introduction of differentiation noise. Feedback force is generated by tracking a constrained integrator that loosely models bow-string tension.

Panel Session: Industry Job Hunting (6:15-7:15pm)
Organizers: Sahika Genc and Kit Siu, General Electric
Panelists: Scott Bortoff, Mitsubishi Electric; Patrick Cadotte, Bombardier; Roger Fittro, General Electric; Steven Mixon, Corning; Payam Naghshtabrizi, Eaton; Louis Xavier, Thales
Location: Hochelaga 3 Room

Intended for soon-to-graduate students interested in exploring career options in industry, this panel session features a mix of hiring managers and recent hires from several major employers, both Canadian and U.S., of control engineers and scientists. Panelists will present tips for identifying and pursuing opportunities and will discuss what to highlight and what not to include in your résumé and your job talk. In addition, the managers on the panel will discuss what they are looking for when reviewing graduate students for openings and recent hires will provide their perspectives on how their experiences have differed from their expectations of life in industry.

The session will begin with short presentations from each panelist, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Panel Session: Dos and Don'ts of Teaching Control (6:15-7:45pm)
Organizer: Bill Messner, Carnegie Mellon University
Panelists: Karl Åström, Lund University; Raymond de Callafon, University of California, San Diego; Bill Messner, Carnegie Mellon; Andy Packard, University of California, Berkeley; Richard Murray, California Institute of Technology
Location: Hochelaga 4 Room

This special education session will feature five panelists with a strong track record of undergraduate teaching. The panelists will present their visions for teaching introductory controls courses, and then the session will open up for discussion and brainstorming with the audience. Among the topics the session will address are the following:

  • What is currently included in courses that should no longer be taught (e.g., the Routh-Hurwitz criterion)?
  • What now should be included (e.g., state feedback and observers)?
  • Useful supplementary materials and technologies.
  • Some tricks for effective teaching.

While the panelists agree on many things, they have some important differences of opinion (e.g., on the need for teaching the Laplace transform) that should lead to a lively and informative event for both the audience and the panelists.

Report from NSF: Funding Opportunities for System Science and Control Engineering (6:15-7:30pm)
Organizers: Karlene Hoo and Eduardo Misawa, US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Participants: Several program directors from NSF
Location: Marquette Room

This session will provide updates on programs at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in systems science, control sciences and engineering, and public-private partnerships to innovate existing research closer to commercial reality. New opportunities that have been recently announced by NSF in research areas such as "Cyber-Physical Systems," "Bigdata," "Cyber Infrastructure Framework for the 21st Century," and "Accelerating Innovation Research" will be featured. The session will also present information about opportunities for collaborative research and development with industries and other partners and through international collaboration.

Women in Control Luncheon Meeting (12:00-1:30pm)
Organizer: Sonja Glavaski Radovanovic, UTRC
Location: Montréalais 2 Room

The ACC semi-annual luncheon meeting of the IEEE Controls Systems Society Standing Committee on "Women in Control" will be held at the Montréalais 2 Room, Friday, June 29th, 12:00-1:30pm. The "Women in Control" Committee promotes membership, and the development of programs to support recruitment, and growth of women CSS members, and disseminates appropriate information about women in the IEEE Control System Society and the profession. The meeting is a nice occasion to get to know new members of our scientific community and catch up with existing members.

All women participants in the American Control Conference 2012 are kindly invited.

Sponsored Session: Transforming Eaton Corporation Through Innovation in Power Management Solutions (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizer: Ankur Ganguli, Eaton Corporation
Location: Hochelaga 4 Room

Eaton Corporation is a premier diversified industrial manufacturer with two global business sectors - Industrial and Electrical. We successfully maintain global leadership in power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; hydraulics, fuel and pneumatic systems for commercial and military aircraft; intelligent truck drive train systems for safety and fuel economy; and automotive engine air management systems, power train solutions and specialty controls for performance, fuel economy and safety. The Eaton Innovation Center is a corporate function specifically tasked with introducing new technologies in the Eaton product family. The mission of the Innovation Center is to provide research and advanced technology concepts that lead to breakthrough opportunities for Eaton's growth. Scientists and research engineers provide expertise in several key areas: decision and control algorithm development; electrical, software and communication architecture; wireless communications; material science and chemistry; and noise vibration and harshness.

The talk will provide an overview of Eaton's businesses & products as well as enabling technologies from the Eaton Innovation Center.

Sponsored Session: An Anthology of GE Control Solutions -- Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizer: Roger Fittro, Model Based Controls Lab, GE Global Research
Location: Hochelaga 4 Room

What's the connection between electric cooktops, gas turbines, steam turbines and combined cycle power plants? Answer: GE builds and sells them all and GE control engineers have developed new innovative control solutions for all of these applications as well. GE businesses span a broad range of applications from appliances to power generation, including avionics, flight management, aircraft engines, wind turbines, gas turbines, steam turbines, locomotives, bio-gas engines, diesel engines, power generation, power conversion, grid distribution, water processing, and oil and gas production. And GE controls engineers work on developing advanced control systems for all of these applications. This broad yet interconnected range of products makes GE an exciting company to work for in the area of control systems. Today GE employs over 4000 control engineers throughout the company. A subset of these engineers work at GE Global Research, designing advanced controls for the next generation of products, each with unique performance requirements set to achieve continuing customer satisfaction. Join us for lunch and a journey through a collection of GE control solutions from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Sponsored Session: The New Control Tutorials for MATLAB and Simulink (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizer: Arkadiy Turevskiy, MathWorks
Location: Hochelaga 3 Room

Prof. Bill Messner and Prof. Rick Hill will demonstrate and discuss the redesigned Control Tutorials for MATLAB and Simulink. These popular Web-based tutorials now feature a modern design, new and improved content, and latest control design and analysis capabilities available in Student Version of MATLAB and Simulink. They will also discuss the various ways in which they have employed the Control Tutorials in their own control system courses to enhance students' learning of essential control design techniques. Please register at www.mathworks.com/acc2012.

Sponsored Session: Opportunities at Mitsubishi Electric Research (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizer: Scott Bortoff, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories
Location: Hochelaga 2 Room

MERL is the North American R&D organization for Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), a $42B global manufacturer of electrical products including elevator and escalators, HVAC systems, electrical power systems, satellites, factory automation equipment, automotive electronics and visual information systems. Researchers at MERL collaborate with MELCO's corporate R&D laboratories MELCO business units in Japan and academic partners around the world to extend the performance envelope of these systems.

In this presentation we describe MELCO's businesses, discuss mechatronics and controls research at MERL and describe opportunities for collaboration and employment. Areas of current research interest include optimal control especially of nonlinear and hybrid systems, model predictive control, nonlinear dynamical systems, and modeling and control of multi-physical heterogeneous systems. Research projects at MERL typically address fundamental problems that are industrially-motivated, and involve application of advanced control theory or dynamical systems theory to MELCO products resulting in new technology that is transferred into the corporate R&D laboratories for subsequent product development. Areas of current application include elevators, HVAC, power generation and distribution, satellites, robot manipulation, servo systems and laser processing systems. MERL has a tradition of open collaboration and hosts visitors and interns especially during the summer months when our population increases by 50%. Researchers and students who have an interest in collaboration, visits, sabbatical leaves or permanent employment are invited.

Sponsored Session: Rapid Deployement of Determinstic Control Algorithms to Scalable, Real-Time Targets (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizers: Jeannie Falcon and Margaret Barrett, National Instruments
Location: Hochelaga 3 Room

National Instruments has introduced a number of high-level development frameworks, commonly referred to as "models of computation," into a unified graphical system design platform known as LabVIEW. Examples include text-based math (including user developed .m files), C code, UML compatible statecharts, data flow and signal flow.

This software can also be used to target multicore processors, off-the-shelf real-time and FPGA-based systems as well as custom microprocessor and microcontroller devices. This presentation will include live demonstrations of real-time control system deployment to embedded targets. Real-time system identification, optimization, and vision will also be discussed and demonstrated. Various case studies in the areas of reconfigurable robotics, industrial manipulators, biomimetic robots, high speed atomic force microscopy, solar/wind energy, hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing, and education will also be presented.

A drawing for a free real-time board-only target will be held at the end of the session.

Sponsored Session: Control Opportunities in Services (12:15-1:15pm)
Organizers: Alvaro E. Gil and Lalit K. Mestha, Xerox Research
Panelists: Michael Furst, Xerox Research; Cedric Langbort, UIUC; Ümit Özgüner, Ohio State University; Ross Barmish, University of Wisconsin; Lalit Mestha, Xerox Research
Location: Hochelaga 2

Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, and with 140,000 employees in 160 countries, Xerox is a Fortune 500 company. Through our acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, Xerox is now the world's leading enterprise for business process and document management, offering global services from claims reimbursement and automated toll transaction to customer care centers, HR benefits management and health care services. In addition to digital printing systems, the new Xerox is dedicated to innovation in transportation, healthcare, finance, and Information Technology services. New applications may include innovative urban centers, hospitals, crowd sourcing, energy etc. New emerging applications bring new challenges. In this session we will provide an overview of programs, avenues for industry-university-government collaborations and highlight some challenges and opportunities in some specific areas like system identification, dynamic pricing for transportation systems, crowd sourcing and healthcare systems. Here is a glimpse of the presentations you can attend and then participate in a panel discussion.

  • New research and collaboration opportunities in services: Michael Furst, Xerox Research (20 min)
  • Low rank source separation for systems: Cedric Langbort, UIUC (10 min)
  • Service to the driver: Understanding intent and helping to accomplish it: Ümit Özgüner, Ohio State University, (10 min)
  • Control opportunities in modern finance: Ross Barmish, University of Wisconsin (10 min)
  • Control opportunities in healthcare systems: Lalit Mestha, Xerox Research, (10 min)


ACC 2012 Registration Site

Key dates

Initial submissions due: Sept. 25, 2011
Workshop proposals due: Oct. 31, 2011
Acceptance/rejection: Jan. 31, 2012
Final submissions due: Mar. 15, 2012
Advance registration due: May 1, 2012

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors