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Plenary Panel Session

    Opportunities in Control Research and Education


    Prof. Zhong-Ping Jiang,

    Polytechnic Institute of New York University

    Prof. Jie Huang,

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong

    The purpose of this plenary session is to bring together educators, researchers, practicing engineers and students to look back at some exciting developments in control and automation and more importantly, to look forward to more opportunities and challenges in control research and education. We expect that, through direct contact with world-renowned experts and active participation of the audience, we will gain a deeper insight into some fundamental and emerging problems in the field of control and automation. This panel will serve as a platform for the audience, in particular junior faculty and students, to hear what experts might think about issues often facing us at the early stage of our career or study. These issues include, but are not limited to:

    How to pick a research topic, backed up by successful stories of a panelist or others?

    How to write a good journal paper? And how to select journals to publish your papers?

    What is the good balance between basic and applied research?

    What are the key factors for a good Ph.D. thesis?

    How to find a right collaborator? How to find your first job?

    Can we name some research areas in systems and control that might be rewarding for current students?

    What new changes should we make now in our current controls curriculum in order to address the changing needs in industry and academia?

    Six leading authorities from various fields of Automatic Control will share their views and experience on the above key issues. In chronological order, these panelists are listed below:

    Wei Kang

    Wei Kang is a professor of applied mathematics at U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He is also a director of American Institute of Mathematics. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics in 1982 and 1985, respectively, from Nankai University, China. In 1991, he received his Ph.D. degree in athematics from the University of California at Davis. From 1991 to 1994, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Systems Science and Mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the faculty of NPS in 1994. Dr. Kang's current research is focused on computational mathematics for optimal estimation and control. His research interests also include normal forms and bifurcation control, cooperative control, formation control, and process control of manufacturing systems. His research has been funded by industry and government agencies. He was a plenary speaker in several conferences of SIAM and IFAC. Dr. Kang is a Fellow of IEEE.

    Zongli Lin


    Zongli Lin is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Virginia, USA. He received his B.S. degree in mathematics and computer science from Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, in 1983, his Master of Engineering degree in automatic control from Chinese Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China, in 1989, and his Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA, in 1994. His current research interests include nonlinear control, robust control, and control applications. In these areas, he has published four books and about 400 papers, 175 of which are in archival journals. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (2001-2003) and the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (2006-2009). He has served on the operating committees and program committees of several conferences and was an elected member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society (2008-2010). He currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals and book series, including Automatica, Systems & Control Letters, Science China: Information Science, IEEE Control Systems Magazine and Science Press Book Series in Systems and Control. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of IFAC.

    Girish N. Nair


    Girish N. Nair was born in Malaysia, and obtained a B.E. (Elec., 1st class hons.), B.Sc. (math.), and Ph.D. (elec. eng.) on scholarships from the Australian government and the University of Melbourne.He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne, and has held visiting positions at the University of Padova and Boston University. He currently serves as an associate editor for the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, and will be an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control from Dec. 2011. He currently serves as an associate editor for the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, and will be an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control from Dec. 2011. His research interests lie in information theory and control, and he has received several prizes, including a SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize 2006, and the Best Theory Paper Prize at the UKACC Int. Conf. Control, Cambridge Uni., 2000. 

    Tielong Shen


    Tielong Shen received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sophia University, Japan. From April 1992, he has been a faculty member of the Chair of Control Engineering in Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sophia University, where he currently serves as full Professor. Since 2005, he is also served concurrently “Luojia Xuezhe” Chair Professor of Wuhan University, China. His research interests include control theory and applications in mechanical systems, powertrain and automotive systems. From 1997, he has been serving as Chief Editor in Control Technique, Vice Chief Editor in Control Theory for the Transaction of SICE, Japan, and served as Guest Editor for International Journal on Robust and Nonlinear Control, during 2002-2003, and Asian Journal of Control. Currently, he is Associate Editor for the IEEE Control System Society Conference Editorial Board, and is serving as Associate Editor of Journal of Control Theory and Applications etc, and the Regional Editor Asia-Pacific for International Journal of Modeling, Identification and Control. He is now also serving as a member of the Academic Committee of Control Society of SICE, Chair of the Committee of SICE on Advanced Powertrain Control Theory, Member of Technical Committee on Control Theory, of Chinese Automation Society, and a member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Automotive Control.

    Yeng Chai Soh


    Yeng Chai Soh received the B.Eng. (Hons. I) degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia. He joined the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, after his PhD study and is currently a professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Dr Soh has served as the Head of the Control and Instrumentation Division, the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) and the Associate Dean (Research) at the College of Engineering, and a member of the first NTU Senate Steering Committee. Dr Soh led the establishment of NTU’s High Performance Computing Centre, which houses one of the greenest and fastest HPCs in ASEAN countries and is currently the Director of the Centre. Dr Soh has also served as panel members of several national grants and scholarships evaluation committees of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Economic Development Board, and the Ministry of Education. He chaired the Technology Scan Committee of “Intelligent Systems and Sensor Networks” and was concurrently a member of the Foresight Committee for Science and Technology Plan 2010, which was tasked to formulate science and technology roadmaps for Singapore’s R&D funding. Dr Soh’s research interests are in robust control, hybrid systems, estimation and filtering, and optical signal processing. He has published more than 220 refereed journal papers in these areas. His research achievements in optical signal processing have won him several national and international awards.

    Xiaohua Xia


    Xiaohua Xia is a professor in the Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and the director of both the Centre of New Energy Systems and the National Hub for Energy Efficiency and Demand-Side Management. He was affiliated with the University of Stuttgart, Germany, the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France, and the National University of Singapore before joining the University of Pretoria in 1998. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering. He served as the chair of the Technical Committee of Nonlinear Systems of the International Federation of Automatic Control. He has been an associate editor of Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, and specialist editor (control) of the SAIEE Africa Research Journal.