Alumnus Fumin Zhang has won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research, Feasibility of Control Tasks---Towards Control-Computing-Power Co-Design. The five-year, $400K grant will establish a theoretical foundation for battery-supported cyber-physical systems.
Zhang earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland in 2004. He was advised by Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR). Since 2007 he has been an assistant professor of systems and controls in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Previously, he worked as a lecturer and postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University.
Cyber-physical systems (CPS) play vital roles in real-time controlled applications such as sensor networks, robotics, and transportation systems, where limited computing resources and energy budgets pose major constraints. Zhang’s research will advance control theory to understand and adjust the behaviors of control tasks supported by embedded computing devices and batteries.
The research will provide guidelines for control-computing-power co-design, aiming for more reliable cyber-physical systems. Timing control is proposed to complement existing approaches in feedback scheduling by incorporating performance of physical systems. Zhang will develop integrated models that explicitly address dynamics in the physical, computing and battery domains. This will be a unique contribution of particular interest to specialists in computer architecture and battery design, potentially leading to transformative research. Zhang's theoretical effort will be verified and extended through ongoing experimental activities in mobile sensor networks and underwater robotics.
Zhang’s research interests are in mobile sensor networks, autonomous underwater vehicles, motion planning in complex environments, power constrained control and energy harvesting, adaptive sampling of ocean and atmosphere, and geometric and nonlinear systems and control.
The NSF CAREER program fosters the career development of outstanding junior faculty, combining the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense.
September 18, 2009