Dynamic Systems and Control Conference


Dynamic Systems and Control Conference

Tysons Corner, Virginia

October 11-13, 2017

SPECIAL SESSION – Funding Agency Talks:


Federal Funding Opportunities for Junior Investigators in Systems and Control

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
4:00pm – 6:00pm

This session will bring together Program Officers from a variety of federal agencies, representing programs that offer funding opportunities for controls researchers, with a particular focus on opportunities for young faculties. Each Program Officer will present a brief overview of relevant programs, and describe fundamental objectives, expected products, topics of current interest, and the application process. Following these presenta-tions, the Program Officers will answer questions from the audience. 


Jordan Berg, National Science Foundation
Dr. Jordan M. Berg received the BSE and MSE degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1981 and 1984. He worked in the Attitude Control Analysis group at RCA Astro-Electronics in East Windsor, NJ, from 1983 to 1986. He received the PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, and the MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Drexel University in 1992. He held postdoctoral appointments at the Air Force Research Labs in Dayton, OH, and the Institute for Mathe-matics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, MN. Since 1996 he has been at Texas Tech University, where he is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Nano Tech Center. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2008 he held visiting faculty appointments at the University of Ruhuna and University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He is a Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and a Fellow of the ASME. His research interests include nonlinear and geometric control, and the modeling, simulation, design, and control of nano- and microsystems. In 2014 he joined the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division of the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation under an IPA agreement. He currently serves as a Program Officer for the Dynamics, Control and Systems Diagnostics program and the National Robotics Initiative.

Frederica Darema, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Dr. Frederica Darema, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director, Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Va. She provides executive direction in the planning, conduct and coordination of broad, frequently large-scale, and critical basic research and development program activities. These include the areas as advanced mathematical and computational methods for dynamic systems; information and decision systems; bio-systems; human cognition and socio-cultural systems.

Dr. Darema is a graduate of the University of Athens, Greece; the Illinois Institute of Technology; and the University of California at Davis, where she attended as a Fulbright Scholar and a Distinguished Scholar. After physics research associate positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Brookhaven National Laboratory, she received an American Physics Society Industrial Postdoctoral Fellowship and became a technical staff member in the Nuclear Sciences Department at Schlumberger-Doll Research. Subsequent-ly, she joined the T.J. Watson IBM Research Center as a research staff member and group manager. While at IBM, she also served in the IBM Corporate Strategy Group examining and helping to set corporate-wide strategies. From 1996 to 1998, she completed a two-year interagency assignment at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Alexander Leonessa, Virginia Tech
Dr. Alexander Leonessa obtained a Doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering at GeorgiaTech in December 1999. His research focused on nonlinear robust control techniques for general nonlinear systems. His appointment as a faculty member at Virginia Tech started in December 2007, after two previous similar appointments at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Central Florida. His research and contribution include (i) control theory with application to autonomous vehicles guidance and navigation, (ii) nonlinear system identification with application to health monitoring, (iii) real-time embedded control with application to system design of robotic systems, and (iv) functional electrical stimulation of muscles for rehabilitation of stroke survivors and patients with spinal cord injuries. In particular, the dominant idea in his research effort is that most real-world physical systems are too complex to accurately model, hence model uncertainties must be accounted for in the control system design process using some kind of self-learning procedure. Dr. Leonessa has been involved in these areas of research for more than 15 years during which he has published more than 60 papers (all peer reviewed). In 2014-2016 he completed a two-year rotation at the National Science Foundation, where he was supervising the General and Age Related Disability Engineering (GARDE) program as well as participating to the Major Research Instrumentation program, the National Robotic Initiative, the Partnership for Innovation program, and the Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems program.

Marina Sofos, US Department of Energy
Dr. Marina Sofos is a Technology Manager in the Building Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. In this role she manages the building sensors and controls technology portfolio within the Emerging Technologies Program. Prior to taking this position, she was a Technology Manager in the Advanced Manufacturing Office where she led the development of the office's program in scaling up manufacturing approach-es for wide bandgap semiconductors and power electronics to enable reductions in cost and improvements in performance efficiency. Her overall interests are in improving power conversion and management technologies through advancements in semiconductor materials and control strategies.

Sofos began her career at the Department of Energy as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow (2010-2012) responsible for coordinating the U.S.-China cooperative clean energy R&D portfolio managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  Her research background is in the design of novel inorganic and organic semiconductor hybrid nanostructures to improve their performance in electronic and energy conversion applications. She earned her Sc.B. from Brown University and Ph.D. from Northwestern University both in materials science and engineering and conducted her postdoctoral studies at Argonne National Laboratory.