For the past 26 years, my position at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign is manager of the College of Engineering Control Systems Laboratory. With this facility we have consolidated the laboratory instruction for all the engineering departments with existing control system theory courses. Presently we have one main facility that houses most of the undergraduate laboratory experiments and three “satellite” facilities that emphasize specific control system engineering: robotics, hydraulics and mechatronics. Over 650 students in 14 courses use these four laboratory facilities each year. As manager of these facilities, I have the task of maintaining these facilities, developing new exciting experiments and training the teaching assistants that instruct the laboratory sessions. I also have the privilege to lecture two hands-on Mechatronics courses SE423, “Mechatronics” and ME461 “Computer Control of Mechanical Systems.” In addition, I instruct the laboratory portion of the courses SE 420 “Digital Control of Dynamic Systems” and ECE 489 “Robot Dynamics and Control.”
My passion is to make the instruction of Robotics and Control exciting and hands-on. I am continually developing new experiments to be used in lab classes. One of the major focuses and challenges in robotics and control is developing software under real-time constraints. For that reason, I have become very experienced in “real-time” operating systems for embedded devices and controllers.