The College of Engineering has appointed Dr. Hashem Ashrafiuon, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, director of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC) as of the start of the 2011 academic year. He succeeds Dr. James Peyton Jones, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
In this role, Dr. Ashrafiuon will lead a team of CENDAC faculty researchers, each of whom directs his own laboratory dedicated to areas such as robotics, autonomous systems, automotive research, advanced control theory, and mechatronic systems. He will also continue to direct the center’s Unmanned Surface and Underwater Vehicles Laboratory, which he founded in 2008, in addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses.
“We have, without a doubt, the strongest research program in southeastern Pennsylvania in the areas of nonlinear dynamics and control,” says Dr. Ashrafiuon, who has taught mechanical engineering in the College for 23 years. “As director, I hope to increase our visibility nationally and internationally among the control systems and nonlinear dynamics communities, which can help us attract new faculty members, high-achieving students, and unique research and scholarship collaboration opportunities.”
Dr. Ashrafiuon joined the College in 1988 as assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Since then, he has developed the Robotics: Analysis and Control and Computer-Aided Multibody Dynamics graduate courses and the Introduction to Robotics and System Dynamics courses at the undergraduate level. He has also taught Advanced Dynamics, Advanced Engineering Analysis, Vibration, Mechanics of Materials, and Numerical Methods, among many other courses.
Dr. Ashrafiuon’s current research projects include “Autonomous System Robust Path Planning, Tracking, and Coordinated Control” for the Office of Naval Research. In addition he is actively pursuing research sponsored by Brain-Computer Interface to develop algorithms that can be used to analyze brain waves and ultimately diagnose brain injuries such as concussion, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease more effectively. He also authored approximately 10 articles for scholarly journals or conference proceedings in the 2010-2011 academic year.