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Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control

Center for Nonlinear Dynamics & Control at Villanova University

About Us

The Center for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC) at Villanova University has one of the highest concentrations of controls-oriented faculty in the region. CENDAC is distinguished by its strong interdisciplinary teams, close collaboration with sponsors, and expertise in nonlinear dynamic systems theory and applications. The Center also creates an inclusive environment for doctorate, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as faculty from different engineering disciplines, to collaborate on a broad range of applications in the area of nonlinear dynamics and control.


Founded in 2003 by Mechanical Engineering Professor and then-Department Chair C. Nataraj, PhD, CENDAC was led by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor James Peyton-Jones, PhD, from 2007 to 2011. From 2011-2018, Mechanical Engineering Professor Hashem Ashrafiuon, PhD, served as director. Today the center is led by Dr. Garrett Clayton. 

The Center has collaborated with local and national industry partners, government agencies and research groups, including:

  • Office of Naval Research
  • National Science Foundation
  • Ford Corporation
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Core Skills

  • Nonlinear System Control
  • Nonlinear System Modeling and Identification
  • Nonlinear System Analysis and Optimization
  • Nonlinear System Prognostics & Diagnostics



Garrett Clayton, Ph.D.


  • To conduct fundamental and applied research in the areas of nonlinear dynamics and control.
  • To apply advanced theoretical and experimental techniques to solve real world problems.
  • To promote and foster strong interdisciplinary research at Villanova capitalizing on our collegial atmosphere.
  • To aid in the educational process of our undergraduate and graduate students by encouraging and funding their involvement in the research projects.
  • To develop and transfer technology to the industry consistent with the industry's needs and vision ultimately enhancing their competitiveness.