Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, Jessy Grizzle

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A specialist in the area of system science and control, Jessy Grizzle, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, combines a deep knowledge of control theory with an ability to develop practical applications in several areas. A case in point is his contribution to bipedal locomotion, an achievement that is considered to be a major turning point in robotics. This advance could be achieved only through a deep theoretical insight combined with practical ingenuity. After establishing a solid reputation through his theoretical work, Grizzle demonstrated that he could quickly grasp real engineering problems and solve them creatively in collaboration with engineers at Ford Motor Company.

Grizzle has contributed to four areas in the general field of system science and control: nonlinear control theory, control of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, powertrain control in automotive systems and control of bipedal locomotion. The first is theoretical; the second and third are practical; and the last, which is closely related to the first three, combines theoretical and practical components. His work in each of these areas is of the highest possible quality, and his research was cited as one of Scientific American magazine's top achievements of 2006.

Grizzle's success in creating a stable walking gait in bipedal robots won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Axelby Award and led to recognition by Scientific American, the Economist, EuroNews and Wired magazine, as well as CNN, Fox News and Discovery Channel. For his accomplishments, he has attained a reputation as the world's leading researcher in control systems.

Grizzle has been a leader in making U-M one of the top universities for graduate study in control theory and control applications. During the last 10 years, he graduated 14 doctoral students. He also has taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses and in 2004 the CoE students elected him the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Professor of the Year.

At the departmental level, Grizzle helped coordinate research and educational activities in at least five engineering departments and the Department of Mathematics. At the national level, he served as associate editor of major journals and on organizing committees of major conferences. At present he is an associate editor at large for the main journal in the field of Control Systems.

Text courtesy The University Record: http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0708/Oct08_07/01.shtml