The George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research

The George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research was established by Penn Engineering for the purpose of recognizing excellence in scholarly activities of the faculty. Named in honor of George H. Heilmeier, it recognizes his extraordinary research career, his leadership in technical innovation and public service, and his loyal and steadfast support of Penn Engineering.

George Pappas2015 Heilmeier Award and Lecture

George J. Pappas
Joseph Moore Professor and Chair
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering

"Internet of Things: A Control Theory Perspective"

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 3:30 p.m.
Wu and Chen Auditorium, Levine Hall

There has been much discussion recently regarding the "Internet of Things" (IoT). The IoT is the phenomenon of physical things, embedded with sensors and actuators, coming online and interfacing with Internet-capable devices such as smartphones and cloud computing services. IoT technology has been embraced by Silicon Valley as well as many prominent companies; for example, General Electric has launched the Industrial Internet, Intel has an IoT group, and Cisco calls it "Fog Computing." The National Science Foundation has prioritized this development under their Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) programs across the Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Directorate. Even large software companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon are starting to invest heavily in hardware again.

During this lecture, I will present the broad IoT vision and then focus on some of the research challenges upon which my group is currently focusing. From a control theory perspective, some of these challenges include the development of a control theory that is communication- and energy-aware, controlling large numbers of devices or robots for active information gathering, designing attack-resilient controllers in the presence of cyber-attacks, as well as ensuring privacy of cloud-based estimation and control systems.

George J. Pappas is the Joseph Moore Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds secondary appointments with the Departments of Computer and Information Science and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. Pappas is a member of Pennís General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab and the Penn Research in Embedded Computing and Integrated Systems Engineering (PRECISE) Center. Prior to becoming a Department Chair, he served as the Deputy Dean for Research of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Pappas earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in 1998 from the University of California, Berkeley, for which he received the Eliahu Jury Award for Excellence in Systems Research for his doctoral research. His current research interests include control theory and, in particular, hybrid systems, embedded and cyber-physical systems, and hierarchical and distributed control systems, with applications to unmanned aerial vehicles, distributed robotics, green buildings, and biomolecular networks. Pappas has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation PECASE Award (2004), the George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award (2009), the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize (2010), the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award (2014) and the ICCPS Best Paper Award (2014).

Past Awardees Include:

2013-14: John M. Vohs - "Nano-Structured Catalysts for Chemical Transformations" Learn more...

2012-13: Vijay Kumar - For "pioneering contributions to the science and technology of cooperative robotics." Learn more...

2011-12: Karen I. Winey - "For innovative methods in the fabrication and processing of polymer-based nanotube composites" Learn more...

2010-11: Christopher S. Chen - "For fundamental contributions in the study and design of cellular microenvironments" Learn more...

2009-10: Rajeev Alur – "For fundamental contributions in software verification for real-time systems" Learn more...

2008-09: Scott Diamond – "Discoveries and innovations in high throughput screening and micro-array technology"

2007-08: Nader Engheta – "Research contributions on nano-optics and related metamaterials"

2006-07: Pedro Ponte-Castañeda - "Homogenization theory for estimating effective mechanical behavior of nonlinear, heterogeneous materials"

2005-06: Dawn A. Bonnell - For significant contributions in "Nanolithography and nanostructure assembly"

2004-05: Michael Kearns - "New algorithmic ideas in game theory and machine learning"

2003-04:  Dennis E. Discher and Daniel A. Hammer - "Polymersomes, discovery and characterization"

2002-03:  David E. Luzzi - "Carbon nanotubes and 'peapods'"

2001-02:  Raymond J. Gorte - "Solid oxide fuel cells"

George H. Heilmeier, EE'58

Dr. George H. HeilmeierDr. George H. Heilmeier was Chairman Emeritus of Telcordia Technologies, formerly Bellcore, a leading provider of communications software and professional services. Prior to his retirement in November 1997, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Texas Instruments, Inc., Director of DARPA and Head of Solid State Device Research at RCA. Dr. Heilmeier received international recognition for his discovery of several new electro-optic effects in liquid crystals leading to the development of the first liquid crystal displays for watches, calculators, and instrumentation, and he held 15 patents.

Dr. Heilmeier received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and M.A., M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees in solid-state electronics from Princeton University. He is known for his operational, technical and strategic leadership in transforming new technologies into market driven successes. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Heilmeier received numerous awards, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Founders Medal, the National Academy of Engineering's highest honor the Founders Award, the Japan Prize in Computers and Communications, the Industrial Research Institute Medal, and the National Medal of Science, among others. In 2002, he received the Pioneer of Stealth Award for "Visionary Leadership and Trailblazing Contributions of Enduring National Significance in the Development of Low Observable Aircraft."

Dr. Heilmeier served as a White House Fellow, and was a Life Fellow of the IEEE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the Defense Science Board, and the National Security Agency Advisory Board. He served on the Boards of Directors of TRW, the MITRE Corporation, INET Technologies Inc., Teletech Holdings, and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Corporation. He was also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the General Motors Technology Advisory Board. Dr. Heilmeier's leadership in telecommunications and technology management was also recognized through honorary doctorate degrees from Stevens Institute and the Israeli Institute of Technology (the Technion).

Dr. Heilmeier passed away on April 22, 2014.