Control systems are ubiquitous in electrical, electronic, mechanical and aerospace engineering. They are now being deployed across the emerging field of quantum engineering. The Control Engineering group undertakes fundamental research into the theory of automatic control systems, and into applications to unmanned vehicles, power systems, high-frequency circuits, atomic force microscopes and quantum systems.
Particular research interests of the group include the theory of optimal, robust, distributed and quantum control systems. Optimality and robustness are desired properties of any control system design, they ensure that the control system performs its task efficiently and reliably, in the presence of performance degrading perturbations and under varying environmental conditions. The ideas of optimality and robust performance underpin fundamental principles of modern control engineering.
Members of the group develop those ideas in a number of theoretical directions, which are concerned with control and estimation of complex large-scale control systems comprised of networks of plants, sensors and actuators. Our practical application areas of interest include flexible structures, power systems, atomic force microscopy, unmanned ground vehicles, nonlinear transmission lines, and optical, atomic and solid-state quantum systems.
The Control group includes 7 full time faculty and two adjunct professors, and also employs several postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. It has research ties with leading research groups in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, China and other countries. Our members have received financial support from the Australian Research Council (ARC), the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).
The group receives funding from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS 2). Our research and teaching facilities include the laser optics lab, the atomic microscopy lab, the power and control systems lab, and the unmanned ground vehicles lab.