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Credit: Luke Yeagley

Penn professor George Pappas was elected to be a fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control.

The IFAC Fellow Award is given to those who have made “outstanding and extraordinary contributions” to the topic of automatic control and system engineering in fields that include engineering, biological, social, and economic systems. 

Pappas is one of 25 people awarded the fellowship for the 2017 to 2020 period. IFAC is an organization that specializes in automatic control, which is when robots perform tasks without direct human intervention.

George Pappas

At Penn, Pappas serves as the UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation and is the Chair of the Electrical and Systems Engineering department.

Pappas also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in electrical systems engineering and conducts research with the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception Lab and the Embedded Computing and Integrated Systems Center. He also previously served as the Deputy Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Pappas, who also holds appointments in the Departments of Computer and Information Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, was recognized for his “contributions to hybrid and networked control systems with applications to robotics.” 

He will be awarded a certificate and pin at the 2020 IFAC World Congress in Berlin, which will be attended by thousands of people worldwide next July.

His research focuses on the automation of computer systems and has been used to develop algorithms to review the safety of medical devices and understand the behavior of biological networks. In 2017, Pappas and a group of researchers from Penn and other universities received a $27 million government grant to develop an unmanned team of specialized and coordinated robots for the United States military.

Pappas has also been a fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers since 2009. He has previously been awarded the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize in 2010 and the George S. Axelby Award in 2009