Author: bmp13011

Congrats! Xu Chen for being awarded the NSF CAREER award.

CAREER: Adding to the Future: Thermal Modeling, Sparse Sensing, and Integrated Controls for Precise and Reliable Powder Bed Fusion


Duration: September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2023 (Estimated)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded UConn Assistant Professor Xu Chen a prestigious CAREER award as a part of the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The CAREER Program is a foundation-wide program that offers the NSF's "most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.” This award will support Professor Chen’s research targeting at substantial higher accuracy and greater reproducibility in additive manufacturing processes. Specifically, the project will add the needed new knowledge on quality assurance to future repetitive and layer-by-layer thermomechanical processes, by (1) establishing a physics-based, control-oriented modeling approach to understand and engineer the layered thermal interactions, and by (2) creating a foundation for closed-loop control solutions to produce desired uniform temperature fields in periodic and near-periodic deposition of thermal energy.

Additive manufacturing enables fabrication of complex geometries and rapid prototyping previously difficult or even unthinkable. As one particular example investigated in Professor Chen’s CAREER project, powder bed fusion offers tremendous untapped potential in a wide range of products, from advanced turbine components for jet engines to life-changing, personalized prosthetic implants for patients. The outcomes of this project will facilitate fabrication of products to benefit the US economy and improve quality of life. Broader impacts of the project will be augmented by dissemination of educational results via a network of twenty-four collaborating universities, to inculcate skills for innovative problem solving into undergraduate engineering education.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


Xu Chen

Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering

UTC-IASE Luncheon hosted by United Technologies Research Center

This event focused on strengthening ties between our UTC-IASE Graduate fellows and sponsored researchers with business units of the United Technologies Corporation.

The luncheon provided our fellows with a chance to interact with UTC managers and engineers, discuss with their peers, present their work, research and scientific accomplishments. They were able to get feedback about research and its directions, and discuss future opportunities like research, training and employment.

United Technologies Research Center hosted this event and each of the graduate fellows presented a poster about their Systems Engineering research as well as a one slide overview.

Statements from Graduate Fellows:

“A great way to see what students outside of my lab group were up to and see what innovative work is being done.”

– Kyle Palmer

“Luncheon was a great opportunity to see the work of other UTC-IASE fellows and at the same time, I had the chance to meet people from UTC.”

– Evangelos Stefanidis

“I enjoyed getting a chance to see the impressive research that the other fellows have been working on and having the opportunity discuss future possibilities and new directions with both my colleagues and UTC engineers.”

– Brian Baillie


Congratulations to Brian Baillie and Chen Chen on receiving awards at the AIChE connference!


Congratulations to Brain Baillie!

Congratulations to Brain Baillie for receiving the CAST Director’s Award.  The title of the poster is Term Elimination and Optimal Selection for Model Reduction. Authors are Brian P. Baillie and George M. Bollas. This work is part of the Physics-Informed Machine Learning project with the Institute, sponsored by Pratt & Whitney and UTAS.


Congratulations to Chen Chen!

Congratulations to Chen Chen for receiving The PSE Model-Based Innovation Prize 2017.  PSE offers prizes for the best papers describing the use of gPROMS family products in an innovative way or in a novel area of application or technology.

Previous work describes the integration of chemical-looping combustion, a novel combustion approach reducing CO2 emissions efficiently, with combine cycle power plant. In this paper, gPROMS (PSE software product) and Dymola (Modelica language software) were used for the simulation and optimization.

more info

UTC-IASE Welcomes Dr. Amy Thompson as its new Associate Director of Academic Programs

Dr. Amy Thompson has joined the University of Connecticut’s United Technologies Corporation (UTC)

Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (IASE) as its new Associate Director of Academic Programs and as an Associate Professor-in- Residence of Systems Engineering.

Dr. Thompson has served for the past three years as President and Lead Engineer of Paguridae, LLC located in East Haven, Connecticut, which was founded by her in 2014 to provide operations, energy efficiency, and sustainability consulting services. Prior to founding Paguridae, Dr. Thompson was an Assistant Professor of Industrial & System Engineering at the University of New Haven and served as the BS System Engineering Program Coordinator for six years and helped the new program grow and attain ABET accreditation. Dr. Thompson earned her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, and B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Thompson’s research interests include whole building energy performance assessment as well as design of complex systems, manufacturing systems, facilities, and supply chains. In 2017, Dr. Thompson was awarded the US EPA Environmental Merit Award for her work helping organizations in Connecticut better understand their building energy performance and helping them lower their energy usage. Dr. Thompson served from 2011-2014 as a member of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board (EEB), served as its Program Evaluation Committee Chair, and was responsible for providing feedback to the ENERGIZE CT programs. Dr. Thompson has over 15 years of professional experience working in various industries including engineering consulting, building energy efficiency, software development, medical device, agricultural chemicals, and gaming cabinets.

In her new role, Dr. Thompson will help to promote and grow the academic programs of the Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering, teach its Introduction to Systems Engineering and Model-Based Systems Engineering courses, and work with its faculty to continuously improve the quality of its academic programs. She can be reached at

New UTC-IASE Program Manager Position

Program Manager – UCP 7 School of Engineering UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering


Under the general direction of the Director of the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (UTC-IASE), the Program Manger provides leadership, program management and coordination for the research, outreach and educational programs designed to support the UTC-IASE and specifically its operations and formal archiving and reporting, research opportunities identification, outreach and industry engagement services, and industry service.

Incumbents in this position are expected to be responsible for designing and managing research and educational programs, for the smooth operations of the day-to-day delivery of these programs, for monitoring and coordinating the administrative and reporting aspects of the program, and are expected to act independently within the goals and objectives of the program and the guidelines established by the supervisor. The primary focus of this job is on the design, organization, implementation and management of the research and outreach programs of the UTC-IASE, and management of the day-to-day delivery of its industry services.


Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

UTC-IASE Operations

  • Plans and implements UTC-IASE services and activities and supervises the day-to-day delivery of program content.
  • Directs the day-to-day operations and administration of the UTC-IASE program; oversees program coordination and logistics; resolves problems and makes changes to accommodate changing priorities and needs.
  • Reports monthly to the UTC-IASE governing committee on the progress of the Institute and all other developments.
  • Is responsible for special projects/operations which may be on-going or short-term and which require planning, coordination, supervision, and thorough knowledge of the program.
  • Is responsible for the compliance of project with relevant export control and confidentiality agreements.

UTC-IASE Research

  • Provides administrative and program leadership for complex research or academic strategic initiatives designed to support the UTC-IASE research and industry outreach activities.
  • Identifies research opportunities in industry and federal agencies and organizes teams to respond to industry and federal agency research calls.
  • Coordinates preparation of large proposals involving multiple faculty, departments and/or other universities.
  • May participate in securing funding for the program.
  • Serves as a resource to faculty and staff on matters relating to strategic initiatives.

UTC-IASE Education

  • Assesses the unmet educational needs of the industry and makes recommendations to the governing committee to meet those needs.
  • Participates in planning, developing, designing, and evaluating customized programs based on identified needs and goals.
  • Plans, administers, and oversees the organization of workshops and course offerings in accordance with UTC-IASE goals; creates the program calendar with the Director and participating faculty members; oversees the coordination of logistics.

UTC-IASE Outreach

  • Leads public relations and promotional activities for the program; implements recruiting, promotional, and marketing strategies to identify corporate and individual participants; designs brochures, flyers, posters, and other promotional materials.
  • Oversees the planning, organization, and execution of corporate networking events, conferences, and other meetings.
  • Serves as a resource to potential and current program participants, corporations, state agencies, and other organizations and individuals on matters related to the Institute’s program policies, procedures, and activities.
  • Establishes and maintains partnerships and engagement with industry and governmental contacts.
  • Manages critical communications, both internal and external.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in discipline appropriate to the program to be served and at least 2 years relevant experience.
  • Experience with coordination of University industrial projects (research or educational).
  • Thorough knowledge of, and demonstrated competence in, developing industry engagement and partnerships.
  • Experience with academic programs/projects creation or generation
  • Ability to plan and organize workshops and outreach networking events appropriate to program to be served.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently design and implement programs, identify and resolve day-to-day program problems.
  • Good organizational and supervisory skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, students, administrators as well as external agencies/groups and the public.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to resolve complex or unusual problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead large, complex projects to successful completion adhering to established deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in industry funded academic programs
  • Experience in reporting in a quantifiable manner of the planning and closing of actions and programmatic status updates
  • Experience or involvement with industry related to systems engineering
  • Exposure and relationships with the Systems Engineering community and in particular INCOSE
  • Experience in development and management of graduate curriculum
  • Experience in the administration of distance learning courses
  • Experience in social media and online advertisement of academic activities
  • Experience in industry engagement and outreach activities.

Appointment Terms:

This is a full-time, 12-month position with an excellent benefits package.


To Apply:

Please apply online at For full consideration, please upload a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information for three professional references.  Review of applications will begin immediately. Please include the search number XXXX with all correspondences. Employment of the successful candidate will be contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check. (Search # XXXX)

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on December 25, 2017.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.

Request for Applications to the 2017 UTC-IASE Guest Professorship Award


The UTC-IASE Guest Professorship Award sponsors visiting professors with national and international reputation in the field of cyber-physical systems engineering to collaborate and mentor UConn faculty and students. The goal of the award is to attract exceptional researchers and educators and promote cross-disciplinary work in areas of interest to the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering and the United Technologies Corporation. Guest Professors from all engineering all other related disciplines are invited to participate in a 3-6 week program with emphasis on cross-university collaboration, faculty and student mentoring and advising, research proposals creation, research project refinement, and creation of new educational directions (development of new courses or enhancement of existing courses).



Guest professors are expected to collaborate with UConn Faculty and UTC Engineers in the following areas:

  • Offer seminars and lectures in an area of interest to the UTC-IASE
  • Collaboration for the development of new collaborative research proposals
  • Mentor graduate students and fellows currently working in projects sponsored by the UTC-IASE
  • Present a seminar to UTC in the UTRC campus
  • Review the curriculum content of the UTC-IASE and propose new directions, refinements and new content or applications



UConn Faculty are requested to nominate a Guest Professor in an application containing the following

  • Letter of recommendation for the Guest Professor. (limit 1 page)
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Guest Professor.
  • A plan for the nominee’s proposed activities, including:
    1. A series of lectures or seminars
    2. A series of meeting with other faculty explaining briefly the common topic of interest
    3. A series of advising meetings with UTC-IASE graduate students and fellows explaining briefly common research interests
    4. Possible collaborative research proposals
    5. Educational content that will be reviewed and refined
    6. The title of a seminar to be given in the United Technologies Research Center.

Not all of the above are mandatory, but the ideal application will contain a plan with many of the above.  The proposed plan should not exceed 3 pages in length.

  • Budget, brief budget justification and time table of activities. (limit 1 page).
  • Support letters by at least 3 faculty that express their interest in inviting and supporting the Guest Professor. (limit 1 page per letter).



The UTC-IASE Guest Professorship Award will cover transportation, accommodation and living expenses and a honorarium for the Guest Professor up to a total not to exceed $30,000. Half of the award is sponsored by the Dean of the School of Engineering and the other half by the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering. Only expenses made by the Guest Professor will be covered. Applications may distribute expenses as needed, but proposers should submit a draft budget justification with the proposal.



  • Submit your application as one single PDF file by 5:00pm, May 31st 2017 to Michelle Morse at
  • Applications will be reviewed by the UTC-IASE Governing Committee and applicants will be notified by June 10th.
  • Guest Professorship funds will be made available anytime between June 15th and December 31st

UTC-IASE Welcomes Graduate Assistant Avnish Kumar

Avnish was avnish1born in the city of Bangalore in India. Being born and raised on an air force base nudged him to pursue his bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B). It was there that he realized his interest in robotics and systems engineering. This led him to come to the University of Connecticut (UConn) for his Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering. At UConn, he works with Dr. Ashwin Dani in the Robotics & Control Lab. His research involves leveraging machine/deep learning techniques for efficient human-robot collaboration.

UConn Named to Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute

The University of Connecticut is part of a new national institute designed to advance robotics manufacturing and maintain America’s global competitiveness in that arena. UConn researchers will help develop new sensing, software, artificial intelligence, and other technologies to improve the use of robotics in manufacturing for the aerospace and shipbuilding industries.

The institute, called the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute (ARM), was announced earlier this month and will include several Connecticut businesses and academic institutions. The Connecticut portion of the proposal was led by UConn, the United Technologies Research Center, UTC Aerospace Systems, and ABB US Corporate Research. The institute will be led by American Robotics Inc., a nonprofit associated with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The ARM institute is the 14th and final national institute created under President Obama’s Manufacturing USA initiative, according to Michael Accorsi, senior associate dean of engineering.

“The focus on robotics makes it a great fit for Connecticut, with our strong ties to the aerospace and shipbuilding industries – industries that can really benefit from the next generation of robotic innovation,” he said.

The new institute is supported by a total of $253 million in funding. Federal funding represents $80 million of that, with the remaining money coming from 123 industrial partners, 40 academic and academically affiliated partners, and 64 government and nonprofit partners.

At UConn, Ashwin P. Dani’s Robotics and Controls Lab is already performing research on interactions between robots and humans. Dani and his graduate students are creating algorithms so that industrial robots can learn what action a person will likely take in a given situation. By understanding where a person will move, a robot can work alongside a human and avoid injuring them.

“The new institute is designed to create an ecosystem of robotics,” said Dani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “That ecosystem will involve creating collaborative robotics that can do flexible, highly variable jobs efficiently and create advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly human-robotic interactions. That’s an area we already focus on here at UConn.”

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Manufacturing USA initiative is designed to encourage private industry, academia, and government collaboration to revitalize and enhance U.S. competitiveness in key areas. As a part of ARM, UConn will create a new, advanced robotics facility within the new UConn Tech Park, which will expand on UConn’s existing robotic capabilities.

The aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries will represent 75 percent of all robots used in the country by 2025. UConn and other Connecticut partners are focusing on the aerospace and ship building industries, which have been slower to adopt robotic technologies than the automotive industry. Dani said that because these industries create a smaller volume of products than the automotive industry, they need robots that can do a variety of tasks.

“The automotive industry makes millions of cars every year, so each robot can be highly specialized. The aerospace industry creates far fewer individual products, so each robot needs to be able to quickly learn and perform multiple tasks,” Dani said. “UConn and ARM will make the innovations necessary to create agile, dexterous, and collaborative robotics.”

The new institute aims to increase small manufacturers’ use of robots by 500 percent. UConn will work with community colleges around the state to provide training in robotic jobs within existing STEM programs, to meet the increasing demands for the robotic manufacturing industry.


Published: January 13, 2017


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The UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering is proud to announce the Breakthrough Award winner, Xu Chen!

XuCHENThe priority of the UTC-IASE Breakthrough Award is to provide an award to recognize innovative, transformational and disruptive contributions in the field of advanced systems engineering. The amount of the Award shall be $50,000 in the first year the prize is awarded, and may be adjusted with time.

The UTC-IASE asked Xu Chen a variety of questions in regards to what plans he has prepared for the use of this award.

  • How do you plan to use the funds provided by the Breakthrough Award?

This Breakthrough Award application seeks to explore transformative and collaborative strategies in research and education that respond to the fundamental challenge of poor reproducibility in additive manufacturing (AM) processes. A specific focus is powder bed fusion (PBF) – one of the few AM techniques that are capable of directly fabricating geometrically complex metal parts with good mechanical strength.

  • Please provide a brief description of the collaboration opportunities the Breakthrough Award will generate for you and the UTC-IASE.

The research is a model- and data-centric study that considers dynamic systems and computer and information science and engineering as a unified whole. The generated knowledge and tools are expected to offer previously unattainable robustness and adaptability in AM, which are integral for applications such as digital manufacturing of jet engines and wing struts.

As the principal investigator, I have been leading a New Academic Plan project under the NextGen CT initiative, to build a testbed for PBF AM. The project will create a unique platform to create multidisciplinary research within the institute, spanning a rich spectrum of topics in, e.g. mechatronics, modeling and learning, data sciences, cyber physical systems, etc.

The Award will also support teaching activities in model-based controls and mechatronic designs. I have digitalized my teaching portfolio for a set of topics related to the pursued goal, and plan to create flipped/blended courses in AM and control systems.



I am extremely humbled to receive the Award. Thank you UTC-IASE for supporting junior faculties.

UTC-IASE Wishes to Congratulate Travel Award Winner: William Hale

william hale update

On Friday, October 28th, 2016, UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (IASE) graduate fellow William Hale (Billy) received a travel award to attend and present his work at the annual Foundations of Computer Aided Process Operations / Chemical Process Control (FOCAPO/CPC) 2017 conference. This award covers the cost of stay for the duration of the conference, January 8 – 12, 2017.

Billy is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Dr. George Bollas in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department at UConn. The work he will be presenting is on model-based active fault detection and isolation. In this work, a general formulation for maintenance testing is developed by optimizing inputs to produce unique system responses in the presence of various faults. The formulation is then applied to a gas compression system prone to several different actuator and sensor faults, and the results from this optimization show complete isolation of the 8 faults studied. Future work will focus on modifying the formulation to be robust to system uncertainties. Billy hopes that by attending this conference he will obtain valuable experiences and connections that will benefit him for the years to come as he continues working towards his Ph.D.

Click Here to View William Hale’s LinkedIn Profile