Distinguished Centennial Lecture Series

Dr. Galip Ulsoy

C.D. Mote, Jr. Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering
William Clay Ford Professor Emeritus of Manufacturing
University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor

Designing Reconfigurable Systems for Manufacturing and Automotive Applications

We live in an engineered world, where technologies rapidly become obsolete, and which can easily be disrupted by external events such as world markets, disasters or political strife. Can engineers design systems that evolve in the face of such pressures, and develop technologies that can be reconfigured to the new circumstances? This talk introduces the principles behind reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS), which provide exactly the manufacturing functionality and capacity needed, exactly when needed. Examples are presented to highlight the role that dynamics and control plays in designing systems to be more reconfigurable. These examples include optimal capacity management in an RMS, dynamics of a reconfigurable machine tool, and a reconfigurable stamping control system. Methods for co-design of an artifact and its controller and for component swapping modularity in controller design, are presented with applications to active suspension design, and design of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle controller. The lecture concludes with a discussion of broader future trends in RMS research.


Galip Ulsoy is the C.D. Mote, Jr. Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the William Clay Ford Professor Emeritus of Manufacturing at University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor. He received the Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley (1979), the M.S. degree from Cornell University (1975), and the B.S. degree from Swarthmore College (1973). He has served as Chair of ME at UM, as Director of Civil and Mechanical Systems Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF), as Deputy Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems, and as President of the American Automatic Control Council (AACC). His research interests are in the dynamics and control of mechanical systems. He has received numerous awards, including the AACC's 1993 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award, the 2003 and the 2016 Rudolf Kalman Best Paper Award from the J. Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, the 2008 Albert M. Sargent Progress Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the 2008 Rufus T. Oldenburger Medal, the 2013 Charles Russ Richards Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the 2014 Hideo Hanafusa Outstanding Investigator Award in Flexible Automation.  He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, received the 2012 Presidential Special Award from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, and is a Fellow of ASME, SME, Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC).