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San Diego, Calif., Feb. 27, 2013 -- Massimo Franceschetti, an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize.
The IEEE Control Systems Society awards the prize annually to recognize a young researcher's cutting-edge, multidisciplinary contributions in both the theory and real-world applications of systems and control.
Franceschetti’s research for the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering explores the fundamentals of next-generation network systems that integrate sensing of the physical world, computing, communication and control.
“We know a lot about each one of these disciplines separately, but integrating them is a challenge,” says Franceschetti, who is affiliated with the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). “I’m happy to have received a prize that recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of my efforts to develop a theory of integrated, cyberphysical systems.”
This theory can be used, explains Franceschetti, for building smart grids, intelligent medical systems and transportation infrastructures of the future.
“To build, for example, vehicles that are completely automated, we really need the integration of sensing, computing, communication and control,” he adds. “If you want your car to be able to drive on the freeway without worrying about crashing into other cars, we need a system that is able to sense traffic conditions and steer automatically and aid us in changing lanes in a completely safe manner.”
“The same goes for healthcare systems that use multiple, interoperable medical devices or smart grids, where the generation, transmission and distribution of energy is made more efficient through the integration of information technologies,” he continues. “The challenge is that these networks are unreliable by definition, so our theory has to ensure that the systems will function in spite of the underlying communication unreliability.”
In addition to his research, Franceschetti helped organize this year’s Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Workshop, which drew 600 information theorists from around the world to UCSD. He also previously co-led (with Tara Javidi) Calit2’s Advanced Network Sciences initiative.
The prize honors the memory of Antonio Ruberti, one of the first professors of automatic control in Italy who became one of the early pioneers of geometric control methods for nonlinear systems and also served as the Italian minister of University and Scientific Research. Franceschetti, who also hails from Italy, got his undergraduate degree at the University of Naples and received his Ph.D. from Caltech, where he earned the C.H. Wilts Prize for best doctoral thesis in Electrical Engineering.
Franceschetti’s award marks the first time a professor at UC San Diego has received the $5,000 Ruberti prize. Immediate past recipients have included Prof. Pablo A. Parrilo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, George J. Pappas of the University of Pennsylvania and Joao P. Hespanha of University of California at Santa Barbara.