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Controls theorist Skelton recognized with endowed chair

As a leading authority on controls, MAE professor Robert E. Skelton has been involved with the country's first space station, Skylab, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope. He also applies his engineering expertise down to Earth on everything from robots to red blood cells.

In recognition of his solutions to a wide variety of engineering problems and his novel ideas on how to solve new ones, Skelton was named the Daniel L. Alspach Professor of Dynamic Systems and Controls. The endowed chair, which was announced in November 2006, was made possible through a donation from Daniel L. Alspach (Ph.D. '70, engineering sciences).

"There is a fundamental flaw in the whole concept of control theory in the way it is used after the fact, and Bob Skelton has the clearest, most practical vision of how to solve it—include controls from the start," says Alspach.

Skelton began his career with the Marshall Space Flight Center and Sperry Rand, before serving for 20 years as professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University. He joined UCSD in 1996, and helped to recruit six faculty in the area of dynamic systems and control.

Bioengineering professor Amy Sung and MAE professor Robert E. Skelton are researching how a mesh-like protein skeleton gives healthy red blood cells their amazing flexibility.
Bioengineering professor Amy Sung and MAE professor Robert E. Skelton are researching how a mesh-like protein skeleton gives healthy red blood cells their amazing flexibility.