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Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE)


Funding Agency 

National Science Foundation, coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President


The world is becoming increasingly dependent on complex interconnected systems, such as smart building management, multi-vehicle systems and convoys, irrigation networks, large array telescopes, and the power distribution grid. The advent of these systems has created a need to design and analyze controllers that can observe information from only a small portion of a network but may ultimately affect a large portion of the network. This includes, and is a key challenge in many problems with cyber-physical systems. Conventional controls analysis assumes that one centralized decision-maker can access all available measurements, and determine the usage of all possible means of actuation. Most methods of design and analysis are extremely fragile to this assumption, and break down when such centralization is not possible or is not desired, leading to the field of decentralized control. Dr. Rotkowitz has has made pioneering contributions in the decentralized implementable control of massively interconnected systems and will continue to do so through the PECASE.

The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the federal government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The awardees come not only from academia but from federal labs and agencies as well. Dr. Rotkowitz’s award was one of 19 that were nominated by the National Science Foundation.