November 30, 2021

photo of maruthi akellaMaruthi Akella has been elevated to the grade of fellow for the class of 2022 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization that is dedicated to fostering technological innovation and excellence to benefit humanity. Fellow is the highest grade of membership within the IEEE, with less than 0.1% of voting members selected annually for advancing innovation in their respective research fields.

A professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin, Akella was recognized with this honor for his “contributions to spacecraft control systems.” He is the first faculty member from the department’s current faculty to be named a fellow of IEEE reflecting the high-impact multidisciplinary research being pursued by the controls, autonomy and robotics area faculty within the department.

Akella, whose research focuses on the control of complex dynamical systems that are subject to large scale nonlinearities and uncertainties, has been recognized for his impactful research contributions which have found several highly successful applications in the control of space systems, hypersonics and vision-guided robotics. He has received multiple awards from the IEEE including the Award for Technical Excellence in Aerospace Control and the Judith A. Resnik Space Award and held the title of IEEE distinguished lecturer. He is also a recipient of the Dirk Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Akella recently founded UT Austin’s Center for Autonomous Air Mobility (CAAM) and directs the Controls Group for Distributed and Uncertain Systems (C-DUS Group). Examples of current research projects include algorithm development for learning and trust within autonomous systems, developing GPS-denied multi-agent mapping and inspection capabilities using aerial vehicles and ground rovers; creating visual navigation systems for space-based servicing, assembly, and manufacturing applications; generating high-quality trajectories for hypersonic glide vehicles; and advancing algorithms for swarm and fractionated systems.

Akella serves as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, is a fellow of the AAS and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics (AIAA). He holds the Ashley H. Priddy Centennial Professorship in Engineering.