January 3, 2024

photo of ufuk topcuUfuk Topcu has been named a class of 2024 fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity. Fellow is the highest distinction bestowed upon IEEE members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing significant value to society. The number of IEEE Fellows elevated in a year is no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total IEEE voting membership. 

Topcu, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (ASE/EM) at UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, was recognized with this honor “for contributions to the design and verification of autonomous systems.”

Topcu’s research focuses on the theoretical, algorithmic and computational aspects of design and verification of autonomous systems through novel connections between formal methods, learning theory and controls. He serves as director for the Center for Autonomy at the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.

His work is supported by the DOD (Department of Defense), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), AFOSR (Air Force of Scientific Research), ONR (Office of Naval Research), NASA, Sandia National Laboratories and more.

Awards Topcu has received include the IEEE Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize, the National Foundation Science CAREER Award, the AFOSR Young Investigator Program award and the Oden Institute Distinguished Research Award. He was also selected by the DOD to lead a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project aimed at developing artificial intelligence for UAVs.

Topcu earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining UT Austin, he was with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a postdoctoral scholar at California Institute of Technology until 2012.

He currently holds the Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship No. 1 and is a core member of both the Oden Institute and Texas Robotics. Learn more about Topcu’s research on the Center for Autonomy website.