James R. Forbes | Faculty

Short Bio

EDUCATION

University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies
PhD Aerospace Science and Engineering '11
MS Aerospace Science and Engineering '08

University of Waterloo
BS Mechanical Engineering Hon. '06

SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS

  • Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

POSITIONS HELD AT MICHIGAN

  • Assistant Professor (September 2013 - July 2015)
  • Adjunct Professor (August 2015 - present)

    Specializations and Research Interests

    Control of aerospace and robotic systems

    • Flexible robotic manipulators and structures, spacecraft attitude control (magnetic attitude control), autonomous mobile robots, attitude control of high-altitude balloons.

    Multibody dynamics

    • Flexible structures and robotic systems, flexible spacecraft and space structures, flexible telescoping robotic systems, (unconventional) mobile robots, nonholonomic systems.

    Linear and nonlinear control theory

    • Passivity-based control, overcoming passivity violations, controller synthesis via linear matrix inequalities (LMIs), gain-scheduling, linear time-varying systems, conic sector stability, control directly using the rotation matrix (on SO(3)).

    State estimation

    • Nonlinear state estimation (extended Kalman and sigma point methods), estimation directly using the rotation matrix (on SO(3)).

    Teaching Interests

    UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
    AEROSP 347 - Space Flight Mechanics January - April 2014

    GRADUATE COURSES
    AEROSP 540 (MECHENG 540) - Intermediate Dynamics September - December 2014

    Honors and Awards

    • Nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal (for the highest academic standing at the graduate level) (2012).
    • G.N. Patterson Award (given to the most outstanding Ph.D. graduate of UTIAS) (November 2011).
    • NSERC Post Doctoral Fellowship (awarded but not accepted) (2011 - 2013).
    • AIAA Graduate Student Paper Competition Finalist (August 3, 2010).
    • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (September 2008 - April 2011).
    • Canadian Space Agency Travel Award (2009).
    • Bronze “T” Award, Varsity Lacrosse, University of Toronto (2009).
    • Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (September 2007 - August 2008).
    • University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Upper-Year Scholarship (2005 - 2006).

    CONFERENCE AWARDS

    • Awarded “best presentation” in Control in Aerospace Robotics 1 session, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Minneapolis, MN (August 13-16, 2012).
    • Awarded “best presentation” in Optimal Control session, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Portland, OR (August 8-11, 2011).