Fen Wu

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Fen Wu’s long-term goal is to play an essential role in developing robust and nonlinear control theory. A significant roadblock in the development of robust and nonlinear control theory is solvability (computation), and so his work focuses mainly on solvability.

Wu teaches Nonlinear System Analysis and Control (MAE 522). This is a first-year graduate-level course that introduces students to the interesting nonlinear behavior and the corresponding control strategies, like Liapunov stability theory, feedback linearization, and sliding mode control. He also teaches Robust Control with Convex methods (MAE 721). This advanced course goes beyond linear theory to provide modern tools that enhance robustness when the system is not entirely known.

At the undergraduate level, Wu teaches Dynamics of Machines (MAE 315) and Principles of Automatic Control (MAE 435). In both of these courses, Wu’s major emphasis to the students is that we are dealing with systems and, as such, that they obey systematic methods.

Wu’s students are theoretically oriented, self-motivated, and work independently. He tends to give them a lot of freedom in their research direction. His students enjoy the subject, among the different reasons, because of its unique blend of mathematics and engineering.

Outside of work, Wu spends time with his family and enjoys travel.

Research Interests

Wu is interested in control theory, robust analysis and control, gain-scheduling control design and implementation, model approximation, structure and control interaction analysis, and applying advanced control and optimization techniques to aerospace, mechanical and chemical engineering problems. Presently, he is working on fault detection algorithms that improve the safety of hypersonic vehicles (for NASA) and the development of computationally efficient algorithms for nonlinear systems that have polynomial nonlinearities. Within MAE, he collaborates with Dr. Buckner and Dr. Yuan.


Ph.D.Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California at Berkeley1995
MSACMaster of Science in Automatic ControlBeijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics1988
BSACBachelor of Science in Automatic ControlBeijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics1985


  • Advanced Switching Control Techniques For Switched Systems Subject to Physical Constraints
  • Developing High Performance, Computationally Efficient Nonlinear Control Techniques For Polynomial Nonlinear Systems
  • Reconfigurable Robust Gain-Scheduled Control for Air-Breathing Hypersonic Vehicles
  • Developing Nonlinear Optimal and Robust Control Techniques for Space Exploration
Fen Wu