Skelton’s research focuses on modeling, estimation, and control to create an interdisciplinary theory, specifically for integrating structure, signal processing, and control design.
Education: BS in EE, Clemson University; MS in EE, University of Alabama, Huntsville; Phd in Engineering Mechanics, UCLA.
Research: Skelton’s pioneering contributions include these firsts: finite dimensional parametrization of all finite-dimensional stabilizing controllers, parametrization of all H-infinity Controllers, proof that 20 different control problems all reduce to the same linear algebra problem (including covariance control, H-infinity control, L-infinity control, pole assignment, parametrization of all positive real controllers, etc), a lab test procedure that produces the necessary input/output data that allows one to compute the exact optimal finite-horizon control solution for a completely unknown linear system (data-based control)), the mathematical description of tensegrity structures and the analytical tools to efficiently model, design, and control them. His papers have helped explain the tensegrity nature of the cytoskeleton of red blood cells and of the molecular structure of nature’s strongest tensile material, the spider fiber. He is author or co-author of 4 books: Model Error Concepts and Compensation (1986), Dynamic Systems Control (1988), A Unified Algebraic Approach to Control Design (1996), and Tensegrity Systems (2009).
Awards, honors: He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). From the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), he received the Norman Medal. He received research awards from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He was the Springer Endowed Chair at UCB in 1991. At UCSD, he was the Daniel Alspach Professor of Dynamics and Control. He is a Member of National Academy of Engineering, and a TEES Distinguished Research Professor at TAMU, where he has appointments in Ocean and Aerospace Engineering. NASA recognized Skelton’s service to space missions with in with the SKYLAB Achievement Award, an Appreciation Award for his service to the Hubble repair missions, and an Appreciation Award for the Apollo missions.