Chung Named Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellow


AE Assistant Prof. Soon-Jo Chung
AE Assistant Prof. Soon-Jo Chung
Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Assistant Prof. Soon-Jo Chung has been appointed a Beckman Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pending Board of Trustees approval.

The first AE at Illinois faculty member to have been honored with this designation, Chung is awarded a semester of release time during the 2014-15 academic year to pursue his creative research project. He will spend the time developing robotic falcons and their control, sensing, and guidance strategies to chase away from airfields flocks of birds that can cause damage when they fly into the path of ascending or descending airplanes. Such bird strikes cause more than $715 million in damage each year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Almost a year ago Chung received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to fund his work on the project. This research represents the first major attempt to develop flight control and guidance strategies for a highly maneuverable, field-worthy robotic bird capable of performing a highly challenging mission of preventing bird strikes. This work will build upon the Chung’s previous work on the control of flapping-wing aircraft, robotic perching, and PDE boundary control of wings. The novel strategies for herding and pursuit evasion, utilizing state-of-the-art tools in control theory and real-time optimization, will be key contributions of the proposed work.

Each year, tenured and untenured University of Illinois faculty are invited to submit scholarly or creative proposals for permanent CAS professors to consider. Faculty members with winning proposals are appointed Associates and Fellows. These appointments encourage the Fellows and Associates to pursue the highest level of scholarly achievement while providing an unusual opportunity to explore new ideas and demonstrate early results.