President's Corner President's Corner

Control systems education is being enriched nationwide by a growing activity in control laboratories. Many universities currently are upgrading their control labs. At the 1997 ACC in Albuquerque, control lab equipment vendors prominently demonstrated their wares. There was also an interesting ACC session on control experiments, both for teaching labs and for research. Excellent laboratories have been in existence abroad for many years, at Lund in Sweden, ETH in Switzerland, and elsewhere. In U.S. universities, however, for a variety of reasons, laboratory development was not encouraged. Several years ago Ohio State undertook a pioneering effort in control lab development. Now many schools have exciting developments underway. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we have instituted a College-wide Undergraduate Control Lab. This common facility is utilized jointly by several departments in the College of Engineering for their control laboratories. The resulting interdisciplinary cooperation has many beneficial consequences. Many novel undertakings at other universities could be cited. Such laboratory developments require expensive modern equipment, and also consume vast amounts of faculty time. There is an important opportunity here for our industrial friends to assist. Contact your favorite universities to see how you can help their laboratory efforts to succeed. The impact on future control engineers will be substantial.

Finally, as my two-year term as President comes to a conclusion, I am pleased to report that the AACC is strong and thriving. The IFAC Congress was completed successfully. And our activities to increase industrial participation in the ACC are expanding. I have enjoyed working with the AACC Directors, Officers, and Committees. I welcome our next President, Masayoshi Tomizuka, and wish him well. Our Secretary, Abe Haddad, and our Treasurer, Mal Beaverstock, have each accepted another term, for which we are grateful. I am pleased to announce that the Board has selected Naim Kheir as Vice President for 1998-99. Congratulations, Naim! Naim served ably as General Chair for the 1997 ACC, and is currently the SCS Director on the AACC Board.

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