Purdue Engineering launches ICON, fusing faculty specialty areas to address grand challenges

Purdue has launched the new Center for Innovation in Control, Optimization and Networks (ICON), with the aim of developing foundational knowledge and advanced techniques for controlling and optimizing complex, connected, dynamical systems.
Photo of Shaoshuai Mou
Shaoshuai Mou, assistant professor of astronautical and aeronautical engineering
Photo of Shreyas Sundaram
Shreyas Sundaram, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering

ICON brings together diverse expertise from across Purdue, blending cutting-edge techniques from machine-learning, AI, and data science with foundational theories from control, optimization, and networks.

Led by Co-directors Shaoshuai Mou, assistant professor of astronautical and aeronautical engineering, and Shreyas Sundaram, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, the ICON team includes 37 faculty members with a cross-section of specialty areas from six schools within the College.

The center is affiliated with the broader Purdue Engineering Initiative on Autonomous and Connected Systems (ACS), one of the five Purdue Engineering Initiatives (PEI).

The broad mission of ICON includes pursuing innovative solutions to global grand challenges, centered around themes such as: control of manufacturing, transportation and infrastructure systems; resilient and secure control systems; large-scale autonomous and networked systems; and data-driven control and machine learning. In addition to the recently developed Purdue UAS Test Facility, ICON boasts a number of labs, including the Autonomous and Intelligent Multi-Agent Systems (AIMS) Lab, the Assistive Robotics Technology Lab (ART), and the Digital Photogrammetry Research Group (DPRG).

Examples of large-scale projects currently being tackled by ICON faculty include AI-assisted multi-agent autonomy with humans-in-the-loop, cognitive autonomy for human-cyber-physical systems, improving the resilience of communities to natural disasters, and secure and safe assured autonomy.

Due to COVID-19, ICON will host a series of virtual launch events during the 2020-2021 academic year. The first event will be a distinguished seminar on September 18 by Prof. A. Stephen Morse, an NAE member in control and a Purdue alumnus. Additional seminars and panels featuring distinguished speakers from academia, industry and governmental agencies can be found on the ICON website.