Dr. Eng. Spilios Theodoulis
Spilios is an associate professor in the Aerospace GNC cluster within the Control & Simulation (C&S) section, at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of the Delft University of Technology (TU-Delft). He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Patras, Greece where he obtained his MSc in 2004 with a specialization on systems and control, and also in 2005 a research MSc from the University of Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. He was granted a PhD, jointly funded from Airbus and MBDA, in 2008 from SUPELEC and the University Paris XI, on wide-envelope robust control of aerospace systems.
Spilios created the AErospace dynamics and RObust CONtrol (AEROCON) research group within the C&S section and focuses in two (complementary) fields. First, modeling and flight dynamics of complex aerospace systems, including uncertainty modeling and linear/nonlinear-parameter-varying dynamics. Second, (multivariable) stability and control systems spanning from robust/adaptive control and analysis to control allocation and anti-windup algorithms, and from gain scheduling to linear-parameter varying identification and control. Other interests include control theory-inspired guidance algorithms and integrated guidance and control. The algorithms and knowledge developed in the group are showcased in several classes of systems (including the facilities of the C&S section such as SIMONA, PH-LAB, etc.) like civil and fighter aircraft, rotorcraft, drones as well as guided systems and in collaboration with fellow colleagues. He is also teaching tensor-based flight dynamics and robust controls both in academia and industry.
Spilios has worked jointly, as well as received support, from both government and industry (including Airbus, MBDA, Thales, Dassault Aviation, etc.) for performing basic and applied research in the above areas and has collaborations with several academic partners (including ONERA, CRAN, Cranfield University, TU Dresden, UniStra, etc.). He is the co-recipient of the MBDA 1 Star Innovation Award and 2 Star Innovation Award (2019), an associate fellow at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and his students have received (some) distinctions, including the best PhD award in the area of systems & control from the University of Strasbourg (2017). He also serves in technical committees (AIAA GNC, IFAC Aerospace, CEAS GNC) and also in the organizing and program committees of conferences related to his field (AIAA SciTech, IFAC WC/ACA, EuroGNC, etc.).
His most daunting challenge to date though, remains the robust stabilization of his two young daughters, who are constantly reminding him to ‘always respect the unstable’ and that nature is not linear nor time-invariant.