UNH Ocean Seminar

One World: Robotic Autonomy in Ocean and Space

May-Win Thein
Associate Professor

Mechanical Engineering
Ocean Engineering

Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, 3:10pm
Chase 105

A major strength of system dynamics and control research is its versatility in a wide variety of applications, such as automotive engineering, temperature control, transportation, and even weather and stock market prediction. For vehicle modeling and control, this universal “fit” is particularly useful in controlling both individual and multi/cross-platform robotic systems. This talk will describe various system and control developments and how these techniques enable robotic autonomy, regardless of the type of robotic platform or the environment in which they traverse.  Examples include, vehicle swarm/formation control, automated path planning, robust/adaptive observer-based vehicle control in hazardous environments, real-time vehicle control for remote sensing and surveying, and GPS-denied navigation. It is shown that these techniques are applicable to generic UXVs including UAVs, UUVs/ROVs, USVs/ASVs, and UGVs. As system and control technologies are able to cross into different environments, the robotic platforms that use these technologies also enable cross/multi-platform collaborative autonomy and, as such, are no longer isolated or separated by ocean or space – they share one world.


Dr. Thein joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1999. Since then, she has served as a visiting scholar and/or lecturer at the Naval Underwater Warfare Center (NUWC) at Keyport NAVSEA, the Flight Dynamics Analysis Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK), the Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester (Leicester, UK), and the Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). Dr. Thein was also named a United Kingdom Royal Society Fellow in 2007 for her international collaborative research in spacecraft control. She holds memberships in AIAA, ASME (DSCD), IEEE (CSS IAC, WiC, WIE), Phi Eta Sigma, Pi Tau Sigma, SAE, Sigma Xi, SWE, and Tau Beta Pi.

Dr. Thein's field of specialization is in the area of System Dynamics and Control. Her studies involve nonlinear estimation and control with particular emphasis on ocean and space applications.