Ilya Kolmanovsky

Pierre T. Kabamba Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering


3038 François-Xavier Bagnoud Aerospace Building
1320 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2140

Additional Title(s)

Acting Graduate Program Chair, Aerospace Engineering

Primary Website


University of Michigan
PhD Aerospace Engineering ’95. Advisor: Harris McClamroch
MA Applied Mathematics ’95
MS Aerospace Engineering ’93


Research Interests

Professor Kolmanovsky has broad interests in control systems and their applications as enabling technology across different domains.  His recent research focuses on control theory for systems with constraints and on control of advanced aerospace and automotive systems. His recent publications address challenges in spacecraft orbital and attitude control, in control of very flexible aircraft, and in control of engines, propulsion systems and autonomous driving.

Professor Kolmanovsky’s special area of interests in control theory is control of systems with constraints. With the increasing trend towards system downsizing (smaller satellites, air vehicles, drones, engines, etc.) and the growing stringency of requirements, constraint handling and limit protection are becoming increasingly important and critical for engineered systems. Constraints can represent actuator range/rate limits, safety requirements, operational limits, and stationary and moving obstacle avoidance requirements. While in some cases constraint violation has only benign consequences (e.g. loss of efficiency), it can be catastrophic in others. Effective controllers for systems with constraints must be nonlinear and often predictive, and they have to sufficiently but non-conservatively account for the uncertainty in the operating environment. Professor Kolmanovsky’s and his students research addresses the development of variety of schemes for constraint enforcement, including reference governors,, chained invariant/contractive set controllers, and drift counteraction optimal controllers.  Professor Kolmanovsky also conducts research in the general area of model predictive control (MPC) and numerical algorithms for real-time optimization that are used in control of constrained systems. He is interested in applications and demonstration of these algorithms on a variety of space, air, ground and marine vehicle platforms. He is also interested in integrating learning and adaptation into constrained control systems.


Professor Kolmanovsky is a former graduate of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and has spent close to 15 years of his subsequent professional career at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering in Dearborn, Michigan addressing challenges and opportunities in control systems for advanced powertrain and propulsion systems. Professor Kolmanovsky re-joined the department of aerospace engineering as a professor in January 2010.


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Kolmanovsky acknowledged for research excellence and outstanding performance

Aero Professor Ilya Kolmanovsky was honored with two awards: the College of Engineering George Huebner Award for Research Excellence and the Aerospace Department Outstanding Performance Award

Ilya Kolmanovsky selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI)

U-M professor acknowledged for his innovations in addressing control challenges of advanced automotive and aerospace systems

Aerospace Professors Girard, Kolmanovsky, and Panagou receive award for their work at the Automotive Research Center

Aerospace Engineering congratulates three of our faculty who received the Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award for 2019-20 for their work on the Automotive Research Center.

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Aerospace Ph.D. student Dominic Liao-McPherson awarded Professor Pierre T. Kabamba Award

Ph.D. student Dominic Liao-McPherson receives Professor Pierre T. Kabama Award for excellence in control systems.