Success Stories - UWO Student Travels to an IEEE CDC Conference in Shanghai
IEEE Canada VT Travel Grant Report by Andrew Roberts, University
of Western Ontario
I was extremely pleased to hear that I was the recipient of an IEEE-Canada
Vehicular Technologies Travel Grant in December, 2009. This travel grant was of great assistance to me due to the high cost of travelling to the conference, which took place in Shanghai.
In March of 2009, I submitted a paper to be considered for publication
in the proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC).
Being fortunate enough to be accepted, I was now encouraged to travel to
Shanghai, China to present the paper. Due to the location of the
conference the trip promised to be quite expensive, which is the reason
I applied for the IEEE Canada Vehicular Technologies travel grant.
The IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) is a widely known and
important annual event for researchers in the field of control. To quote
the conference website, the IEEE CDC "is internationally recognized as
the premier scientific and engineering conference dedicated to the
advancement of the theory and practice of systems and control". Due to
the popularity of the conference, the most recognized and popular
researchers from all across the globe regularly attend. This conference
offers an immensely valuable opportunity for student-researchers to be
exposed to new advancements in their field of research, to present their
own research to a truly engaged and knowledgeable audience, and to
personally meet and discuss ideas with researchers from all over the
In 2009, the 48th IEEE CDC was held in conjunction with the 28th Chinese
Control Conference (CCC) at the Shanghai International Convention Center
(photo shows the main conference room). Competition for the conference
was tough since only 1473 papers were accepted for publication out of
the 3105 initially submitted, which is why I was very excited when I
learned that I was lucky enough to have my paper accepted.
The paper which I presented at the conference was entitled "Adaptive
Position Tracking of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned
Airborne Aircraft (UAV)". This research is, in part, the focus of my
doctoral studies in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department
at the University of Western Ontario, under the supervision of Dr.
Abdelhamid Tayebi (who also is with Electrical Engineering department at
Lakehead University), (photo shows (L-R) Dr. Tayebi and myself at the
In this paper I describe an autonomous control system for
hovering-type aircraft (such as the ducted-fan aircraft) that can
compensate for external disturbances, for example forces due to wind.
There are several research groups, in different countries around the
world, who are conducting similar research whom I cited as references in
my paper. Fortunately, some of them were in attendance providing me with
the opportunity to view their presentations, and meet with them to
discuss our ideas and the current challenges we face in our research.
There is no other event that can compare to a conference like the CDC
that can offer experiences as great and as motivating as this (top photo
shows (squinting from L-R) Dr. Tayebi, myself, and Dr. Tarek Hamel of
I3S in France), (bottom photo shows Dr. Minh-Duc Hua from INRIA and myself).
An exciting part of the CDC is that it is held in a different location
each year, encouraging people to travel to foreign and exotic locations.
In addition to the tremendous experience I received from attending the
conference, a great bonus was that I had the rare opportunity to visit a
place like Shanghai, which is a wonderful and very modern city (photo
shows the Shanghai radio tower outside the conference venue).
The only negative aspect of the trip (other than the thirteen-hour
flights), was due to the cost of visiting such a distant location. Being
the recipient of the IEEE Canada Vehicular Technologies Travel Grant is
of great assistance to me due to the cost I incurred during my trip. I
am truly thankful to the IEEE and especially to the IEEE Canadian
Foundation who have been continuously enhancing my experience as a
student in the field of engineering. Thank You!
Andrew D. Roberts
Photos provided by Andrew Roberts