Anouck Girard named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor

Michigan Aerospace Professor is 1 of 5 U-M faculty members to have been appointed to prestigious professorship

Michigan Aerospace would like to congratulate Dr. Anouck Girard, Professor of Robotics and Aerospace Engineering, for being one of five U-M faculty members to have recently been named 2024 Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. This coveted title is given in recognition of faculty members’ outstanding contributions to undergraduate education in ways that extend beyond the classroom or lab.

To become a Thurnau Professor, faculty members must demonstrate a strong commitment to teaching and learning, excellence and innovation in teaching and dedication to working effectively with a diverse student body. Those that have been appointed to this professorship leave a lasting impact on the students they work with and hold an unprecedented dedication for their work. 

“I am so grateful to have been selected for the Arthur F. Thurnau professorship, one of the most meaningful awards given on this campus, because it is given in recognition of teaching and mentoring efforts in undergraduate education, which in my mind is the core mission of a university,” commented Girard. “Knowing that some of my current and former students and colleagues wrote in support of the nomination makes it extra special. I am honored to be in the company of the previous Arthur F. Thurnau recipients, many of whom I have looked up to for years.”

Professor Girard currently teaches courses in Aircraft Dynamics, Space Flight Mechanics, Control of Aerospace Vehicles, Space Systems Design, Linear Systems and Dynamics and Control in the Aerospace Engineering Department. She is a co-director of the Vehicle Optimization, Dynamics, Control and Autonomy Laboratory. In addition to modeling and control of the mechanical motions of such vehicles, Professor Girard and the lab consider the related problems of trajectory optimization, increasing autonomy, optimal energy and heat management, and information collection. She also led the creation of the game Quadcopter Quidditch for autonomous vehicle education for the K-12 community in the Fall of 2018.

Faculty members who are appointed will hold the Thurnau title for the duration of their career at U-M and will receive $20,000 to support activities that further enhance their teaching. The Board of Regents approved the Thurnau professors Feb. 15. and appointments are effective July 1.

Read the full article from the University Record