Ilya Kolmanovsky

Pierre T. Kabamba Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering


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


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.


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


  • AERO 347/343 – Space Flight Mechanics
  • AERO 470 – Control of Aerospace Vehicles
  • AERO 573 – Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
  • AERO 575 – Flight and Trajectory Optimization
  • AERO 551 – Nonlinear Systems and Control
  • AERO 548 – Astrodynamics
  • AERO 740 – Model Predictive Control
  • ity of Michigan

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.

Research areas:


  • Fellow of IEEE
  • Fellow of IFAC
  • Fellow of U.S. National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
  • AIAA Associate Fellow
  • 104 United States patents
  • Plenary Speaker at 2022 IEEE Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
  • Plenary Speaker at 41st Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control, 2022
  • Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, 2020
  • Plenary Speaker at 2018 IFAC Conference on Nonlinear Model Predictive Control
  • Plenary Speaker at 2018 IFAC Engine and Powertrain Control, Simulation and Modeling Conference
  • NASA software release award, 2017
  • Technology Award of Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (SICE), 2015
  • Outstanding Paper Award of IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2016
  • Best Paper Award of the IEEE International Conference on Cybernetics, 2013
  • ASEE/Air Force Research Laboratory Summer Faculty Fellowship awarded for Spring/Summer 2012
  • ASEE/Air Force Research Laboratory Summer Faculty Fellowship awarded for Spring/Summer 2011
  • Technical Achievement Award of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, 2009
  • Technical Achievement Award of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, 2004
  • Plenary speaker at 2003 American Control Conference
  • Eckman Award of American Automatic Control Council, 2002
  • Outstanding Paper Award of IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2002
  • Francois-Xavier Bagnoud doctoral fellow (1994-1995)

Related Links

Related News Stories

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The University of Michigan researchers are part of Toyota Research Institute’s $100M renewed university partnership program

Kolmanovsky’s research featured in partnership announcement.

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.