Mark Spong

Excellence in Education Chair
Professor - System Engineering
Tags: Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Systems Engineering Computer Engineering

Professional Preparation

D.Sc. - Systems Science and Mathematics
Washington University, St. Louis, MO - 1981
M.S. - Systems Science and Mathematics
Washington University, St. Louis, MO - 1979
M.S. - Mathematics
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM - 1977
B.S. - Mathematics and Physics
Hiram college, Hiram, OH - 1975

Research Areas

Mark W. Spong
Robotics, Control Systems, Teleoperation


Fujita, M., Kawai, H., and Spong, M.W., "Passivity-Based Dynamic Visual Feedback Control for Three Dimensional Target Tracking: Stability and $L_2$-Gain Performance Analysis," IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp 40-52, January, 2007. 2007 - Publication
Silvia Mastellone, D. M. Stipanovic, Christopher Graunke, Koji Intlekofer and Mark W. Spong, "Formation Control and Collision Avoidance for Multi-Agent Nonholonomic Systems: Theory and Experiments," Int. J. Robotics Research, accepted for publication, July, 2007. 2007 - Publication
D.M. Stipanovic, Peter Hokayem, Mark W. Spong, and D. Siljak, "Cooperative Avoidance Control for Multiagent Systems," J. Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 129, pages 699-707, September, 2007. 2007 - Publication
Lee, D-J. and Spong, M.W., "Stable Flocking of Inertial Agents on Balanced Communication Graphs," IEEE Trans. Aut. Cont., Volume 52, Issue 8, Aug. 2007 Page(s):1469 - 1475. 2007 - Publication
Nikhil Chopra, Mark W. Spong and Rogelio Lozano, "Adaptive Coordination Control of Bilateral Teleoperators with Time Delay," Automatica, accepted for publication, September, 2007. 2007 - Publication
Chopra, N., and Spong, M.W., "On Synchronization of Kuramoto Oscillators," IEEE Trans. Aut. Cont., accepted for publication, September, 2007. 2007 - Publication
Peter Hokayem, Mark W. Spong and Erick Rodriguez-Seda, "Stability of Quantized and Delayed Bilateral Teleoperators," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, submitted, 2007. 2007 - Publication
N. Chopra and Mark W. Spong, "Passivity-Based Control of Multi-Agent Systems," in Advances in Robot Control: From Everyday Physics to Human-Like Movements, Sadao Kawamura and Mikhail Svinin, Editors, pp. 107-134, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2006. 2006 - Publication
Hokayem, P.F., and Spong, M.W., "Bilateral Teleoperation: An Historical Survey," Automatica, Vol. 49, No. 12, December, 2006. 2006 - Publication
Mastellone, S., and Mark W. Spong, "Stability and Tracking for Systems with Time-Varying Delay," Systems and Control Letters, submitted, August, 2006. 2006 - Publication


Dean, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science/Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering/Excellence in Education Chair
University of Texas at Dallas [2008–Present]
Founder and President.
Mechatronic Systems, Incorporated [1996–2005]
Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering/Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering/Research Professor, Coordinated Science Laboratory/Research Professor, Information Trust Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [1984–2008]
Assistant Professor
Cornell University [1982–1984]
Assistant Professor
Lehigh University, Bethlehem [1981–1982]


What's Passivity Got to Do With it?
2006–2006 What's Passivity Got to Do With it?, Dynamic Walking Workshop, Ann Arbor, MI, May 6-8, 2006.
Synchronization of Multiple Lagrangian Systems
2006–2006 Synchronization of Multiple Lagrangian Systems,  Plenary Lecture at the 3rd IFAC Workshop on Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Methods for Nonlinear Control (LHMNLC'06), Nagoya, Japan, July 19-21, 2006.
Project-Based Control Education
2006–2006 Project-Based Control Education, Plenary Lecture at the 7th IFAC Symposium on Advances in Control Education, Madrid, Spain, June, 21-23, 2006.
Coordination of Multi-Agent Systems
2006–2006 Coordination of Multi-Agent Systems, Keynote Address at the IASTED International Conference on Control and Applications, Montreal, Canada, May 24-26, 2006.
Passivity-Based Control of Multi-Agent Systems
2006–2006 Passivity-Based Control of Multi-Agent Systems, International Symposium on Advanced Robotics and Machine Intelligence, Beijing, China, October, 2006.

Additional Information

Method and System of Compensating Wave Reections in Transmissions Lines", U.S. Patent 7245102 issued June, 2007. Joint with R. Ortega.

Bilateral Teleoperation over Communication Media," Invention Disclosure, University of Illinois, January 7, 2004. Joint with N. Chopra and R. Lozano.
IEEE Activities
  • President, IEEE Control Systems Society, 2005
  • Vice President for Publication Activities, IEEE Control Systems Society, 2000-2002
  • Board of Governors, IEEE Control Systems Society, 1994-2002 and 2004-2007
  • Executive Committee, IEEE Control Systems Society, 1997-2002 and 2004-2007
  • Nominating Committee, IEEE Control Systems Society, 2006-2008
  • General Chair, 2010 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
  • General Chair, 2001 IEEE Conference on Control Applications
  • 2011 IEEE RAS Pioneer Award
  • IROS Fumio Harashima Award for Innovative Technologies, 2007
  • Achievement Hall of Fame, Champion High School, Warren, OH, 2007
  • John R. Ragazzini Award, American Automatic Control Council, 2004
  • Named Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, University of Illinois 2003
  • O. Hugo Schuck Award, American Automatic Control Council, 2002 and 2009
  • Distinguished Member Award, IEEE Control Systems Society, 2002
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior U.S. Scientist Research Award, 1999
  • IEEE Third Millennium Medal, 2000
  • Fellow of the IEEE, 1996
  • NSF Research Initiation Award, 1982
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1975

News Articles

International Robotics Conference Recognizes Dean Mark Spong
The International Workshop on Recent Developments in Robotics and Control held at UT Dallas left electrical engineering senior Il-Taek Kwon awed by the information shared and humbled by the presenters. “This is inspirational, and I’m motivated to learn more,” he said. bout 60 of the most renowned researchers in the robotics and control fields participated in the two-day workshop in November. They came from throughout the United States and countries such as Germany, France, Japan and Sweden to present recent innovations and future directions of the closely related fields. Many of the participants had established the foundations of modern robotics and control theory and their applications in practice. Students in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science made poster presentations of their own work to the esteemed group.
Dean Shares Robot Expertise at New Perot Science Museum
Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and a leading researcher in robotics and control theory, recently kicked off a new lecture program for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science called The Lab. Spong, who developed the first robot that could play air hockey, spoke about the future of robotics to the Perot Museum audience of adults and kids on Feb. 7. “In the past, robots were big, dumb and dangerous,” said Spong, referring to large machines that had to be physically separated from humans by cages, pressure-sensitive mats, light curtains and emergency stop switches. “Today, robots are designed to work closely with people in the same space,” he said, referring to robots that now, and even more so in the future, help perform human surgery, deliver food, rehabilitate the injured, fabricate parts and serve in the military.
International Authority in Control Systems Named New Engineering Dean at UT Dallas
Dr. Mark W. Spong, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a world leader in research on robotic control systems, will become the new dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas.His appointment as dean and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering will become effective Aug. 16, 2008. At Illinois, where he has taught since 1984, Dr. Spong is the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering, research professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and the director of the Center for Autonomous Engineering Systems and Robotics, which he founded in the Information Trust Institute at Illinois. His research concerns robotics and the interconnected networks of microprocessors, sensors and actuators that control dozens of processes and variables inside modern engineering systems and machines. “Mark has had a brilliant career as a scholar and inventor in a field that he helped define and shape,” said UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel. “It is that same spirit of discovery and ingenuity that he will bring to the management of the Jonsson School.”
Dean of Jonsson School is Elected Fellow of International Federation
Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been elected a Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control for “fundamental contributions to nonlinear control of robots and teleoperation.” The International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), founded in 1957, is a multinational federation of national member organizations from more than 50 countries. The Fellow Award is given to people who have made outstanding and extraordinary contributions as engineers or scientists, technical leaders or educators. Spong has been involved in the American Automatic Control Council (AACC), the U.S. national member organization in the federation, for more than 30 years. He served on the AACC’s board and has received several awards from the council. He received the John R. Ragazzini Award for Control Education in 2004 and has twice won the O. Hugo Schuck Award for outstanding paper at AACC’s flagship conference, the American Control Conference.
Spong to Receive Prestigious Bode Lecture Prize
Dr. Mark W. Spong, holder of the Excellence in Education Chair at UT Dallas, is recipient of the 2018 Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prizeawarded by the Control Systems Society of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

The prestigious honor recognizes distinguished contributions to control systems science or engineering. Spong, professor of systems engineering and electrical and computer engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has produced innovative solutions in robotics that have stood the test of time to become now-classic results in robotic control.