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Dr. Mahmut Reyhanoglu - Columbus State University

Columbus State University

headshot of Mahmut Reyhanoglu

Mahmut Reyhanoglu

Professor / Program Director of Robotics Engineering
Earth and Space Sciences

Academic Areas

Engineering and Robotics


  • PhD in Aerospace Engineering, The University of Michigan, 1992
  • MS in Electrical Engineering, The University of Michigan, 1991
  • MS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1987
  • MS in Mechanical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 1984
  • BS in Aeronautical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 1982


I moved to Columbus State University in 2021 as the Director and Professor of Robotics Engineering. Prior to joining CSU, I held the position of the Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor and Chair of Engineering at UNC Asheville from 2017 to 2021. I also held an Adj. Teaching Professor position in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. As the Director of NC State Engineering Programs at UNC Asheville, I managed both the Mechatronics Engineering Program and the 2+2 Engineering Programs at UNC Asheville. I was also responsible for further developing the undergraduate research in the areas of robotics and autonomous systems.

From 1998 to 2017, I held various administrative and faculty positions in the Department of Physical Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). From 1992 to 1998, I held visiting appointments in several institutions, including the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

I served on the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control Editorial Board as an Associate Editor from 2001 to 2007, on the IEEE Control Systems Society as an Associate Editor from 1996 to 2001, and on AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee as a member from 1999 to 2002. I also served as International Program Committee member for several conferences. I am currently an Editor of International Journal of Aerospace Engineering and the Electronics Journal.

Research Interests

My extensive research makes use of advanced mathematical techniques and mathematical models that arise from fundamental physical principles. In my earlier research work, I established a theoretical framework for a class of inherently nonlinear engineering control problems using tools from differential geometric control theory. I have applied my theoretical results to constrained dynamical systems, including wheeled mobile vehicles and space multibody systems, and to the control of underactuated mechanical and aerospace systems, including flexible robotic manipulators, autonomous marine vehicles, and space vehicles. My current research interests are in the areas of Modeling and Control of Robotic Systems, with applications to Unmanned Marine, Ground, Aerial, and Space Vehicles. My recent scholarly publications in these areas demonstrate my ability to develop and sustain a highly productive research program by working well with others. I have published four edited books, authored and/or co-authored five book chapters and over 140 peer-reviewed journal/proceedings papers, which have resulted in more than 7000 citations according to Google Scholar. I have been named in Stanford University's global list recognizing the top 2% of the world's leading scientists ( Table-S6).

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Scholarship & Creative Achievement Award (UNCA, 2020)
  • First Runner-Up, ERAU Researcher of the Year (2012, 2013).
  • Finalist, ERAU Researcher of the Year (2004, 2005, 2006).
  • Rackham Block Grant Fellowship (1990-1992).
  • National Merit Scholarship from Turkish Government (1985-1990)

Professional Societies & Activities

  • Senior Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers).
  • Senior Member of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics).
  • Associate Editor, Electronics - Systems & Control Engineering (2020- present)
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Aerospace Engineering (2010- present).
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (2001-2007).
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Control Systems Society Conference Editorial Board (1997-2001).
  • Member, AIAA Guidance, Navigation & Control Technical Committee (1999-2002).
  • International Program Committee Member for IEEE and IFAC Conferences.
  • Technical reviewer for IEEE, IFAC, and SIAM Journals, Systems & Control Letters, and IEEE sponsored conferences.

Teaching Interests

During my teaching career since 1990, I have been involved in teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses in the areas of mechanical and aerospace systems, dynamics, vibrations, controls, and robotics. I work and interact very well with students and help them to be successful through guidance and mentoring. My teaching philosophy is very simple: make the subject interesting! The course work should engage the students and keep their attention. To this end, I focus my lectures such that the students can see the connection between what they already know and the new material, pulling in their knowledge from different courses. In addition, I try to show them how the theory that they are learning can be applied to everyday experiences. Patience and positive attitude along with my sensitivity to students' concerns have consistently helped me to become a better teacher.

Research Grant Activities

  • Consultant, NASA SBIR Phase I, "Dynamic Controller for Modular Double-Acting Free-Piston Stirling Machines," 2020-2021.
  • NAVAIR Contract, "Universal Fuel System Pressure Test Set," 2020-2021.
  • Cisco Systems Contract, "Autonomous Mobile Robot," 2018-2019.
  • NAVAIR Contract, "Semi-Automatic ECASS Carrier," 2017-2018.
  • NC Community Foundation/Duke Energy Grant, "Growing UNC Asheville's Engineering & Mechatronics Program," 2017-2018.
  • UNCA Equipment Grant, 2017-2018. Purchased a 3 DOF Gyroscope, a 2 DOF Helicopter Testbed, a High-Performance Autonomous Ground Robot, and a Quadcopter for indoor autonomous robotics research.
  • Co-PI, DSO National Laboratories of Singapore, "Automatic Landing System for UAVs," 2013-2014.
  • PI, FAA-CST Contract, "Space Vehicle Debris Hazard Airspace Stratification Feasibility Study," 2011-2012.
  • PI, FAA-CST Contract, "Spacecraft and Propulsion Technician Training and Certification," 2011-2012.
  • PI, NASA FSGC Research Grant, "Development of Novel Attitude Control Algorithms for Small Satellites Using Only Magnetic Actuation," 2008-2009.
  • PI, NASA FSGC Research Grant, "Dynamics and Control of Underactuated Spacecraft Systems," 2003-2004.
  • PI, Daytona Beach Research Grants, "Dynamics and Control of Underactuated Mechanical Systems," 1999-2002.
  • ERAU Equipment Grant, 1998-2000. Purchased a 4-DOF Control Moment Gyroscope, a 3-DOF Hovercraft, a Two-Link Flexible Robot Arm, an Air bearing system, and a Compressor for the Spacecraft Engineering Research Lab.
  • Participated in research projects supported by the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control, Modeling and Control of Open Physical Systems, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, 1995-1996.
  • Participated in research projects supported by the NSF under Grants MSM- 8722266 and MSS-9114630, and by the NASA Grant under NAG-1-1419, University of Michigan, 1989-1992.
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