Herschel C. Pangborn

PhD Candidate, Alleyne Research Group

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

MechSE Teaching Fellow

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Biography

Herschel C. Pangborn is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and Teaching Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His current research with Professor Andrew Alleyne focuses on the hierarchical control of vehicle electro-thermal energy systems, improving their performance, efficiency, and safety by developing control frameworks that coordinate actions among multiple subsystems, components, and physical domains. Herschel received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in 2013 and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2015. His work in the Alleyne Research Group has included collaborations with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), the Center for Integrated Thermal Management of Aerospace Vehicles (CITMAV), and the University of Illinois Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center (ACRC). He is also an Engineering Consultant for CU Aerospace, supporting the Thermosys simulation toolset for analyzing the behavior of both single phase and multi-phase thermal management systems.

In Spring 2018, Herschel served as the course instructor for ME 460: Industrial Control Systems at the University of Illinois, and was subsequently recognized on the UIUC Spring 2018 List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.

Herschel serves as a Student Liaison for the Energy Systems Technical Committee (ESTC) of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division (DSCD), and in this role has organized student-focused career advising and network events at both the American Control Conference (ACC) and the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC). He is currently working to co-organize an invited technical session on mobile energy systems for ACC 2019. As a member of the Student Leadership Council of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), Herschel planned and implemented the first annual POETS Technical Conference in 2016.

Research Summary

Optimizing the performance, efficiency, and safety of energy systems is a critical research area. Improvements in energy management are needed for both stationary systems (e.g. air conditioning and refrigeration) and vehicle systems (e.g. aircraft and automobiles). My research spans a number of challenges associated with the control of energy systems. For vehicle systems, I work to develop modeling and control frameworks that capture and coordinate multi-domain and multi-timescale interactions. Ongoing work includes the development of model-based hierarchical controllers that leverage knowledge of system interconnections to robustly optimize system-wide performance and efficiency. For air conditioning and refrigeration systems, I work to better understand and control the complex dynamics of multi-phase heat exchangers. These systems can be captured in modeling by treating them as a collection of distinct operating modes, each with its own model formulation. Controllers for these systems can also benefit from a switched framework, allowing for the development of model-based control laws for each mode.

Research Interests:

  • Hierarchical and Distributed Control
  • Model Predictive Control
  • Control of Switched Systems
  • Dynamic Modeling and Control of Energy Systems
  • Design and Control of Thermal Management Systems for Aircraft and Automotive Applications
  • Vapor Compression Refrigeration System Modeling and Control

Recent News:

  • 09-2018: Two papers are submitted to invited sessions for the 2019 American Control Conference.
  • 09-2018: Herschel co-organizes an invited session proposal for the 2019 American Control Conference on energy management in aerospace vehicles.
  • 06-2018: Herschel is recognized on the UIUC Spring 2018 List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for ME 460: Industrial Control Systems.
  • 06-2018: Herschel presents his paper titled "Passivity and Decentralized MPC of Switched Graph-Based Power Flow Systems" at the 2018 American Control Conference (ACC).
  • 05-2018: Paper titled "Hierarchical Control for Electro-Thermal Power Management of an Electric Vehicle Powertrain" is accepted to the 2018 ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC).
  • 05-2018: Herschel presents "Hierarchical Control of Aircraft Electro-Thermal Systems" at the 2018 Technical Conference of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS).
  • 04-2018: "Optimal Flow Control and Single Split Architecture Exploration for Fluid-Based Thermal Management," a collaborative paper with members of the UIUC Engineering System Design Lab directed by Professor James Allison, is accepted to the 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC).
  • 04-2018: Herschel's paper "Experimental Validation of Graph-Based Hierarchical Control for Thermal Management" is accepted to the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control.
  • 12-2017: Herschel receives a Graduate Teaching Fellowship from the MechSE Department. He will be teaching ME 460: Industrial Control Systems in Spring 2018.
  • 10-2017: A career advising and networking event co-organized by Herschel for students at the 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference is attended by more than 70 people.
  • 10-2017: Herschel presents "A Graph-Based Approach to Uncertainty Propagation in Transient Thermal Systems Modeling" to the Workshop on Validation of Thermal Models for Military Power Systems by the Applied Vehicle Technology Panel of the NATO Science and Technology Organization.
  • 05-2017: Herschel presents his paper titled "Graph Based Hierarchical Control of Thermal Fluid Power Flow Systems" at the 2017 American Control Conference.
  • 04-2017: Herschel is awarded Best Presentation at the 2017 Technical Conference of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS).
  • 03-2017: Herschel presents an "Introduction to Controls" Seminar to the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS).