The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Timothy C. Burg

Tim Burg Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ph.D., 1996 - Clemson University
Electrical Engineering
M.S., 1990 - Clemson University
Electrical Engineering
B.S., 1988 - University of Cincinnati, Electrical Engineering

Contact Information
Office: 307 Fluor Daniel EIB
Office Phone: 864.656.1368
Fax: 864.656.7220
Email: tburg@clemson.edu

Personal home page

Dr. Burg has an extensive background in nonlinear control theory, industrial control practice, and sensor development. Dr. Burg received his doctorate from Clemson University in 1996. His dissertation, “Nonlinear Control Design for Mechatronic Systems to Reduce Sensor Count”, demonstrated the design of control algorithms for nonlinear systems including electric motors and robotic systems with electric actuators. He co-authored the book Nonlinear Control of Electric Machinery. He worked from 1996-2000 designing control systems for machine tools at Huffman Corp in Clover, SC. He then worked for Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation from 2000-2005. At Michelin he developed and refined models for tire and vehicle performance and worked on the integration of electronic devices such as RFID and pressure monitoring into tires. Dr Burg joined the Clemson faculty in the Fall of 2005. Research interests include application of nonlinear control design tools to robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and haptics for surgical simulations.

Current Research
Control of Aerial Vehicles: One of the fundamental (and long lasting) challenges facing UAV control development is to ensure that the craft can move to or hold a desired position and orientation. Specifically, the aircraft must be able to move from a current location to a new desired position and achieve a new orientation. It is at the low-level control that the peculiarities of the multi-bladed UAV system such as nonlinearities and the fundamental fact that the system is under-actuated must be addressed. An under-actuated system is especially challenging to control since it has fewer control inputs than degrees of freedom, i.e. it has degrees of freedom that cannot be directly actuated. The control problem will be approached using Lyapunov-based control design techniques adopted primarily from the field of robotics.  A sample current project deals with the use of only output feedback, GPS position measurements, to control a quadrotor helicopter.

Sample Collection with UAVs: Interaction of the aerial vehicle with a ground based target creates the additional kinematic and dynamic complexities. Of particular significance is that in order to interact with the object the robot must be able to apply and regulate the end-effector force. This further exacerbates the under-actuated control problem.

Bio-Printing: Developing the next generation systems that use drop-on-demand technology to print living cells into three-dimensional structures.

Haptics: New uses for haptic feedback for training in applications such as laparoscopic surgery.

RFID Applications: Developing applications for RFID technology such as insect tracking.

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