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Dr. W. Gruver named recipient of the Norbert Wiener Award for 2013
Citation: For significant international contributions to the research and practice of robotics and intelligent manufacturing systems.
Dr. William A. Gruver has a distinguished international record of accomplishments in the research and practice of robotics and intelligent manufacturing systems within North America and Europe, leading research through design and prototyping, product development, and commercialization at multinational corporations, national R&D labs, universities, and entrepreneurial startups. His technical contributions include algorithm development, mechanical design, systems architecture, and systems integration.
After receiving postgraduate degrees from Imperial College and the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Gruver worked as an aerospace research engineer in Germany where he developed optimal impulsive control methods for geostationary satellite positioning and conducted research on infinite dimensional generalizations of constrained optimization, subsequently published in a book entitled Algorithmic Methods in Optimal Control, Pitman Co., 1981. During the early 1980s at LTI Robotic Systems, a California startup company that he cofounded, Dr. Gruver led a team of researchers from California universities and R&D laboratories to design a state-of-the-art assembly robot, including a sensor-based controller and high-level robot programming language, which was the basis for a product subsequently commercialized by a Japanese multi-national electronics company. At GE Industrial Automation in Germany, he managed the startup of an industrial technology center for the development and integration of factory automation systems targeting six European countries. At IRT Corporation in San Diego, he managed a division of a $45,000,000 public company where he was responsible for the development of x-ray inspection systems for automated solder quality inspection at U.S. aerospace and automotive companies. At the University of Kentucky's Center for Robotic and Manufacturing Systems for which he was the founding director, Dr. Gruver led research programs in factory automation aimed at local industry, and developed robotic systems for sensor-based grasping and mobility. During this period, he designed and implemented prototype biped walking machines and developed dynamic control and motion planning algorithms that led to a book entitled Hybrid Control and Motion Planning of Dynamical Legged Locomotion, published 2012 in the SMCS sponsored Systems Science and Engineering series from Wiley-IEEE Press.
Since 1992, Dr. Gruver is a Professor and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University in Canada, directing student research and a spinoff company that has commercialized robotic and intelligent agent systems for manufacturing automation, including a shop floor control system that was developed and implemented for a Canadian manufacturer of wood products. In 2000, he was appointed Technical Management Chair with overall technical responsibility of the Holonic Manufacturing Systems Consortium-a ten year, $75,000,000 research project with participation from 40+ international companies and R&D laboratories from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and USA-to develop, standardize, and apply intelligent agent technologies for manufacturing systems and supply chains.
In 1996, Dr. Gruver was elevated to IEEE Fellow for his leadership of major robotics and manufacturing systems engineering programs. He has received other international awards including the GE Management Award, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, Civitate Honoris Causa of Obuda University from Hungary, and the Alexander von Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award from Germany.
Dr. William Gruver (left) receives the Norbert Wiener Award Certificate from the SMC Senior Past President and Awards Committee Chair Dr. Daniel S. Yeung (right)