UofM Math Professor is First Woman to Receive Bellman Control Heritage Award in 40-Year History

August 2, 2019 - Dr. Irena Lasiecka, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Memphis, made history recently when she was awarded the 2019 Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award. Lasiecka is the first woman to receive the award in its 40-year existence.

The award, named after renowned mathematician Richard E Bellman, was established in 1979 by the American Automatic Control Council (AACC). Given for distinguished career contributions in theory or application of automatic control, it is considered the highest acknowledgement of professional achievement for U.S. control systems engineers and scientists. Lasiecka was recognized for her contributions to boundary control theory of distributed parameter systems. The AACC is a U.S. national member organization of the International Federation of Automatic Control.

“I am very grateful and humbled to receive the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award for 2019 and to join the distinguished list of prior recipients,” said Lasiecka. “Such an honor is not a credit to a single individual, but rather the result of collective work and many collaborations over the years. This is particularly true in areas which are by nature interdisciplinary.”

After holding full professorships at the University of Florida and the University of Virginia, where she was the Commonwealth Professor of Mathematics, Lasiecka has been a distinguished professor and chair of Mathematical Sciences at the UofM since 2013. She has also held numerous visiting appointments in the U.S. and Europe and has been included in the Institute for Scientific Information list of Highly Cited Researchers since its inception.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Mathematical  Society (AMS) and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, a plenary speaker at SIAM, AMS and IEEE conferences and a former chair of the IFIP TC7-Committee on Modeling and Optimization. She is the editor-in-chief of Applied Mathematics and Optimization and Evolution Equations and Control Theory. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Office and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Lasiecka received the award recently at the 2019 Annual American Control Conference in Philadelphia.

For more information on the award or to learn more about previous recipients, read the announcement on the American Automatic Control Council website.


Mary Ann Dawson | mdawson@memphis.edu