The Boeing 737-800 MAX, or how NOT to design a control system for an aircraft

Seminar talk titled “The Boeing 737-800 MAX, or how NOT to design a control system for an aircraft”

Title Of the Talk: The Boeing 737-800 MAX, or how NOT to design a control system for an aircraft
Speaker: Prof. M. Vidyasagar
Host Faculty: Dr. Sumohana Channappayya
Date & Time: Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 & 4 PM
Venue: Block A - Auditorium


The comedy of errors known as the Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft continues, with no end in sight. Obviously there were tremendous bureaucratic shortcomings that permitted this dangerous aircraft to fly in the first place. However, those are outside the scope of the talk. Rather, this talk will focus on the various aspects of aerodynamics and flight control that were studiously IGNORED by Boeing initially, and continue to be ignored. I will contrast this with how the control system was designed for our own LCA, which is the first and only fighter plane in aviation history to have been inducted into service without crashing even once -- a testimony to the quality its controller design. The talk will be highly interactive in nature and audience participation will be welcomed.

Speaker Profile:

Prof. M. Vidyagasagar received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, in 1965, 1967 and 1969 respectively. Between 1969 and 1989, he was a professor of EE in the USA in Canada, before returning to India for the next twenty years, first as the Founding Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Bangalore, and then as an Executive Vice President (Advanced Technology) of TCS. After retiring from TCS in 2009, he moved to the University of Texas at Dallas, and set up the Bioengineering Department. He began to spend a part of his time at IIT Hyderabad starting in January 2015, and stopped teaching at UT Dallas at the end of 2017. Since then he has been spending full-time in Hyderabad, affiliated to IITH in various capacities.

Prof. Vidyasagar's research interests are in the broad area of system and control theory, and its applications.

Prof. Vidyasagar has received a number of awards in recognition of his research contributions, including Fellowship in The Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, the IEEE Control Systems (Technical Field) Award, the Rufus Oldenburger Medal of ASME, the John R. Ragazzini Education Award from AACC, and others. He is the author of thirteen books and 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. At present he holds a National Science Chair affiliated to IIT Hyderabad.

Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 & 4 PM