John T. Wen

Head, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering

John T. Wen received B.Eng. from McGill University in 1979, M.S. from University of Illinois in 1981, and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985, all in Electrical Engineering. From 1981-1982, he was a system engineer at Fisher Controls developing plant-wide coordination control system for pulp and paper plants. From 1985-1988, he was a member of technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developing modeling and control algorithms for large space structures and space robots. Since 1988, he has been with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he is currently the Head of Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering. From 2005-2013, he served as the Director of the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), a New York State designated Center for Advanced Technology.  In 2009, he successfully led the ten-year 2009-2019 re-designation of the CATS by the New York State.  From June-Dec, 2009, he also served as the Interim Director of the NSF Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC).  Dr. Wen was an ASEE/NASA Summer Faculty Fellow in 1993, and a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Senior Visiting Scientist in 1997. He was an Oversea Assessor for the Chinese Academy of Sciences 2004-2009.   He is the co-inventor of the Adaptive Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM), which was licensed to Thorlabs.  The commercialized version of ASOM won the Laser Focus World Innovation Award in 2007 Conference in Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO).  He was awarded the 2013 IEEE Control Systems Society Transition to Practice Award based on this work.   Dr. Wen's research interest lies in the modeling and control of dynamical systems with applications to precision motion, robot manipulation, thermal management, lighting systems and materials processing.  Dr. Wen is a Fellow of IEEE.


Ph.D. Computer and Systems Engineering (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1985), M.S. Electrical Engineering (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981), B.S. Electrical Engineering (McGill University, 1979)

Research Focus
  • Robotics
  • Control systems
  • Thermal management
  • Mechatronics
Select Works
  • Bai, M. Arcak, J.T. Wen, Cooperative Control: A Systematic Passivity-Based Approach, Springer-Verlag, 2011.
  • J. Zhang, W. Qiao, J.T. Wen, A. Julius, “Light-Based Circadian Rhythm Control: Entrainment and Optimization,” Automatica, 68, June, 2016. pp. 44-55.
  • A. Julius, J. Zhang, W. Qiao, J.T. Wen, “Multi-input Adaptive Notch Filter and Observer for Circadian Phase Estimation,” accepted in International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing, 2016.
  • W. Qiao, J.T. Wen, A. Julius, “Entrainment Control of Phase Dynamics,” IEEE Transaction on Automatic Control, 2016.
  • J. Tani, S. Mishra, J.T. Wen, “Motion Blur-Based State Estimation,” IEEE Transaction on Control Systems Technology, 2016.
  • D.T. Pollock, Z. Yang, J.T. Wen, “Dryout avoidance control for multi-evaporator vapor compression cycle cooling,” Applied Energy, Dec, 2015. pp. 266-285.
  • S. Gupta, K. Kar, S. Mishra, J.T. Wen, “Collaborative Energy and Comfort Management Through Distributed Consensus Algorithms,” IEEE Transaction on Automation Science and Engineering, 12(4), Oct, 2015, pp.1285-1296.
  • Z. Yang, D.T. Pollock, J.T. Wen, “Gain-Scheduling Control of Vapor Compression Cycle for Transient Heat-Flux Removal,” Control Engineering Practice, 39, Jun 2015, pp. 67-89.