Dr. Pavan Nuthi

I consider myself a well rounded researcher with expertise in Optimal Control, Adaptive Control, Estimation theory, and Dynamic Systems Modeling. I pride myself on being a versatile aerospace engineer with practical knowledge in instrumentation, a quick study with sound mathematical fundamentals and a tinkerer with constant curiosity for the unknown. I love working on my car and travelling. 

I am currently a Research Scientist II at The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (UTARI). My work at UTARI is focused on implementing Control Systems for a range of Biomedical device prototypes developed in-house. I received my Bachelor of Technology (2010) in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. A major part of my undergraduate thesis formulates control of unmanned aerial vehicles for remote surveillance. I was awarded a Doctoral degree (2015) in Aerospace Engineering by The University of Texas at Arlington for my work on a novel control architecture which combines aspects of Adaptive and Optimal Control for System Identification and Closed loop stability simultaneously.  

I am a member of professional organizations such as IEEE, AIAA, and ASME with active research contributions in the form of publications. Although majority of my published academic work focuses on theoretical Control Systems, my interests include hands-on implementation (instrumentation) and testing.  I am also an avid programmer and an automotive enthusiast with autocross experience.

Research Scientist II, UT Arlington Research Institute (UTARI)

Fort Worth, Texas — Jan 2016 – Present

The position calls for a control systems specialist in the Biomedical Division of UTARI.

  • Write proposals for funding applied research in Biomedical Division from funding agencies like NIH and DoD.
  • Design experimental setups to record, analyze, and calibrate data for experimental biomedical device prototypes.
  • Formulate control algorithms, design and integrate embedded solutions for real time control of the biomedical device prototypes.
  • Train and mentor graduate students from Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Science Engineering in the development of electromechanical devices with biomedical applications.
Adjunct Professor, UT Arlington

Arlington, Texas — September 2015 – Jan 2016

Teaching ”Engineering Statics” to sophomore Aerospace Engineering students in an engaging and informative fashion.

  • Lecturing the class on various topics in undergraduate level Statics.
  • Preparing exams and weekly homeworks.
  • Grading the exams, and holding office hours to interact with the students.
  • Extemporaneous solving of any problem of students’ choice in class.
Engineering Intern, Lightspeed Aviation

Lake Oswego, Oregon — May 2013 – September 2013

Modeling of auditory canal; design and optimization of controllers for active noise reduction in aviation headsets (MATLAB, Simulink).

  • First Engineering Intern at the company (The position as a result of a successful class project in “Optimal Control” with Prof. Frank Lewis).
  • System Identification of state space models for transmission of audio signals through auditory canal.
  • Development of H-infinity controller using Optimal control techniques.
  • Recommendations for better control algorithms to be used in future products.
Graduate Student Researcher, UT Arlington

Arlington, Texas — September 2010 – May 2015

Various research projects were undertaken during my time as a graduate student. Some of which are related to a certain class, while some are related to the dissertation research.

  • Porting the original C++ batch simulator model (16000 LOC) for Harrier into a continuous time model in MATLAB by compiling a mex function (C++, MATLAB).
  • Development of autonomous marine landing controller for Harrier AV-8B (MATLAB, Simulink).
  • Experimental validation and development of L1 adaptive control algorithms (MATLAB, Simulink).
  • Computation of Reachable sets using globally explicit viscosity solution to the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman Equation (Globally sufficient condition for optimality) in state space and time (MATLAB, CUDA).
  • Development of an Open source aerodynamic simulation of flapping wing insect for optimizing the parametrized flapping trajectory for cycle-averaged forces. (OpenFOAM)
  • Development of a sensor fusion algorithm for combining 3D point cloud data with camera orientation using Kalman Filtering.(OpenCV)
Graduate Teaching Assistant, UT Arlington

Arlington, Texas — September 2010 – May 2015

During the course of my graduate studies, I have been a Teaching Assistant for a variety of courses: Engineering Statics, Structural Statics, Dynamic Systems Modeling, Linear Systems, Thermodynamics, and Heat Transfer.

  • Lecturing the class when it is requested by the instructor.
  • Attend the lectures.
  • Grading the homeworks, and holding office hours to interact with the students.
University of Texas at Arlington

Aerospace Engineering, Ph.D. — 2010-2015                                                                                     

The doctoral dissertation is titled “Aspects of Intuitive Control: Stabilize, Optimize, and Identify”. It presents a novel control architecture bridging the gap between control and estimation from adaptive control literature and combines them into one powerful framework for Stabilization, Optimal control and eventually Identification of an unknown dynamic system. State of the art Intelligent control techniques such as Policy Iteration and Value Iteration are improved in development of theory and applications across various disciplines of Aerospace Engineering are shown in the form of case studies.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Aerospace Engineering, B.Tech. — 2006-2010                                                                                    

Major part of the time was spent developing skills such as electronic circuit design, mechatronics, and programming. As an undergraduate, I have led groups of like-minded students in large scale mechatronics projects. Few of these projects were funded by grants from the university (IIT Madras). One of the projects also won a grant from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).


  • Proficient in ANSYS, SolidWorks(CSWP), Fluent, OpenFOAM, MATLAB, Simulink, C, C++, Python, Java, Shell scripting (bash & DOS), CUDA, OpenCV, OpenGL, Android SDK, Embedded Programming (AVR, Arduino, Gumstix, Raspberry Pi, PIC)
  • Hands-on Experience in design and fabrication of electronic circuits with applications in Robotics.
  • Hands-on experience in tuning, maintenance and repair of automobile subsystems for amateur racing applications (Autocross hobby).


Journal Publications

  • Nuthi, P., & Subbarao, K. (2016). Computational Adaptive Optimal Control of Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics with Inertia Matrix Identification. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, (accepted for publication).
  • Nuthi, P., & Subbarao, K. (2016). Reinforcement Learning based Computational Adaptive Optimal Control and System Identification for Linear Systems. Annual Reviews in Control, (accepted for publication).
  • Nuthi, P., & Subbarao, K. (2015). Experimental Verification of Linear and Adaptive Control Techniques for a Two Degrees-of-Freedom Helicopter. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 137(6), 064501.

Conference Publications

  • P. Nuthi and K. Subbarao, “Aspects of Intuitive Control: Stabilize, Optimize, and Identify” AIAA SciTech 2015 Guidance Navigation and Control Conference. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2015.
  • P. Nuthi and K. Subbarao, “Computation of Safe and Reachable Sets for Model-Free Dynamical Systems: Aircraft Longitudinal Dynamics” AIAA SciTech 2014 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2014.
  • P. Nuthi and K. Subbarao, “Autonomous vertical landing on a marine vessel” AIAA SciTech 2014 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2014.
  • P. Nuthi and K. Subbarao, “Implementation and Testing of Adaptive Augmentation Techniques on a 2-DOF Helicopter.” ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2013.
  • D. Subrahmanyam, P. Nuthi, C. Thantanapally and V. Mondi “Quad-rotor based aerial vehicles for remote surveillance”,SAROD – Fourth Symposium on Applied Aerodynamics and Design of Aerospace Vehicles, Bangalore, India, December 2009.
  • R. Andhavarapu, R. Chivukula, P. Nuthi, Vamsimohan Ch., V.R. Shah, H. Rampal, Kashyap G., Pradeep M. K. Kulkarni “Development of and Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Capable of Indoor Navigation”, First Symposium on Indoor Flight Issues, Mayaguez, Puerto rico, July 2009.


Dynamics, Control and Estimation

  • Advanced Flight Mechanics
  • Kalman Filtering (Unscented and Particle Filtering)
  • Guidance, Navigation and Control of Missile Systems
  • Analysis and Control of Nonlinear systems
  • Intelligent Systems and Computer Vision
  • Dynamic Systems Modeling
  • Optimal Control
  • Advanced Astronautics
  • Dynamic Optimization


  • Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes
  • Functional Analysis I and II

Other Engineering

  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Advanced Finite Element Method
  • Computational Aerodynamics I
  • Introduction to Robotics


  • Won First place as a team in the graduate division of NASA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) 2014, Cocoa Beach, Florida, 2014
  • Awarded the Enhanced Graduate Teaching Assistant position at UTA, Arlington, 2010
  • Worked in a team competing for International Aerial Robotics Competition 2009 , Chennai, 2009
  • Led a team to win second place in a national level UAV Design and Fabrication Competition organized by Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India, 2008-2009
  • Awarded SOE grant for Shaastra 2007, to fabricate an unconventional UAV, Chennai, 2007.
  • Won Pentathlon and Junkyard Wars for two consecutive years at Shaastra, Chennai, 2008-2009


Dr. Kamesh Subbarao (PhD. Advisor)

Assoc. Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UT Arlington

email: subbarao@uta.edu                               phone: 817-272-7467

Dr. Muthu Wijesundara (Current Supervisor)

Division Head, Biomedical Device Technology, UTARI

email: muthuw@uta.edu                                 phone: 817-272-5994

Dr. Gaik Ambartsoumian

Assoc. Professor, Department of Mathematics, UT Arlington

email: gambarts@uta.edu                              phone: 817-272-3384

Dr. Frank Lewis