Mayank Baranwal

Mayank Baranwal

PhD Candidate, UIUC

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About Me

I am a final year graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am pursuing my PhD with Prof. Srinivasa Salapaka on (i) mean-field approaches to learning, graph clustering, unit commitment problems, minimum-cut problems, traveling salesman problem and its variants; (ii) control of microgrids for islanded and grid-tied operations in a decentralized framework; (iii) clustering and supervisory control of large power networks; and (iv) fast and robust control of nanopositioning systems.

I graduated with Masters in Mechanical Science and Engineering in Summer 2014 and Masters in Mathematics in Spring 2015, both from UIUC.

An ardent Cricket fan, I enjoy watching and playing Cricket a lot. I also have an inclination towards painting.

Attention: I am looking for a postdoctoral position starting May 2018.

Latest Projects

Future Grid

Enabling the Grid of the Future

This project aims at developing innovative hardware and software solutions to integrate and coordinate generation, transmission, and end-use energy systems at various points on the electric grid. These control systems will enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load.

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Neural Coding

Neural coding in barrel cortex

The project explores neural coding in the barrel cortex of head-fixed mice that tracks walls with their whiskers in tactile virtual reality. The goal is to obtain correlations among activities of different neuron units.

Power Grid Clustering

Clustering of Power Networks and Supervisory Control

This project address the problem of decomposing a large interconnected power network into smaller looselycoupled zones to facilitate easy and flexible management of power transmission systems by allowing secondary level voltage control at regional levels and controlled islanding that aims to prevent the spreading of large-area blackouts.

Other Projects

Fast and Robust Control of Nanopositioning Systems

This project was my Masters work with Prof. Salapaka. We had implemented fast and robust 2DOF analog controllers using Field Programmable Analog Arrays (FPAAs) to achieve a ~200% improvement in tracking bandwidth of the nanopositioning stage in a MFP-3D AFM. Please refer to my thesis for more details:

[Link to thesis]

Physics based Modeling of Natural Bodies

This project is related to my work with Dr. Marco B. Quadrelli at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA, during a three-months summer internship program. We had derived equations of motion for a general variable mass system in a coordinate-free form and developed several benchmarks involving balloon dynamics, motion of a double pendulum, asteroid dynamics, etc. We had also developed statistical shape models for asteroids that could explain the various light scattering phenomena.

Deflating Balloon Animation

Abnormal Motion Detection

I had worked on this project during a summer internship at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver with Dr. Clarence de Silva. We had developed a fusion scheme that relies on the data from surveillance camera and wearable body sensors to detect abnormal motion such as fall, run, jump, etc.

Inverted Pendulum

This was a hobby project with an aim to design and control a low-cost inverted pendulum. There are two control modes: (i) swing-up control, and (ii) control around unstable equilibrium. I was assisted by Dan Block in this project.

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Journal publications
  • Robust Atomic Force Microscopy using Multiple Sensors, AIP Review of Scientific Instruments (RSI) 2016. [PDF]
  • Fast and Robust Control of Nanopositioning Systems: Performance Limits Enabled by Field Programmable Analog Arrays, AIP Review of Scientific Instruments (RSI) 2015. [PDF]
  • Abnormal Motion Detection in Real Time using Video Surveillance and Body Sensors, International Journal of Information Acquisition (IJIA) 2011. [PDF]
Conference publications
  • Weighted Kernel Deterministic Annealing: A Maximum-Entropy Principle Approach for Shape Clustering, IEEE ICC 2018. [PDF]
  • A Decentralized Scalable Control Architecture for Islanded Operation of Parallel DC/AC Inverters with Prescribed Power Sharing, IEEE ACC 2017. [PDF]
  • A Robust Scheme for Distributed Control of Power Converters in DC Microgrids with Time-Varying Power Sharing, IEEE ACC 2017. [PDF]
  • Multiple Traveling Salesmen and Related Problems: A Maximum-Entropy Principle based Approach, IEEE ACC 2017. [PDF]
  • Clustering of Power Networks: An Information-Theoretic Perspective, IEEE ACC 2017. [PDF]
  • DC Bus Voltage Regulation Using Photovoltaic Module: A Non-Iterative Method, IEEE ACC 2017. [PDF]
  • Clustering with Capacity and Size Constraints: A Deterministic Approach, IEEE ICC 2017. [PDF]
  • Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows: A Deterministic Annealing Approach, IEEE ACC 2016. [PDF]
  • Robust Decentralized Voltage Control of DC-DC Converters with Applications to Power Sharing and Ripple Sharing, IEEE ACC 2016. [PDF]
  • Modeling and Simulation of Flight Dynamics of Variable Mass Systems, AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2014. [PDF]
Under review
  • Coarse Control Quantization: An Information Theoretic Perspective, Submitted to Elsevier System and Control Letters
  • Distributed Architecture for Robust and Optimal Control of DC Microgrids, Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics