Faculty Friday: Control Theory and Optimization in Engineering Systems

Laurent Lessard


Laurent Lessard, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, discusses his work and how it makes a difference in familiar systems we use every day, like thermostats, car brakes, and city power grids.


Laurent Lessard is an associate professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, with courtesy appointments in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. 

His research interests include control theory, robust and optimal control, optimization, large-scale/distributed control systems, and machine learning. Lessard is a recipient of the Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award and the Faculty Early Career Development Program Award from the National Science Foundation.

Before joining Northeastern University, Lessard was a Charles Ringrose Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a faculty member at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Laurent holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in engineering science from the University of Toronto and received a master’s and doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He completed postdoctoral work at Lund University in Sweden and the University of California, Berkeley.