Gordon G. Parker

Gordon G. Parker


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  • John & Cathi Drake Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo


Dr. Parker specializes in control system design and correlation of nonlinear dynamic models to experimental data. A key area of his research is the optimal control of microgrids with particular attention given to networked topologies. Closed loop control and real-time optimization for harmonizing use of available energy generation and storage assets, while satisfying loads, is the main theme. Applications requiring temporary or remote power motivate much of his funded research along with disaster relief scenarios. Development of a scalable, optimal control solution is critical for allowing the interconnection, in both power and communication, of separately deployed microgrids. The main challenge stems from a microgrid’s ever-changing energy asset and load portfolio and their effect on the system models used for optimal planning and control system design. Rational segregation of distributed versus centralized optimization and control is another research area. In the past year Dr. Parker and his colleagues formed the Agile and Interconnected Micrgorid (AIM) Center to bring together faculty from Computer Science, Mathematics, Cognitive Sciences and Learning, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering to focus an interdisciplinary team on this technical area. More generally, nonlinear control, system simulation, nonlinear system parameter identification and optimization, are present in most of Dr. Parker’s ongoing projects. Examples include active control of diesel engine aftertreatment systems and at-sea control of naval equipment.

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • Nonlinear Controls
  • Mechatronics
  • Microgrids

Research Interests

  • Control system design
  • Methods for correlating nonlinear dynamic models to experimental data
  • Nonlinear control
  • System simulation
  • Nonlinear system parameter identification and optimization

Recent Publications

  • Trinklein, E. and Parker, G., "Optimal Control of a Networked Ship Microgrid," Proceedings of the ASNE Advanced Machinery Technology Symposium, May 25-26, 2016, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Jane, R. S., Parker, G. G, Weaver, W. W. and Rizzo, D. M., "Fuel-Optimal Strategies for Vehicle Supported Military Microgrids," Proceedings of the SAE 2016 World Congress & Exhibition, Detroit, MI, April 2016.
  • Trinklein, E., Parker, G., and Blough, J., "Stiffness Characterization of an Inflated Airbag Based Three Axis Motion Platform," Proceedings of the IMAC-XXXIV Conference & Exposition on Structural Dynamics, Jan 25-28, 2016, Orlando, FL.
  • Kantamneni, Abhilash, Brown, Laura, Parker, Gordon, Weaver, Wayne, "Survey of Multi-Agent Systems for Microgrid Control." Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Oct 2015, Vol. 45, pp. 192-203. Read More
  • Hassell, Trever, Weaver, Wayne, W., Robinett, Rush D., Parker, Gordon, G., and Wilson David, G., "Modeling of Inverter Based Ac Microgrids for Control Development", Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Multiconference on Systems and Control, Sep 2015.
  • Parker, G. G., Weaver, W. W., Robinett, R. D., and Wilson, D. G. (2015, August). Optimal DC microgrid power apportionment and closed loop storage control to mitigate source and load transients. Proceedings of IEEE Resilience Week (RWS), August 2015 (pp. 1-7). Read More
  • Weaver, Wayne, Robinett, Rush, Parker, Gordon, "Distributed Control and Energy Storage Requirements of Networked Dc Microgrids." Control Engineering Practice, July 2015, Vol. 44, pp. 10-19. Read More
  • Weaver, Wayne, Robinett, Rush, Parker, Gordon, Wilson, David. "Energy Storage Requirements of Dc Microgrids with High Penetration Renewables Under Droop Control," International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, June 2015, Vol. 68, pp. 203-209. Read More

Research Projects

  • US Army Research Laboratory, "Distributed Agent-Based Management of Agile Microgrids," 2013-2017, with W. Weaver, L. Brown, and S. Goldsmith.
  • John Deere, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Johnson Matthey, Corning, Tenneco, "Michigan Tech University Consortium in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Research," 2013-2017, with J. Johnson and J. Naber.
  • Quantum Engineering Design, "Ramp Motion Compensation Platform Analysis," 2015, with J. Blough and E. Trinklein.
  • US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Resource Sharing," 2013-2014, with W. Weaver and S. Goldsmith.
  • US DOE OE, Argonne National Laboratory, "Modeling and Control Technologies for Near-Term and Long-Term Networked Microgrids," 2013-2014, with W. Weaver, E. Trinklein, and C-W. Ten.
  • Sandia National Laboratories, "Agent Based Control of Microgrids with High- Penetration Renewables," 2012-2013, with W. Weaver and S. Goldsmith.
  • Sandia National Laboratories, "Modeling and Control of Microgrids with High- Penetration Renewables," 2011-2013, with W. Weaver.
  • Craft Engineering, "Control System Development for Extending Boom Cranes," 2011- 2015.


  • NOx Control Systems and Methods for Controlling NOx Emissions, US Patent 8,230,677
  • Coordinated Control of Two Shipboard Cranes for Cargo Transfer with Ship Motion Compensation, US Patent 8,195,368
  • Pendulation Control System with Active Rider Block Tagline System for Shipboard Cranes, US Patent 7,367,464
  • Control System and Method for Payload Control in Mobile Platform Cranes, US Patent 6,496,765
  • Pendulation Control System and Method for Rotary Boom Cranes, US Patent 6,442,439
  • Vibration Damping Method and Apparatus, US Patent 5,913,955
  • Sway Control Method and System for Rotary Cranes, US Patent 5,908,122

Courses Taught

  • MEEM4700 Dynamic Systems and Control
  • MEEM4705 Introduction to Robotics and Mechatronics
  • MEEM5701 Intermediate Dynamics
  • MEEM5715 Linear System Theory and Control
  • MEEM6702 Nonlinear System Theory and Control

Recent Research Projects

Increasing Ship Power System Capability through Exergy Control

Principal Investigator: Gordon Parker
Co-PI: Rush Robinett
Co-PI: Eddy Trinklein
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Center/Institute: Agile and Interconnected Microgrids (AIM)