Bio: Prof. Mario Garcia-Sanz

Prof. Mario García-Sanz, Dr.Eng.

ARPA-E Program Director, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington DC.

Professor and Director of the Control and Energy Systems Center (CESC).
The inaugural Milton and Tamar Endowed Chair in Energy Innovation.
Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

Editor, International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, Wiley.


      In January 2018, Prof. Garcia-Sanz was appointed Program Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) at the U.S. Department of Energy, in Washington DC. Since then, he is developing new programs and projects on advanced control engineering, renewable and conventional power generation, wind energy systems, smart grid technologies and water treatment plants and networks.

      With over 20 industrial patents, 250 research papers, 3 books, 2 Matlab toolboxes and 50 funded research projects, Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz is one of the inventors of the TWT direct-drive variable-speed pitch-controlled multi-megawatt wind turbine, of the TWT variable-speed hydro-wind turbine and of the EAGLE airborne wind energy system, as well as the inventor of optimum planning algorithms for electrical distribution networks and of numerous advanced industrial controllers, among other innovations.

      Dr. Garcia-Sanz was a Full Professor at the Public University of Navarra -UPNA (1995-2009) in Pamplona, Spain, and a Research Scientist and Professor at the CEIT-IK4 research center (1988-1995) and at the University of Navarra -TECNUN (1988-1995) in San Sebastian, Spain. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the Control Systems Centre, UMIST (UK, 1995); at Oxford University (UK, 1996); at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA-JPL (California, 2004); at the European Space Agency ESA-ESTEC (The Netherlands, 2008); and at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio, 2009).

      In 2009 Prof. Garcia-Sanz moved to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland, Ohio, as Professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, at the Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Department (secondary appointment), and as the inaugural Milton and Tamar Maltz Endowed Chair Professor in Energy Innovation. He established the Control and Energy Systems Center, where he is currently the Director (

      Prof. Garcia-Sanz has been the Principal Investigator of over 50 funded research projects for industry, defense and space agencies and research centers. He also has worked as an expert on wind turbine design and control engineering in patent litigation related matters at the European Courts in the UK and Spain.

      Over the past two decades his laboratory has been globally recognized as one of the most active research groups in the study and application of Quantitative Feedback Theory (QFT) robust control engineering. In particular, Prof. Garcia-Sanz has developed new control theory in the QFT arena for multi-input multi-output (MIMO) plants, for distributed parameter systems (DPS), for time-delay processes and for nonlinear systems. In addition, Prof. Garcia-Sanz has applied this new control theory to numerous cutting-edge industrial systems and commercial products, including among others:

- Wind energy systems: Nonlinear and robust control systems for large multi-megawatt variable-speed direct-drive multi-pole wind turbines (TWT 1.5, 1.65, 2.5 MW), including pitch control, yaw control, active/reactive power control and voltage control systems for a hight grid penetration level.

- Spacecraft systems: Darwin mission, a formation flying high-precision telescope-type spacecraft with flexible appendages (ESA-ESTEC). The proposed MIMO QFT control solution achieved the best performance among all the participants in the European benchmark.

- Environmental systems: The first QFT control system for a municipal waste water treatment plant (Crispijana, Vitoria, 300.000 people), with simultaneous nitrates and ammonia removal.

- Radio telescope systems: The NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the largest mobile radio telescope in the world. The proposed control solution dealt with the azimuth and elevation multi-motor systems and improved the telescope's frequency range of operation and precision.

- Manufacturing systems: M.Torres converting machines for the lightest weight and most fragile structured tissue paper with simultaneous control of line speed and paper tension.

- Smart cities: An adaptive robust control system for central heating systems (Giroa, CEIT). The smart building solution improved significantly the energy savings and temperature control and was awarded by the IET (London, UK).

      As a Full Professor of the Public University of Navarra and Senior Advisor for European companies Dr. Garcia-Sanz played a central role in the design and field experimentation of advanced commercial multi-megawatt wind turbines for industry over the last 25 years. Among others, he worked with Gamesa, Acciona, M.Torres, MTOI, IngeTeam, CENER, Eaton Corporation, Enercon and Siemens. Besides, a significant number of his former PhD students and Master students are currently principal investigators and head of departments of some of the principal wind energy companies and renewable energy labs worldwide.

      Prof. Garcia-Sanz's three books, "Robust Control Engineering: Practical QFT Solutions", Taylor & Francis (2017), "Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design", Taylor & Francis (2012) and "Quantitative Feedback Theory: Theory and Applications", Taylor & Francis (2006) are best-selling books in the QFT robust control and Wind turbine technology fields. His QFT Control Toolbox for Matlab is considered as the top CAD tool for designing quantitative robust control systems.

      In the electrical power systems arena Prof. Garcia-Sanz has also been involved with numerous industrial projects related to modeling, simulation, monitoring and control of the electrical grid. Among others, he developed Advanced fault detection systems for high voltage transmission networks, Active/reactive power and voltage control systems for wind turbines at a hight grid penetration level, and Optimum planning algorithms for electrical distribution networks for electrical utilities and companies like Iberdrola, REE, Arteche, Team, AEP, First Energy, ABB, EEQ, etc.

       In the spacecraft and aerospace fields Dr. Garcia-Sanz worked with the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC), NASA-JPL, US Air Force (AFIT), Sener, Deimos Space and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO-GBT). He has led a number of projects related to nonlinear and QFT robust control design for telescope-type spacecraft with very demanding specifications, for satellites with flexible structures, for formation flying spacecraft projects and for extra-large radio telescopes: Darwin mission, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (Lisa Pathfinder) mission, High Precision Acquisition and Tracking System (HiPATS) mission, Proba-3 mission, and Advanced control systems for the Green Bank Telescope.

      In addition, for over 15 years Dr. Garcia-Sanz worked as the Senior Advisor for the President of the MTorres Group, leading the projects on Large multi-megawatt variable-speed direct-drive multi-pole wind turbines design and control (1.5, 1.65, 2.5 MW); Dynamic control of wind farms and grid integration; Water desalination systems using renewable energy; Solar energy systems; Offshore wind turbines for extreme weather conditions; Ocean waves energy conversion; Design of a new generation of Hydro-Wind turbines; Offshore and onshore wind farm development; Parallel kinematics and advanced robots for carbon fiber manufacture in aerospace and wind energy industry; Advanced paper converting machines; etc.

      As an entrepreneur Dr. Garcia-Sanz founded CoDyPower LLC, a control, dynamics and power system consulting firm specialized in control systems, wind energy and optimum planning of electrical distribution networks. The company works in the U.S.A., Europe and Latin America. One of the company's latest projects is the optimum design of the electrical distribution network for the Historic Center of Quito (UNESCO World Heritage Site), in Ecuador. The design was made with the optimum planning algorithms and the DeltaGrids toolbox for Matlab developed by Prof. Garcia-Sanz for electrical distribution systems.

      Dr. Garcia-Sanz has been NATO/RTO Lecture Series Director for Advanced Control of Unmanned Air Vehicles in 2007 (LS SCI-175), and for Advanced Autonomous Formation Control in 2008 (LS SCI-195); and NATO/RTO Lecturer for Robust Integrated Control Systems in 2003 (LS SCI-236), for Robust Control Methods in 2005 (LS SCI-166), and for Spacecraft Control in 2009 (LS SCI-209).

      Prof. Garcia-Sanz is Editor of the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, Wiley, as an expert on robust control in the frequency domain and applications. He has also served as Editor of the Revista Iberoamericana de Automatica e Informatica Industrial, as an expert on technology; and four times as Guest Editor of international journals: three for the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, as an expert on Robust frequency domain (Special Issue June-2003), on Quantitative Feedback Theory (Special Issue January-2007), and on Wind turbine control (Special Issue 2008); and one for the IET Control Theory and Applications (former IEE), as an expert on Cooperative control of spacecraft flying in formation (Special Issue March-2007).

      Dr. Garcia-Sanz is a member of IFAC and IEEE Technical Committees and has been invited to give special courses in over 20 countries, including: NASA-JPL, Pasadena, CA-US; ESA-ESTEC, The Netherlands; NASA-Ames, San Francisco, CA-US; NASA-Glenn, Cleveland, Ohio-US; Univ. Southern California, Los Angeles, CA-US; Polytechnic Setubal, Portugal; Bologna Univ., Italy; Hamilton Institute, Dublin, Ireland; UPC, Barcelona, Spain; UV, Valladolid, Spain; UNED, Madrid, Spain; ETH, Zurich, Switzerland; Swedish Defense Research Agency, Sweden; Polytechnic Univ. Bucharest, Romania; Rostock Univ., Germany; Univ. Florence, Italy; Univ. California-Davis, CA-US; AFIT, Dayton, Ohio-US; Haifa, Israel; Univ. Natal, South Africa; Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL-US; Univ. Maryland Baltimore County, US, etc.

      Prof. Garcia-Sanz has been Plenary Speaker at international conferences (ROCOND, IFAC; ICREPQ, EA4EPQ; NAECON, IEEE; NRAO GBT, etc) and General Chair of the 2001 QFT robust control conference. He was also awarded, among others, the IEE/IET Heaviside Prize (UK) in 1995 for his work in adaptive control, the BBVA/UPNA research award (Spain) in 2001, the Diekhoff/CWRU Teaching Award (USA) in 2012, and a number of best national research project awards, best conference paper awards and university teaching awards.

      Professor Garcia-Sanz's main research interest is on bridging the gap between advanced control theory and industrial applications, with special emphasis in energy innovation, wind energy, power systems, smart cities, spacecraft and telescope control, water treatment plants, environmental control and industrial applications.

- Profile at CRC-Press (Taylor and Francis)
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