Short Bio

Steve Ulrich is Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University and Director of the Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory. He received his M.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Universite de Sherbrooke (2006, with Prof. Jean de Lafontaine), and holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University (2012, with Prof. Jurek Z. Sasiadek). His Ph.D. thesis on direct adaptive control theories was awarded the Senate Medal for “Outstanding Achievement at the PhD level”. From 2006 to 2008, he was Spacecraft GN&C Research Engineer with NGC Aerospace Ltd, where he namely led the development of an innovative attitude perturbation estimation system for the European Space Agency’s PROBA-2 spacecraft. In 2013, he was Postdoctoral Associate with the Space Systems Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he contributed to the development and validation of vision-based relative navigation and control using the SPHERES experimental facility aboard the International Space Station during Expeditions 34 and 35.

Prof. Ulrich’s research interests include robotics, computer vision, path planning as well as adaptive and artificial intelligence-based control (e.g., iterative learning control, fuzzy logic, deep reinforcement learning, convolutional neural networks) applied to spacecraft proximity operations and formation flying. Prof. Ulrich is a member of the IFAC Technical Committee on Adaptive and Learning Systems, and from 2014 to 2022 he was a member of the AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee. He is a senior member of AIAA, AAS, and IEEE, and serves as an Associate Editor for The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences.


See a list of Prof. Ulrich’s publications here.

Selected Awards and Recognition

Research Achievement Award, Carleton University (2020)
Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (2019)
Excellent Reviewer, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics (2011, 2015-17, 2021, 2022)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2013)
Senate Medal for Outstanding Achievement at the PhD Level, Carleton University (2012)
E.Y. and J.W. Research Award in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University (2011)
NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (2009-2012)
Leonardo Da Vinci Medal, Université de Sherbrooke (2006)
NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship (2006)

Professional Activities

Editor Positions
Associate Editor, The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences (since 2021)
Associate Editor, American Control Conference (since 2015)
Associate Editor, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (2019, 2020)
Technical Area Chair (Space Robotics), AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference (since 2017)

Program Committee Membership
20th IFAC Symposium on Automatic Control in Aerospace (2016)

Technical Committee Memberships
IFAC Technical Committee on Adaptive and Learning Systems
IFAC Technical Committee on Robotics
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee
AIAA Space Automation and Robotics Technical Committee

Session Chair/Co-Chair
AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference
IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
American Control Conference
IFAC World Congress
CASI Conference on Astronautics

Journal Reviewer
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Acta Astronautica
The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences
IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Control Engineering Practice
International Journal of Advanced Robotics
Aerospace Science and Technology
Mechanism and Machine Theory
Advances in Space Research
Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal

Other Committees
Scientific Committee Evaluator, Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec
Aerospace Engineering Program Evaluator, Engineers Canada – Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board
Member, IFAC Canada – Board of Directors
Reviewer, NSERC Discovery Grant Program
Reviewer, U.S. National Science Foundation

Invited Talks and Research Seminars

Research Seminar (2015); Polish Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Center, Warsaw, Poland.
Space Challenges Program (2015); Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Ingenious Talks Series (2015); Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Expanding Horizons Conference (2014); Toronto Students for the Advancement of Aerospace, Toronto, Canada.
Space Studies Program (2014); International Space University, Montreal, Canada.
SPHERES Working Group Meeting (2013); NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, USA.
Research Seminar (2013); MDA Robotics and Automation, Brampton, Canada.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Seminar (2013); Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Research Seminar (2012); Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Research Seminar (2006); Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada.