University of Texas at Austin


Ufuk Topcu Named Fellow of IEEE

By Joanne Foote, Kendra Harris

Published Jan. 3, 2024

Ufuk Topcu. Credit: UT Austin

Ufuk Topcu has been named a class of 2024 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity. Fellow is the highest distinction bestowed upon IEEE members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing significant value to society. The number of IEEE Fellows elevated in a year is no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total IEEE voting membership. 

Topcu, core faculty with the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, and a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (ASE/EM) at UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, was recognized with this honor “for contributions to the design and verification of autonomous systems.”

Topcu’s research focuses on the theoretical, algorithmic and computational aspects of design and verification of autonomous systems through novel connections between formal methods, learning theory and controls. He serves as director for the Center for Autonomy at the Oden Institute.

His work is supported by the DOD (Department of Defense), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), AFOSR (Air Force of Scientific Research), ONR (Office of Naval Research), NASA, Sandia National Laboratories and more.

Awards Topcu has received include the IEEE Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize, the National Foundation Science CAREER Award, the AFOSR Young Investigator Program award and the Oden Institute Distinguished Research Award. He was also selected by the DOD to lead a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project aimed at developing artificial intelligence for UAVs.

Topcu earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining UT Austin, he was with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a postdoctoral scholar at California Institute of Technology until 2012.

He currently holds the Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship No. 1. In addtion to being core faculty at the Oden Institute, he is also core faculty at Texas Robotics. Learn more about Topcu’s research on the Center for Autonomy website.

Article adapted from a press release from UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering/Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (ASE/EM).