Andy Borum

NSF Postdoctoral Associate (Visiting Assistant Professor)

Research Focus

Dynamical systems, optimization, mechanics, control, robotics

My research focuses on dynamical systems, optimization, and their applications in mechanics, control, and robotics.  Within control theory, I study symmetries in optimal control problems and their effects on sufficient conditions for optimality.  I then use these results from optimal control theory to formulate and analyze models of deformable objects.  I am particularly interested in the stability properties of thin and constrained elastic structures.  Finally, I use these models to derive methods for robotic manipulation of elastic objects, such as deformable cables and thin surfaces.


  • When is a helix stable? (with T. Bretl), Phys. Rev. Lett. 125 (2020), 088001.
  • Infinitely long isotropic Kirchhoff rods with helical centerlines cannot be stable (with T. Bretl), Phys. Rev. E 120 (2020), 023004.
  • Reduction of sufficient conditions for optimal control problems with subgroup symmetry (with T. Bretl), IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 62 (2017), 3209-3224.
  • Sufficient conditions for a path-connected set of local solutions to an optimal control problem (with T. Bretl), SIAM J. Appl. Math. 76 (2016), 976-999.
  • The free configuration space of a Kirchhoff elastic rod is path-connected (with T. Bretl), IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (2015), 2958-2964.

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