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Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering

Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering

Welcome to the homepage of the Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy. The department is the home of the Robotics and Control Engineering Program, most recently accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET under the title Systems Engineering. The program's educational objectives, student outcomes, and enrollment and graduation data are provided here 

The Robotics and Control Engineering discipline as it is taught in this department focuses on preparing midshipmen for a fleet that is increasingly autonomous. You will learn the art and science of interfacing with sensors and actuators. You will learn how to both simulate, design, and implement controllers that make engineering systems behave the way you want it to behave.  Application domains range from mobile robotics to biosystems, from cyber physical to power systems and everything in-between.

The fundamental aspects of the discipline include sensors, actuators, feedback loops, computing, and computer programming, taught in the sophomore and junior years.  In the first class (1/C or senior) year, a Robotics and Control Engineering major will concentrate in two application areas. One of these areas must be offered internally to the department, including estimation and control, robotics (from industrial manipulators to unmanned flying craft), embedded computing or Internet of Things (IoT), signal processing (including computer vision), and engineering management. The second concentration can be from this same list or from a set of approved offerings by other departments, including environmental engineering, nuclear engineering, and material science. A final elective course is allowed from any of the available focus areas and from an extensive list of additional options.  An honors version of the major exists for exceptional students.

Artermis SURF Robotics 

Weapons Program

The same need for a midshipman's in-depth study also necessitates coverage of the breadth of naval weapon systems found in the fleet at present.  Our responsibility is to educate the entire Brigade of Midshipmen on the scientific principles and engineering concepts of sonar, radar, guidance systems, autonomy, and related military technologies.  To teach such specialized topics, the Department relies on a military faculty that is comprised of both junior officers with fresh operational experience and Permanent Military Professors, a community of selected career naval officers who hold doctorates.  Our corporate military faculty has authored the textbook Principles of Naval Weapons used by NROTC as well as foreign naval schools.

What do Robotics and Control Engineers look like? Open up your latest selfie; they look like you! Please connect with us on Facebook  or Instagram to get more frequent updates. 

Best Regards,
Jenelle Piepmeier, Ph.D. 
Professor and Chair


Department News:

03-Feb-2022: Congratulations to Professor Luksa Luznik (ME) and Assoc Professor Levi DeVries (WRC) on their recent NSF award for "Flow Physics and Wave Energy Absorption of an Oscillating Horizontal Cylinder Near Free Surface"!

26-Jan-2022: Congrats to ERC Major 1/C Caleb Mauldin who was selected as the Patriot League's men's swimmer of the week for his efforts at Princeton and Columbia last week.

02-Dec-2021: The WRC Department recognizes Alumni and Astronaut Kayla Barron (class of 2010) who conducted her first spacewalk

01-Dec-2021: The WRC Department wants to congratulate Executive Assistant Danica Middlebrook (class of 2005) in her promotion to CDR. 

19-Oct-2021: Congratulations to Dr. John Donnal who was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, CAPT Tracie Severson who was promoted to Associate Professor, and Dr. Matthew Feemster who was promoted to Full Professor. 

01-Sep-2021: Congratulations to WRC Department Associate Chair Donny Peltier who was promoted to CDR. 

For more information and photos about the above announcements and other newsworthy items, please visit the news page.

Please, use this link to submit news related to the Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering Department (USNA accounts only).  

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