Automatica, January 2002, Volume 38, No. 1


Robert Bitmead succeeds retiring Editor Frank L. Lewis

Early in 1999, Frank L. Lewis was appointed Editor of Automatica. He was to cover an editorial area that at that time was extended from "Adaptive Control" to "Adaptive and Intelligent Control." Frank worked on his editorial assignment with great enthusiasm and gusto. At the time of writing of this editorial he had handled more than 170 papers. Many of these dealt with applications of fuzzy set theory and neural networks in control, the sort of papers covered by the term "intelligent control." Frank's editorship culminated, in a sense, in the appearance in August 2001 of a Special Issue on Neural Network Feedback Control, edited by Kumpati S. Narendra and Frank L. Lewis. After a relatively short period as Editor of Automatica Frank now decided to go on to new projects, but his editorial influence will no doubt be noticed for several more years. I am very grateful for Frank's efforts.

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Robert Bitmead as Automatica Editor for Adaptive and Intelligent Control beginning January 1, 2002.

Robert Bitmead was born in Sydney in 1954. He holds a BSc degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Sydney and ME, PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has been Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California San Diego since 1999. Prior to this he was with the Department of Systems Engineering at The Australian National University in Canberra for sixteen years.

Bob has been involved in Adaptive Control for many years including the "persistently exciting" period of the early nineteen-eighties, when Adaptive Control was the most energetic (if not the most illuminating nor enlightening) branch of Control Theory. He has published widely in the field, including two co-authored books Stability of Adaptive Systems: Passivity and Averaging Analysis (MIT Press, 1986) and Adaptive Optimal Control: The Thinking Man's GPC (Prentice-Hall, 1990). More recently he has worked in Iterative Identification and Control Design, which is one practically significant outgrowth of Adaptive Control.

His broader research interests include Adaptive Signal Processing, System Identification and Modeling, Model Predictive Control, and Telecommunications. He has participated in a number of joint industry projects in Australia and US, which have influenced the direction of his research into theory and methodologies.

Bob was Program Chairman of the IFAC Workshop on Adaptive Control and Signal Processing in Glasgow in 1998, and has been an Associate Editor of Automatica from 1989 to 1993. He has also served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control from 1984 to 1986 and was foundation Editor for Adaptive Control Theory of the International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing during the period 1987 to 1992.

During the discussions around the transfer of the editorship Bob several times expressed his concern to avoid unnecessary delays and problems for the authors. My presentiment is that the editorship will be in very good hands.

Huibert Kwakernaak
Editor-in-Chief, Automatica