Mark Balas, professor in the MABE department at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI), received the 2018 AIAA Aerospace, Guidance, Navigation, and Control Award. This award is given biennially and is considered a lifetime achievement award. The award recognizes individuals who have made important and substantial contributions in the field of guidance, navigation, and control. Balas was nominated for his sustained excellence in developing the frontiers of theory and practice in advanced adaptive control systems. Balas pioneered the study of evolving systems for engineering applications and is the founding director of the UTSI Center for Autonomous and Evolving Systems.
Balas earned his PhD in 1974 from the University of Denver, CO in applied mathematics along with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. Before joining UTSI in 2017, Balas served as a professor and department head in several different states in the US, including; Florida, New York, Wyoming, and Massachusetts. He has received numerous awards in his career, and contributed to many journal articles and two books.