Sam Coogan


Sam Coogan has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research project entitled “Correct-By-Design Control of Traffic Flow Networks.”

Coogan is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined Georgia Tech in August 2017 after serving as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Today's cities accommodate more people than ever before, leading to transportation networks that operate at or near capacity. In addition, the next generation of transportation systems will include connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and increased automation, and these advances must coexist with legacy technology into the foreseeable future. Accommodating these rapidly developing advancements requires smarter and more efficient use of existing infrastructure with guarantees of performance, safety, and interoperability.

The goal of Coogan’s project is to develop fundamental theory and domain-driven techniques for controlling traffic flow in large-scale transportation networks. Recent advances in inexpensive sensors, wireless technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) enable real-time connectivity of vehicles and infrastructure that offers abundant data and unprecedented opportunities for efficient and optimized transportation systems.

The main technical goal of the project is to develop techniques and algorithms that are correct-by-design, ensuring that these transportation systems satisfy required operating specifications. In pursuit of this goal, the project will first develop models of traffic flow from rich data streams and then will leverage these models to enable scalable control approaches.

In addition, this project will integrate a forward-looking education plan that will introduce a Control Grand Challenge design competition in the introductory course in control theory for undergraduates. For this competition, students will design a controller for an autonomous, scale-model car and then compete with their design.