Nathan J. Slegers, Ph.D.

Nathan SlegersAssociate Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Technology Hall N266
(256) 824-6543
(256) 824-6758  
Personal Webpage




Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 
Applied Science, George Fox University 


Dr. Slegers focuses on the intersection of dynamic modeling, control engineering, and robotics to optimize performance of autonomous systems. Emphasis is on improving actively controlled robotic devices by combining modeling, unique control methods and innovative sensor systems. Accurate physics based models of complex multi-body or flexible systems are used for theoretical analysis, system optimization, and simulation is followed by experimentation. More specifically, accurate dynamic models can be used for development of nonlinear and predictive control strategies to achieve a variety of objectives while also leading to a better understanding of the system. To date, the group has been involved in externally funded research of nonlinear and predictive guidance of robotic systems. Current work includes using bio-inspired insect models to improve control of miniature robotic systems, advancing human-robot interaction using gesture intention feedback from wearable sensors, and using networked miniature sensors for feedback and analysis of flexible systems such as autonomous parafoils. The research has resulted in experimentally proven control algorithms for many different dynamic systems including: smart weapons, precision placement of autonomous parafoils, and small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Research Expertise

  • Dynamic Modeling and Simulation
  • Unmanned Systems
  • Guidance Navigation and Control
  • Predictive Control Techniques
  • Parafoil Modeling and Control
  • Precision Airdrop

Honors & Awards

  • 2011 College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award
  • Member, AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Technical Committee (2009 - Present)
  • Chair, 2011 AIAA ADS Student Paper Competition
  • “Lighter-Than-Air Technology for UAVs,” Army Research Laboratory 2010 Director's Research top FY10 projects
  • 2009 College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Award

Recent Publications

C. Gorman, N. Slegers, “Evaluation of Multi-body Dynamics Using Distributed Miniature Wireless Sensors,” Journal of Aircraft, Accepted October 2011, In Press.

N. Slegers, R. Kadish, G. Payton, J. Thomas, M. Griffin, D. Dumbacher, “Learning from Failure in Systems Engineering: A Panel Discussion,” Systems Engineering, Vol 14, No 4, In Press DOI: 10.1002/sys.20195, 2011.

B. Hembree, N. Slegers, “Tethered Aerostat Modeling Using an Efficient Recursive Rigid Body Dynamics Approach,” Journal of Aircraft, Vol 48, No 2, pp. 623-632, 2011.

N. Slegers, O. Yakimenko, “Terminal Guidance of Autonomous Parafoils in High Wind to Airspeed Ratios,” J. Aerospace Engineering IMechE, Part G, Vol 225, No 3, pp 336-346, 2011.

J. Rogers, N. Slegers, M. Costello, “A Method for Defining Wind Turbine Setback Standards,” Wind Energy, In Press doi 10.1002/we.468, 2011.

B. Hembree, N. Slegers, “Efficient tether dynamic model formulation using rigid-body dynamics,” J. Multi-body Dynamics IMechE, Part K, Vol 224, No 4, pp 353-363, 2010.

N. Slegers, “Effects of Canopy-Payload Relative Motion on Control of Autonomous Parafoils,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol 33, No 1, pp 116-125, 2010.

C. Gorman and N. Slegers, “Model Predictive Control of Continuous Nonlinear Systems Using Series Approximations,” International Review of Automatic Control, Vol 2, No 2, 2009.

P. Hahn, R. Frederick, N. Slegers, “Predictive Guidance of a Projectile for Hit-to-Kill Interception,” IEEE Transaction on Control System Technology, Vol 17, No 4, 2009.

J. Harris and N. Slegers, “Performance of a Fire-and-Forget Anti-Tank Missile with a Damaged Wing,” Mathematical and Computer Modeling, Vol 50, pp. 292-305, 2009.
N. Slegers, “Predictive Control of a Munition Using Low Speed Linear Theory,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol 31, No 3, pp 768-774, 2008.

N. Slegers, E. Beyer, M. Costello, “Use of Variable Incidence Angle for Glide Slope Control of Autonomous Parafoils,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol 31, No 3, pp 585-596, 2008.