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About S. N. Balakrishnan

Dr. S. N. Balakrishnan, was a member of Missouri S&T's faculty from 1985 until his death in January 2021. He was Curator's Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Dr. Balakrishnan was internationally known for his work in developing missile guidance algorithms and intelligent control. His research was supported by grants from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Air Force, and the Missile Defense Agency. He delivered keynote addresses and invited lectures in several countries. He published numerous journal articles with his students, and many of his students won top awards at national and international conferences. He was affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 

Dr. Balakrishnan served on Missouri S&T’s Faculty Senate and led the senate as president from 2012-13.

Dr. Balakrishnan’s research interests included Control of aerospace and mechanical systems, flight and orbital mechanics, optimization, identification and estimation, numerical methods, stochastic processes, neural networks, wavelets. His major technical contributions include the development of a new closed form suboptimal control for non-linear systems called the theta-D control which approximates solutions to the Hamilton-Jacobi- Bellman equations. He had a strong research record in intelligent control and was the first to develop optimal neurocontrollers for systems modeled by partial differential equations and for systems driven by impulse inputs. He developed optimal control and filters solutions to spacecraft, helicopter, missile, aircraft, manufacturing and MEMs problems using neural networks. He  also developed and implemented optimal temperature profile control, vibration control and aircraft control using neural networks. Dr. Balakrishnan also formulated a new approach to guidance and control called the Integrated Guidance and Control (IGC) and has shown its success in missile interception problems.

Dr. Balakrishnan was associated with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Sigma Gamma Tau. He published numerous papers and guided Post Doctoral and post graduate students at the University. Dr. Balakrishnan held a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Technical Areas:
Dynamic Systems and Control
Aerospace Sciences


1985 - 2021 Curator's Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


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Professional Service and Affiliations

Present Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Present Member, Sigma Gamma Tau
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1984 Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Contact Information

Missouri University of Science and Technology
271 Toomey Hall
400 West 13th Street
Rolla, MO  65409

Phone: 573-341-4675
Fax: 573-341-4607


Research Works (249)