Francesco Sorrentino

Francesco Sorrentino is full professor of Automatic Controls in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. He received a master's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) in 2003 and a Ph.D. in Control Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) in 2007.

His expertise is in dynamical systems and controls, with particular emphasis on nonlinear dynamics and optimal control. His work includes studies on dynamics and control of complex dynamical networks, adaptation in complex systems, sensor adaptive networks, and the dynamics of reservoir computers in machine learning. He is interested in applying the theory of dynamical systems to model, analyze, and control the dynamics of complex distributed energy systems, such as power networks and smart grids. Subjects of current investigation are evolutionary game theory on networks (evolutionary graph theory), the dynamics of large networks of coupled neurons, and the use of optimal control to design drug dosage schedules for biomedical applications.

He has published more than 70 papers in international scientific peer reviewed journals and serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Control Systems Letters (L-CSS).

Dr. Francesco's research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Professor Sorrentino is affiliated with the Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism (AIM) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence at UNM.

Afroza Shirin

Afroza Shirin receieved her BS in 2008 and MS in 2010 both in Mathematics from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Then she receieved a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2019. Her interests are in nonlinear dynamical, optimal control, complex networks and their applications in biological systems.

Shirin Panahi

Shirin Panahi received her BS degree in Electrical Engineering at Sadjad University of Technology in 2014, M.S. in 2016, and Ph.D. in 2020 both in bioelectrical engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology. Her research interests include complex dynamical networks, nonlinear dynamics, chaotic biological modeling, neuroscience, and neural network..

Isaac Klickstein

He completed his BSME at the University of New Mexico in 2015 where he was a team lead on the 2015 LOBOMotorsports FSAE team. He recieved his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UNM with a focus on network science and optimal control. His publications have appeared in journals such as Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters and IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Control (Google Scholar). His interests include controlling complex networks, statistical mechanics, numerical optimal control, and software development. More information is available on his website at
Ph.D. Students
Amir Nazerian

Amir received his Bachelor's in 2017 and his master's in 2020, both in Mechanical Engineering from Shiraz University and the University of Guilan, Iran. Currently, he is a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student at UNM. His interests are in Nonlinear and Optimal Control, Model Predictive Control, Machine Learning, and their applications in Biomedical systems.
Nelson Amaya

Nelson completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico in the Fall of 2015 where he was a member of the LOBOMotorsports FSAE Team. He is currently a Master's student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UNM where his research work focuses on the effects of molecularly targeted drugs to control autophagy in cancer cells for the design of therapies based on mathematical models.

Mandela Bright Quashie

Mandela is a PhD student at The University of New Mexico in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics through the Applied Mathematics doctoral program. His research interests are Scientific and Mathematical Computing, Differential Equations and Artificial Intelligence. Mandela holds two masters degree from African Institute for Mathematical Science-Cameroon and The University of Texas at EL Paso. He obtained his bachelor’s of Mathematics degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Ghana.
Galen Novello

Galen received his BA in math from UC Berkeley in 2005 and is currently pursuing a PhD in pure mathematics at UNM. His previous experience includes work in natural language processing and many years as a math and technology teacher and advisor to several math clubs and competition groups in the California Public High School System.
Master Students
Matthew Allen Cleal

I am a Masters Student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico, where I also received my undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. I am working in the Chaos Lab and exploring my interest in Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Control Theory.
Oliver Tan

Finished my undergrad in Mechanical Engineering in Southern China. Currently, I am a master student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UNM. Just love everything about motor sports, working on my cars is just a hobby of mine. Looking to join the automotive industry or motor racing in future.
Baron Fillpot

Baron completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico in 2015 where he was a LOBOMotorsports FSAE team member and completed an undergraduate honors thesis that was published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology. He has worked professionally as an engineer with national laboratories and defense contractors and is currently working towards his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His current research interests include controllability and synchronization of a system of oscillators that do not self-synchronize.

Kshitij Bhatta

Kshitij completed his BSME degree from UNM where he was the EV powertrain lead for the LoboMotorsports 2020 Formula SAE team. He is currently a Master’s Student in the department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include non-linear dynamic systems, Analysis of complex networks and control systems with feedback in robotic and automotive applications.

Justin A. Begay

Justin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University in the spring of 2018. Upon graduation, Justin garnered 2 years of professional experience working at an engineering design firm called Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers, Inc. While at B&P, he worked primarily on designing HVAC systems and energy modeling for commercial projects. He is currently in his first year in the MSME program at the University of New Mexico. He is interested in energy systems (particularly solar energy) and its possible applications to underrepresented communities, such as his native Navajo Nation. An avenue of research he is currently interested in is analysis of control systems. He is hoping to use this avenue of research to create a bridge between his interest in energy systems with his interest in control systems. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys exercising, sports, and watching movies.

Undergraduate Students

      Andrew Burley

Andrew Burley received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of South Florida, where he participated in research under the guidance of Dr. Sherwin Kouchekian in the field of real analysis. Andrew is currently a Ph.D. student studying Applied Mathematics at the University of New Mexico, where he is broadly interested in mathematical physics. Outside of academics, Andrew enjoys reading, hiking, and auto racing. 
      Chad Joseph Nathe

I am an undergraduate student here at the University of New Mexico and am majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am also a Midshipman in the Navy ROTC unit here, where I plan to commission as an officer upon graduation. 
Cesar Ornelas

Cesar is currently an undergraduate at The University of New Mexico. Cesar has worked with Field Polarimeters to study material characterizations to exploit unique signatures. Additional interests for Cesar include computer graphics for rendering and games. Personal hobbies are creating 3D model and renders.

      Enrico Del Frate

I am an undergraduate in Mechanical engineering here at the University of New Mexico. I am part of the Lobo Motorsports Formula SAE team designing an EV competition vehicle. My interests are in Robotics design and control. My current hobbies are tinkering with cars and hobby remote control aircraft. 
Previous Members of the Lab