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Background and activities

Kristin Ytterstad Pettersen (1969) is a Professor at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics. She has a PhD and an MSc in Engineering Cybernetics from NTNU.

She is also a Key Scientist at the Center of Excellence: Autonomous marine operations and systems (AMOS) and an Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI).

Research Interests

  • Nonlinear control theory
  • Motion control of mechanical systems, in particular ships, AUVs, robot manipulators, snake robots and satellites
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Robotics
  • Cooperative and coordinated control of mechanical systems
  • Underactuated and nonholonomic systems

Selected Research Projects

  • 2013-2022 Key scientist. Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS). Centre of excellence funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Project Manager for Project 4: “Autonomous underwater robotics for mapping, monitoring and intervention”. Coordinator for Area 3: Autonomous unmanned vehicles and operations (Projects 3, 4, 5). Project partners: NTNU, SINTEF, Statoil, DNV. Total budget; 600 MNOK
  • 2011-2014 Project Manager. Project title: Snake Locomotion in Challenging Environments (SLICE). FRITEK project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Project partners: NTNU and SINTEF. Budget; 13.9 MNOK
  • 2009-2014 Project Manager. Project title: Control, Information and Communication Systems for Environmental and Safety Critical Systems (CICS). SUP project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Budget; 15 MNOK
  • 2009-2014 Key Scientist. Project title: Next Generation Robotics for Norwegian Industry (NextGenRob). Project partners: SINTEF, NTNU, Statoil, Hydro, Tronrud Engineering, Glen Dimplex Nordic, SbSeating (HÅG) and RobotNorge. Budget; 36 MNOK

Recent work experience

  • 2015- CEO and co-founder, SwimM AS
  • 2014- Adjunct Professor, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
  • 2013-2022 Key Scientist, CoE for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS)
  • 2011-2013 Head of Department, Dept. Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU
  • 2009-2011 Vice-head of Department, Dept. Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU
  • 2010-2013 Director, NTNU Strategic area ICT Programme of Robotics
  • 2008 Guest Professor, Section for Automation and Control, Aalborg University
  • 2002- Professor, Department Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU
  • 2001-2013 Scientific Advisor, SINTEF ICT

Recent Board/Council work

  • 2012-2014 Board member, IEEE Control Systems Society – Board of Governors
  • 2011-2013 Vice-chairman, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
  • 2011-2013 Deputy board-member, Norwegian Smartgrid Centre
  • 2010-2013 Deputy council member, SINTEF
  • 2010- Board member, NTNU Applied Underwater Robotics Laboratory
  • 2007-2011 Board member, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
  • 2008- Council member, SINTEF Information and Communication Technology
  • 2007-2011 Board member, NTNU/SINTEF Gemini centre of Advanced Robotics

Editorial Work

  • 2015- Review Editor, Robotic Control Systems, Frontiers in Robotics and Al
  • 2012- Section Editor of “Control of Marine Vessels”, Encyclopedia of Systems and Control
  • 2012-2015 Associate Editor, IEEE Control Systems Magazine
  • 2010-2015 Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
  • 2008-2009 Member of the Editorial Board Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory
  • 2009-2011 Associate Editor, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Shanghai, China 2011, Anchorage, Alaska 2010, and Kobe, Japan 2009


  • 2013, Appointed member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences – NTVA
  • 2006, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award, for the paper: K.Y. Pettersen, F. Mazenc and H. Nijmeijer, “Global Uniform Asymptotic Stabilization of an Underactuated Surface Vessel: Experimental Results”, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 12, No.6, Nov. 2004
  • 2004, Senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • 1993, Norwegian Research Council Personal Doctoral Research Fellowship

Membership in Academic and Professional Organizations and Committees

  • 2015- Member of IFAC Technical Committee on Mechatronics
  • 2014- Member of European Research Council Consolidator Grants Evaluation Panel PE7, Systems and Communication Engineering
  • 2014 Member of the Evaluation Committee of the ARGOS challenge Total / Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
  • 2012- Member of the leader group of NTNU IME Lighthouse Project Robotics
  • 2011- Member IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Space Robotics
  • 2009-2013 Member of the leader group of NTNU Strategic Area ICT, TSO ICT

She has supervised 15 graduated doctoral candidates, and is currently supervising 10 PhD candidates.