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 (NTNU AMOS) and an Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI).

She is one of the founders of the company Eelume AS, where she is currently a board member.

Research Interests

  • Nonlinear control theory
  • Motion control of mechanical systems, with a special emphasis on marine robotics and snake robotics
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Robotics
  • Cooperative and coordinated control of mechanical systems
  • Underactuated and nonholonomic systems

Selected Research Projects

  • 2020-2025 Principal Investigator. Project title: NTNU VISTA Center for autonomous robotic operations subsea (CAROS). Funded by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and Equinor. Total budget: 45 MNOK.
  • 2020-2023 Key Scientist. Project title: Autonomous Underwater Fleets: from AUVs to AUFs through adaptive communication and cooperation schemes. FRIPRO project funded by the Research Council of Norway. Project partners: NTNU and SINTEF. Budget: 14.6 MNOK.
  • 2019-2023 Project Manager. Project title: Autonomous Robots for Ocean Sustainability (AROS). IKTPLUSS project funded by the Research Council of Norway. Budget: 21.5 MNOK.
  • 2013-2022 Key scientist. Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (NTNU AMOS). Centre of excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway. Project Manager for Project 2: “Marine robotic platforms”.
    Project partners: NTNU, SINTEF, Statoil, DNV. Total budget; 600 MNOK
  • 2011-2015 Project Manager. Project title: Snake Locomotion in Challenging Environments (SLICE). FRITEK project funded by the Research Council of Norway. 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 Research Council of Norway. 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

  • 2015-2016 CEO and co-founder, Eelume AS
  • 2014- Adjunct Professor, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)
  • 2013-2023 Key Scientist, CoE for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (NTNU 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
  • 1999 Visiting Fellow, Dept. Mech. and Aerospace Eng., Princeton University, NJ

Recent Board/Council work

  • 2020- European Control Association (EUCA) Council Member
  • 2020- Vice-chair IFAC Membership Committee
  • 2017- International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Council member
  • 2017-2020 Vice-chair IFAC Administration & Finance Committee
  • 2016- Board member, Eelume AS
  • 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)
  • 2008-2015 Council member, SINTEF Information and Communication Technology
  • 2007-2011 Board member, NTNU/SINTEF Gemini centre of Advanced Robotics

Editorial Work

  • 2019- Senior editor, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
  • 2015-2018 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


  • 2020 IEEE CSS Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize recipient.
  • 2019-2022 Distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Control Systems Society.
  • 2018, Appointed member of the Academy of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters.
  • 2017, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award, for the paper: W. Caharija, K.Y. Pettersen, M. Bibuli, P. Calado, E. Zereik, J. Braga, J.T. Gravdahl, A.J. Sørensen, M. Milovanovic and G. Bruzzone, "Integral Line-of-Sight Guidance and Control of Underactuated Marine Vehicles: Theory, Simulations and Experiments”, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 24, No. 5, 2016.
  • 2017, Appointed IEEE Fellow
  • 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

  • 2015-2017 Member of IFAC Technical Committee on Mechatronics
  • 2014-2015 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)
  • 2012-2016 Member of the leader group of NTNU IME Lighthouse Project Robotics
  • 2011-2016 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 24 graduated doctoral candidates, and is currently supervising 13 PhD students.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications