Mahmut Reyhanoglu to Lead Joint UNC Asheville-NC State Engineering Programs in Asheville


Mahmut Reyhanoglu has been named the new director of the joint UNC Asheville-NC State Engineering Programs. These include the 2+2 program with two years on each campus, and the mechatronics engineering program where students study for all four years on UNC Asheville’s campus.

At the start of the fall semester, Reyhanoglu joined the faculty at UNC Asheville as the Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Engineering and will teach a capstone design course for seniors, a class that will make use of the university’s new STEAM Studio. Also in STEAM Studio, Reyhanoglu will lead research to develop testing methods for quadcopter control systems.

In addition to teaching, research and administrative duties, Reyhanoglu will work to continue and expand UNC Asheville’s contacts with engineering and manufacturing businesses. “I have already started making connections with, especially at first, local industry,” said Reyhanoglu. “I want to make sure that our students get involved and have opportunities. I believe I can make a meaningful contribution to the mission of this university and take the mechatronics engineering program and the other joint engineering programs to the next level.”

UNC Asheville’s Engineering Programs have grown in recent years, graduating 27 mechatronics majors in May 2017, bringing the total number of mechatronics graduates since 2001 to 166. Graduates are employed in a variety of fields and companies such as Eaton Corporation, Meritor, BorgWarner, AvL Technologies, Baxter International, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Raytheon Company.

Before coming to UNC Asheville, Reyhanoglu was associate department chair and professor of engineering physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he worked for 19 years. Reyhanoglu earned his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from University of Michigan, and also has three master’s degrees covering electrical engineering (University of Michigan), aeronautical and astronautical engineering (The Ohio State University), and mechanical engineering (Istanbul Technical University).

Reyhanoglu established a theoretical framework for a class of inherently nonlinear engineering control problems using tools from differential geometric control theory. He has applied his theoretical results to constrained dynamical systems, including wheeled mobile vehicles and space multibody systems. He has directed his recent research efforts towards the control of underactuated mechanical and aerospace systems, including flexible robotic manipulators, autonomous marine vehicles, and space vehicles. His current research also includes the control of unmanned aerial vehicles, thermoacoustic systems, and aerial robotics. 

He was principal investigator on two recently completed research projects funded by the Federal Aviation Agency-Commercial Space Transportation Department, and a project (as co-PI) funded by DSO National Labs in Singapore.

“We are thrilled to welcome a scholar of such wide-ranging experience and accomplishments to the UNC Asheville campus and to our engineering program,” said Provost Joseph Urgo. “Dr. Reyhanoglu has impressed us with his vision for engineering at UNC Asheville and his dedication to student learning in this exciting field.”

Reyhanoglu is the editor of the book, Dynamical Systems: Analytical and Computational Techniques, published this year by InTech, and has written and edited many book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

For more information about UNC Asheville’s Engineering Programs, visit