The Grizzle Fest

May 5-6, 2023, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Goal: The goal of The Grizzle Fest is to bring together students, postdocs, collaborators, and other leaders who have had the honor of being influenced by Jessy. Our intent is to get together to celebrate Jessy's 66th birthday as well as his great achievements in nonlinear control and its applications to automotive engineering and robotics; mentorship and teaching the new generation of scientist and engineers in control theory and its applications; culminating in creating the Robotics Institute at Michigan and become the founding director, and so much more.
Topics: The Grizzle Fest features several talks in the broad areas of Jessy's contributions in the fields of nonlinear control theory and its application to automotive engineering, semiconductor manufacturing and robotics. The talks are intermingled with multiple venues for social interactions to provide Jessy to catch up with his contributors and the alumini from his group.

Highlights from the Event

Pictures from the Event:

Grizzle Fest - May 2023

Photo Album

Maison Grizzle: We tried to capture the biggest achievement of Jessy's career in the following diagram: Maison Grizzle[high-res]

Journey in Pictures

Grizzle Intro (~5 min)
Grizzle Friends (~4 min)
Grizzle Family (~2 min)
Grizzle Flock (~2 min)
Grizzle Robotics Institute (~4 min)
Grizzle Robots (~3 min)
Grizzle Students (~3 min)
Grizzle Cakes (~2 min)

Trivia: How well do you know Jessy? Discover fascinating facts and stories about Jessy's incredible life and experiences!

  1. In the mid-90s, and possibly still today, Jessy kept a journal. In what language did he write his Journal entries?
    Calculex (Jessy’s invented language)
  2. Jessy grew up on a farm. What type of farm was it?
    Proofs & Produce
    Theorem Fields Farm
    Livestock Farm
    Dairy Farm
  3. What might you find Jessy doing in his spare time?
    Watching math videos
    Taking dance lessons
    Practicing archery
    Growing tomatoes
    Repairing vintage Ford vehicles
  4. The first thing that Jessy does in the morning upon waking:
    Checks his email
    Calls his mother
    Feeds the squirrels
    Checks the stock market
    Does yoga stretches
  5. Where did Jessy first meet Laurie?
    At a campus dance event
    At Mack pool
    On Tinder
    On a hiking trail in France
    At the Gandy Dancer in Ann Arbor
  6. What put Jessy in the doghouse with Laurie?
    Riding a Dirt Bike in 2015
    Forgetting Laurie’s birthday
    Gambling in Vegas
    Doing Math while watching a romantic movie with Laurie
    Taking a sightseeing drive with Mark Spong at IEEE CDC in Maui
  7. Which pizza is Jessy most likely to order?
    Thin crust light on the cheese
    An evolving variety of toppings
    Mushroom and sausage
    Pineapple and extra sauce
    Pepperoni only
  8. Where was Jessy born in?
    Jay, Oklahoma
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    San Diego, California
    Macon, Georgia
    Urbana Champagne, Illinois
  9. Which Professor’s house did Jessy party at that resulted in the Police paying a visit?
    Prof. Mark Spong
    Prof. Harris McClamroch
    Prof. Kameshwar Poolla
    Prof. Elmer Gilbert
    Prof. Maria Di Benedetto
  10. What is Jessy’s favorite spring break location?
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Cancun, Mexico
    Menton, France
    Vieques, Puerto Rico
    Palm Springs, California
  11. Who was in the video Jessy played in the first lecture of ROB501?
  12. On whose ranch did Jessy work as a graduate student?
    Prof. Steve Marcus
    Prof. Murray Cantor
    Prof. Bob Mulholland
    Prof. Baxter Womack
    Prof. Michel Fliess
  13. Fill in the blank: Jessy is the Director and ________ of the Biped Locomotion Lab?
    The so-called boss
  14. What was the color of Jessy and Laurie's house when they bought it?
    None of the above
  15. What is Jessy’s favorite food?
    Beef bourguignon
  16. Which University President awarded Jessy a Distinguished University Professorship?
    Jim Duderstadt
    Lee Bolinger
    Mary Sue Coleman
    Mark Schlissel
    Santa Ono


Day 1: Friday, May 5th 2023

07:30-08:30 Breakfast
08:30-10:00 Session #1: Introduction and Leadership
8:30 Welcome - Organizers led by Koushil and Ioannis
8:40 Alec D. Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering - Introducing Jessy Grizzle
8:50 Steven Marcus - Jessy Grizzle: Nonlinear, Stochastic, and French Beginnings
9:10 Dan Koditschek - A Scholar's Path: through Statespace to Statecraft
9:30 Galip Ulsoy - Some Thoughts to Chew on at the Grizzle Fest
9:50 Stephane Lafortune - The Grizzle Hybrid System
10:00-10:30 Coffee Break
10:30-12:10 Session #2: Nonlinear Control Theory (1980s-1990s)
10:30 Harris McClamroch - Jessy Grizzle: From outstanding researcher to academic leader
10:50 Miroslav Krstic - How the Jessuits weaned us off of CLFs and hooked us on CBFs
11:10 Hasan Khalil - Feedback linearization, observers, and performance recovery
11:30 Maria Domenica Di Benedetto - Once upon a time, wih Jessy, from structual properties to singularities
11:50 Dennis Bernstein - Pros and Cons of Discrete-Time Models in Estimation and Control
12:10-1:30 Lunch Break
Ford Robotics Building Tour
Walk Lab Tour
Rehab Lab Tour
1:30-3:00 Session #3: Control of Automotive Systems and Semiconductor Manufacturing (1990s)
1:30 Jeff Cook - Serendipity
1:50 Jim Freudenberg - Jessy Grizzle: History and Influence
2:10 Anna Stefanopoulou - Grizzly Advice on grisly derivatives
2:30 Kenneth Butts - Jessy's Unsung Contribution to Automotive Control
2:35 Erich Brandt - One Student's Journey with Jessy
2:40 Fred Terry - Semiconductor Process Control and turning Jessy into an Experimentalist
3:00-3:30 Coffee Break
3:30-4:40 Session #4: Control of Automotive Systems and Semiconductor Manufacturing (2000s)
3:30 Jing Sun* and Ilya Kolmanovsky - Unleashing the Potential of Automotive Powertrains with Dynamic Optimization: The Jessy Grizzle Magic
3:50 Edward Dean Tate - Grizzle’s Advice On Asking The Right Question
3:55 Julia Buckland - From Cornfields to Cars, A Grizzle Transform
4:00 Dan Opila - Trials and Tribulations of Vehicle Testing
4:10 Mario Santillo - From Drivetrains to Digit – A Tribute to Jessy Grizzle
4:30 Ram Vasudevan - From Bipedalism to Barolo: How Jessy Taught Me to Gracefully Grapple with Life's Grizzliest Challenges
4:40-6:30 Break and Transportation
6:30-9:30 Dinner at The Pretzel Bell

Day 2: Saturday, May 6th 2023

07:30-08:30 Breakfast
08:30-9:45 Session #5: Robotics (2000s)
8:30 Eric Westervelt - The Origin of Virtual Constraints and Hybrid Zero Dynamics
8:40 James Schmiedeler - Generosity Beyond His Own Students...and What Might Have Been
8:50 Junho Choi - Hybrid Zero Dynamics and beyond
9:00 Ben Morris - Running with RABBIT in Grenoble
9:10 Katie Byl - Crazy Legged Robots: Theory and Practice
9:30 Ioannis Poulakakis - Bouncing ideas off Jessy about robot bouncing: From HZD to compliant HZD and the control of running robots with springs
9:50-10:20 Coffee Break
10:20-11:55 Session #6: Robotics (2010s)
10:20 Koushil Sreenath - Close Encounters with Grizzle: The Calculus of Running, CLFs and Stepping Stones
10:40 Hae-Won Park - Michigan Anthropomorphic Biped with Electronic Legs: reaching it's maximum capability
10:50 Alireza Ramezani - How Jessy Grizzle Helped Me Find My Feet in Robotics … Even After Breaking a Few
11:00 Brian Buss
11:05 Ayonga Hereid - Hands-free Dynamic Walking with Hybrid Zero Dynamics
11:15 Bobby Gregg - How Virtual Constraints Unconstrained Prosthetic Control
11:25 Christian Hubicki - Optimal Robot Control: A journey in learning, applying, and teaching optimization
11:35 Kira Barton - Learning from Experience - The Grizzle Way
11:45 Kaveh Akbari Hamed - Virtual Constraint Controllers: From Bipedal to Multi-Agent Quadrupedal Robots
11:55-1:30 Lunch Break
Ford Robotics Building Tour
M-Air Drone Flying (weather dependent)
1:30-3:00 Session 7: Nonlinear Control Theory (2010s)
1:30 Aaron Ames - The Grizzly Journey from Hybrid Zero Dynamics to Control Barrier Functions
1:50 Paulo Tabuada - Safe estimation for safe control (or how robots and CBFs can hijack your research)
2:10 Necmiye Ozay - Jessy Grizzle: The Correct-by-Construction Control Guy
2:30 Xiangru Xu - Correctness Guarantees of Compositional Systems
2:40 Tony Bloch - From Smooth to Discrete Symmetries in Control and Robotics
3:00-3:30 Coffee Break
3:30-4:25 Session #8: Robotics (2020s)
3:30 Maani Ghaffari - Several true stories and one hypothesis
3:40 Ross Hartley - Contact-aided State Estimation on Lie Groups
3:45 Zhenyu Gan - How to set a robot on fire, transplant its legs, and the biggest lesson I learned
3:55 William Clark - Impacts, images, and shapes
4:05 Lu Gan - When Biped Robotics Lab meets PeRL
4:10 Bruce JK Huang - Transforming bipedal robotics with the synergy of advanced perception and precise control
4:15 Yukai Gong - From "Don't Wait Until It's Perfect" to Wavefield
4:20-5:10 Session #9: Future and Concluding Remarks
4:20 Eva Mungai and Grant Gibson - The Last Leg
4:30 Chad Jenkins - Robotics with Respect: Solving for Equity at the Scale of Life
4:40 Jessy Grizzle - Full TBD: the way Jessy has run his career for 35 years
5:00 Concuding Remarks - Organizing committee led by Aaron and Anna
6:30-9:00 Alumni Dinner


Aaron AmesCaltech
Anna StefanopoulouUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Anthony BlochUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Alireza RamezaniNortheastern University
Ayonga HereidOhio State University
Ben MorrisL3Harris Technologies
Brian BussFord
Chad JenkinsUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Christian HubickiFlorida State University
Dan KoditscheckUniversity of Pennsylvania
Edward Dean TateVirtus Solis
Eric WesterveltGeneral Electric
Eva MungaiUniversity of Michigan
Fred TerryUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Dan OpilaUS Naval Academy
Dennis BernsteinUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Erich BrandtVitesco Technologies
Galip UlsoyUniversity of Michigan
Grant GibsonUniversity of Michigan
Hae-Won ParkKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Harris McClamrochUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Hasan KhalilMichigan State University
Ilya KolmanovskyUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ioannis PoulakakisUniversity of Delaware
Jing SunUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
James SchmiedelerUniversity of Notre Dame
Jeff CookUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Jim FreduenbergUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Jiunn-Kai (Bruce) HuangGoogle
Julia Buckland SeedsAllison Transmission
Junho ChoiKorea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)
Katie BylUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Kaveh Akbari HamedVirginia Tech
Kenneth ButtsToyota (Retd.)
Kira BartonUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Koushil SreenathUniversity of California, Berkeley
Lu GanCaltech
Maani GhaffariUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Mario SantilloFord
Maria Domenica Di BenedettoUniversity of L'Aquila, Italy
Miroslav KrsticUniversity of California, San Diego
Necmiye OzayUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Paulo TabuadaUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Ram VasudevanUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Robert GreggUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ross HartleyAmazon
Steven MarcusUniversity of Maryland
Stephane LafortuneUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor
William ClarkCornell University
Xiangru XuUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Xingye (Dennis) DaXPeng Robotics
Yukai GongFigure AI
Zhenyu GanSyracuse University


Directions: [Google Maps].

Parking lots: Closest visitor parking lot: NC26 (Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering) [Lot Details], [Google Maps]; Additional North campus parking lots: [list], [map].

Food: Breakfast, lunch and coffee will be available for the workshop participants.

WiFi: MGuest / eduroam


Room 1060, Ford Robotics Building Atrium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Program Info: Koushil Sreenath (; Event Logistics: Kimberly Mann (