Homayoun Seraji was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1947, completed his school education in Iran, and ranked first in the national high-school diploma examinations in 1965. He graduated with a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Electronics from the University of Sussex, England, in 1969, and earned his Ph.D. in Control Systems at the University of Cambridge, England, in 1972. He was elected a Research Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge, and conducted post-doctoral research and teaching for two years. In 1974, he joined Sharif (formerly Arya-Mehr) University of Technology, Iran, as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and was involved in teaching and research in control systems for ten years. He was selected a U.N. Distinguished Scientist in 1984 and spent one year at the University of New Mexico, USA, as a Visiting Professor. During his 13-year academic career, he has published extensively in the field of multivariable control systems, focusing on: optimal control, pole placement, multivariable PID controllers, and output regulation.
Dr. Seraji joined JPL in 1985 as a Senior Member of Technical Staff and additionally taught part-time at Caltech. Since 1991, he has been a Group Supervisor leading and managing a group of about 20 engineers and researchers in the Telerobotics Research and Applications Group. During his tenure at JPL, he has conducted extensive research that has led to major contributions in the field of robot control systems, particularly in: adaptive robot control, control of dexterous robots, contact control, real-time collision avoidance, rule-based robot navigation, and safe spacecraft landing. He received the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Award in 1992, the NASA Group Achievement Award in 2002 and 1991, and eight NASA Major Space Act Awards since 1995. In 2003, he received the JPL Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication. The outcome of his research in controls and robotics has been published in 98 peer-reviewed journal papers, 119 refereed conference publications, 5 contributed chapters, and has led to 10 patents.
In 1996, Dr. Seraji was appointed a Senior Research Scientist at JPL in recognition of his significant individual research contributions in the fields of controls and robotics. He was selected a Fellow of IEEE in 1997 for his contributions to robotic control technology and its space applications. In 2003, he was recognized as the most-published author in the 20-year history of the Journal of Robotic Systems.