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Ahmad F. Taha, Ph.D.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 
Vanderbilt University
Jacobs Hall, Office # 293
24th Avenue South
Nashville TN 37235


Hi, I’m Ahmad! Welcome to my homepage, people! I’m an associate professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. I am interested in understanding how complex and dynamic urban systems and infrastructure operate, behave, and sometimes misbehave. Specifically,  I am interested in dynamic network theory as well as control and optimization of cyber-physical urban systems and the next generation of smart power grids, water networks, and  transportation systems.

Please browse through the page. If something grabs your attention, please shoot me an email—I love discussing research ideas. I also like coffee, so we can always have coffee and talk research.

Updates, News:

  • [May 18] Announcing my PhD student Salma ‘s first journal paper: Control-Theoretic Modeling of Multi-Species Water Quality Dynamics in Drinking Water Networks, submitted to the Annual Reviews in Control.
  • [May 17] New paper on flood control in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. Awesome work by Marcus!
  • [April 18] Haven’t updated this page in a while, although there’s been a few important updates. I’ll post pre-prints of papers that were accepted for publication in the past few months. Hold me accountable if I don’t.
  • [October 5] New paper in IEEE Trans. on Intelligent Transportation Systems entitled Where Should Traffic Sensors Be Placed on Highways? Hope you find some good answers 🙂
  • [September 11] New published paper in Automatica: Towards understanding sensor and control nodes selection in nonlinear dynamic systems: Lyapunov theory meets branch-and-bound.
  • [September 6] NEW paper on parameterizing and classifying nonlinear dynamic networks is accepted in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. I think this is my group’s best (theoretical) work so far. 🙂
  • [August 17, 2021] A fresh start at Vanderbilt and in Nashville. It feels good to move on, and I’m so excited about being here! I have openings for 4-5 PhD students and 1-2 postdocs. Check out this page for more info.
  • [July 19, 2021] I am moving to Vanderbilt. I’ll be in San Antonio till August 1st, so if you’d like to hang out please shoot me an email or text (if we’re at that level, ha!). For future communications, please email me at:
  • [May 4, 2021] Feeling good today as I’ve been awarded the NSF CAREER Award!
  • [April 13, 2021] Omg! So excited about this new paper we just submitted for review: Load and Renewable-Following Control of Linearization-Free Differential Algebraic Equation Power System Models. This Twitter thread summarizes its contribution and scope.
  • [March 8, 2021] Courtesy appointment with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UTSA is approved.
  • [March 4, 2021] Our paper entitled Buildings-to-Distribution-Network Integration for Coordinated Voltage Regulation and Building Energy Management via Distributed Resource Flexibility (long title, sorry!) is accepted for publication with the Sustainable Cities and Society journal. Will link to a pre-print soon.
  • [March 1] We’re introducing the Control Systems Society (CSS) State-Space Forum which replaces the E-Letter. Learn more and sign up here.
  • [March 1] The final issue of the CSS E-Letter is online. It’s been fun working with the community on the E-Letter.
  • [February 23] New paper on model order reduction (MOR) for water quality dynamics. We study how large-scale water quality models (with ~ 30,000+ states) can be reduced to hundreds of states via MOR algorithms.
    • Do standard MOR algorithms work? If they don’t, do we fix them? Find out in the paper. Lovely paper if you ask me. 😊
  • [February 1] The Issue 390 of the CSS E-Letter is online.
  • [January 29] Today’s a very good day: I just got tenure and promotion to associate professor. 🙂
  • [January 14] Where do you think water quality sensors should be placed in drinking water networks? Find out in this new paper accepted for publication with ASCE’s Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.
  • [January 14] This upcoming spring semester, I will be teaching EE 1322 (Intro to ECE) and EE 5243 (Optimization/Control of Cyber-Physical Systems). If you need to get into any of these two classes, just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to work with you to get registered.
    • The two classes are (mostly) online but I promise we’ll still have a lot of fun. 😊
  • [January 12] New survey paper on Dynamic State Estimation for Power Systems with the lovely folks from  the IEEE Task Force on Power System Dynamic State and Parameter Estimation.
  • [January 1] The Issue 389 of the CSS E-Letter is online.