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Oklahoma State University

Hoberock, Lawrence L.

Department Head, Emeritus

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Oklahoma State University
201 General Academic Building
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-5016 USA
Phone: (405) 744-5900
Fax: (405) 744-7873


Areas of Interest

  • Computer Vision & Machine Learning
  • Dynamics and Control of Electromechanical Systems
  • Mechatronics and Automation
  • Vibrating Screen Technology
  • Oil & Gas Drilling and Fluid Mechanics

NOTE: Professor Hoberock is no longer accepting new students into his research group.

Listed In

  • American Men & Women of Science
  • 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 20th Century, 2nd Edition
  • Who's Who in the World
  • Who's Who in America
  • Who's Who in America – Science and Engineering
  • Who's Who in the South and Southwest

Recent Projects

Automatic Information Extraction, Recognition, and Identification in Images of Objects — Most techniques available today for automatic information extraction, recognition and identification in images of complex objects fail significantly in approaching the capabilities of the human vision system. The human vision system is powerful for a number of reasons, but it does appear to involve several layers of knowledge driven inferences. We seek techniques in developing machine vision systems that implement knowledge driven inferences to analyze images and extract information from them. This includes developing a framework to represent objects and knowledge/rules regarding objects. This framework is meant to facilitate integration of various methods, serve as a means of communication between higher and lower-level algorithms to support feedback, and help develop machine vision systems that can be ported to a variety of fields with relative ease.

Automated Dishware Handling, Identification and Inspection — Large commercial dishwashing operations handle upwards of 15,000 dish pieces per day with manual labor in hot, humid environments and poor working conditions. High turn-over of low-paid employees is an appropriate setting to introduce automation, especially in large-scale kitchens of hospitals, navy ships, schools, hotels and other large dining facilities. For such operations, we are investigating means for developing and integrating automatic loading, unloading, and handling of dish pieces, together with novel machine vision software for identification, sorting and inspection, to achieve cost-effective, fast, adaptable, and efficient automatic dish handling. Dish handling includes the use of general and special purpose robotic devices. Special challenges in machine vision for non-planar dish pieces having significant 3-dimensional features including finding methods to automatically account for glare, reflections, and shadows, together with automatic tuning of various machine vision parameters.

Silverware Separation, Sorting, and Inspection — Technology and prototype development is underway to process cleaned, mixed silverware pieces washed in batch mode by a high-volume commercial automatic dish washers. The goal is for individual pieces to be automatically separated from the batch after washing and then sorted and inspected by machine vision and automated sorters. Special challenges are to design and construct a high speed, efficient mechanical separator; design, program, and implement machine vision sorting and inspection software; integrate the separation, sorting, and inspection into a single working prototype; and add modular enhancements, such as napkin wrapping.

Enlarged Region Stabilizing Control of Nonlinear Dynamic Systems — Linear controllers are often used to stabilize complex nonlinear systems in a region where a linear approximation of the nonlinear system is valid. Typically, the extent of this region is not predictable, and the stabilized attractive region is often unsatisfactorily small. For uncertain nonlinear systems, we seek methods to design both linear and nonlinear robust controllers to substantially enlarge the attractive region over those obtained from linearization. Systematic procedures are sought for generating suitable controllers given uncertainty specifications for the system. Lyapunov-based design strategies are employed in developing new methodologies, while incorporating so-called "intelligent" techniques, including neural networks, genetic programming, and genetic algorithms. Benchmark nonlinear systems are used to compare different controller design strategies.

Professional Experience

Independent Consultant; Professor and Head, Emeritus, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Oklahoma State University, August 2012–present

Professor and Head, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Oklahoma State University, June 1987–August 2012

Independent Consultant, Buffalo, New York, December 1986–May 1987

Vice-President, Research and Development, Derrick Manufacturing Corp., Buffalo, New York, July 1985–November 1986

Research Supervisor I, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Evanston, Wyoming, April 1983–June 1985

Research Supervisor II, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1981–March 1983

Research Associate, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 1978–May 1981

Consultant, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1977–August 1978

Associate Professor (tenured)/Assistant Professor, The University of Texas, Austin, August 1968–May 1977

Research Coordinator, U.S. Army Ballistic Research Labs, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, August 1966–August 1968

Research Engineer, Arnold Air Force Station, Tennessee/Aro, Inc., June 1964–September 1964

Research Engineer, Hamilton-Standard, Inc., Windsor Locks, Connecticut, June 1963–September 1963

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 1969-Present

Fellow - 1992-Present
Vice President, Systems Design Group, 1992-2002
Knowledge and Community Groups
1 of 4 Members, Blue Ribbon Selection Committee for 5 ASME Vice Presidents, 2005
Council on Engineering
Chair, Nominating Committee, 1999-2002
Member of the Council, 1999-2002
Board on Engineering Education
National M.E. Department Heads Committee: Chairman 1997-1998, Vice Chair 1996-1997, Secretary 1995-1996
Member-Planning and Organizing Committee, ASME M.E. Dept. Heads Conference, 1998-2000, 1994-1997, 1993-1993
Region X M.E. Department Heads: Chairman, 1993-1995, V. Chair, 1992-1993, and Secretary, 1991-1992
Board on Research and Technology Development:
Member-Board Committee on Technology Development, 1995-1999
Member-Executive Committee, 1993-1995
Systems and Design Technical Group
ASME Director, American Automatic Control Council, 1994-1996
Dynamic Systems and Control Division:
Honors Committee: Chair, 1998-1999; Vice Chair, 1996-1998; Member, 1993-1999 Division Executive Committee: Chair, 1990-1991, Member, 1988-1993, Chairman, Long-Range Planning, 1998-1990 Program Chairman-1974 ASME Winter Annual Meeting Associate Editor, ASME Transactions, Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, 1974-1977

American Automatic Control Council (AACC), 1994-1996

Member-Control Engineering Practice Award Committee, 1998-1999
Director-ASME, 1994-1996

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 1989-present

American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), 1971-1978; 1987-present

Member, Executive Committee, AE Division, 2003-Present
Chair, Awards Committee, M.E. Division, 2002-2003
Member, Executive Committee, M.E. Division, 1993-1995
Member, Awards Committee, ME Division, 1988-1991, 1994-1997, 2001-2003
Director, Educational Research and Methods Division, 1974-1975

Industrial Member, Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary Fluid Mechanics Research, The University of Texas, Austin, 1984-1985


Registered Professional Engineer (inactive), Texas, #3142
Registered Professional Engineer, Oklahoma, #11356

Selected Publications

"Effects of Texture Addition on Optical Flow Performance in images with Poor Texture" (with M. Andalibi and H. Mohamadipanah), Image and Vision Computing, Vol. 40, pp 1 - 15, 2015.

"Predictive Model Reference Adaptive Controller to Compensate Heart Motion in Minimally Invasive CABG Surgery", (with H. Mohamadipanah and M. Andalibi), Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, May 2015.

"Cloth Napkin Singulation System" (with S. Banik), Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences, DETC2014-3446, August 17-20, 2014, Buffalo, NY, USA.

"Selection of a Best Metric and Evaluation of Bottom-Up Visual Saliency Models" (with M. Emami), Image and Vision Computing, August 2013.

"Automated Silverware Sorting Using Vision Based Detection and Recognition Driving Pneumatically Actuated Mechanisms" (with A. Asmari), TECTC 2012-71283, Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Chicago, IL, August 12 - 16, 2015.

"Automatic Dishware Inspection:  Applications and Comparison of Two New Methods" (with T. H. Duong and M. Emami), Proceedings of the IEEE 10th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec 10 - 21, 2011.

"On Selecting the Number of Bins for A Histogram" (with S.V.G. Lolla), 2011 International Data Mining Conference, Las Vegas, NV, July 18-21, 2011.

"Automatic Clustering Using A Mahalanobis ART Neural Network and Density-based Removal Pre-Processing" (with T.H. Duong), 2011 International Conference on Image Processing, Computer Vision, Pattern Recognition, Las Vegas, NV, July 18-21, 2011.

"Improved Unsupervised Clustering Over Watershed-Based Clustering" (with S.V.G. Lolla), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, IEEE, Washington, DC, 12-14 Dec, 2010.

"On Estimation of Quantiles for Pairwise Distances" (with S.V.G. Lolla), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, IEEE, Washington, DC, 12-14 Dec, 2010.

"New Methods for Dishware Identification and Inspection" (with T. Duong), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation, and Robotics, July 2-5, 2009, Milan, Italy.

"Flaw Detection Using Image Registration and Fusion Techniques" (with Y. Zhou), Proceedings of the ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conference and Computers in Engineering Conference, Brooklyn, NY, Aug 3-6, 2008.

"Using Robust Stability Analysis Theorems For Robust Controller Design" (with P. Ngamsom), ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 125, December 2003.

"Dynamic Differential Pressure Effects on Drilling of Permeable Formations" (with G. Bratcher), ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Vol. 120, June 1998.

"A New Approach for Determining In-Situ Rock Strength While Drilling" (with G. Bratcher), ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology, Vol. 118, December 1996.

"Machine Vision Fuzzy Object Recognition and Inspection Using a New Fuzzy Neural Network" (with B. Chen), 1996 IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Control, Dearborn, MI, Sept 15-18, 1996.

"Machine Vision Recognition of Fuzzy Objects Using a New Fuzzy Neural Network" (with B. Chen), 1996 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Minneapolis, MN, April 22-28, 1996.

"Fuzzy Logic Controller for Automatic Vision Parameter Adjustment in a Robotic Dish Handling System" (with B. Chen), 10th IEEE international Symposium on Intelligent Control", Monterey, CA, Aug. 27-29, 1995.

"A Modified Artmap Network, With Applications to Scheduling of a Robot-Vision Tracking System" (with K. Feng), 1992 ASME Winter Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Nov. 8-13, 1992. Also published in ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 118, No. 1, March 1996.

"Solids Conveyance Dynamics and Shaker Performance" (with. M. Lal), SPE # 14389, 60th Annual Technical Conference and Exposition of the SPE, Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 22-25, 1985. Also published in SPE Drilling Engineering, Dec. 1988.

"Flow Limits in Vibrating Screen Separation of Drilling Fluids," Filtration and Separation, pp. 109-114, March/April 1982.

"A Study of Vibratory Screening of Drilling Fluids," Journal of Petroleum Technology, pp. 1889-1202, November 1980.

"A Survey of Longitudinal Acceleration Comfort Studies in Ground Transportation Vehicles," ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 99, No. 2, June 1977.