Artur Wolek is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science Department at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a resident faculty member of the NC Battery Complexity, Autonomous Vehicle and Electrification Research Center (BATT CAVE). Wolek earned the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2010 and 2015. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Acoustics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (2015-2018), an Adjunct Lecturer in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Catholic University (2017-2018), and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland (2018-2020). Wolek joined UNC Charlotte in 2021 and founded the Autonomous Robots and Systems Laboratory (ARSL). In 2023, Wolek was a faculty fellow in the AFOSR Summer Faculty Fellowship Program collaborating with the Control Science Center at Wright Patterson AFB. Wolek has authored more than 35 journal articles and conference proceedings. His research interests are in the area of dynamics, guidance, estimation, control, and autonomy for flight vehicles and marine vehicles. Wolek’s research group also specializes in path planning, automated/autonomous data collection, and multi-vehicle control and coordination. Wolek teaches undergraduate engineering dynamics and graduate-level courses in robotics and estimation. Wolek’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Army STTR Program, and Defensewerx. Wolek is a Senior Member of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


Collin Hague

Collin received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2019 and the M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNC Charlotte in 2023. He has experience in data analytics and machine learning through undergraduate research at NCSU, several internships (Syntelli Solutions, NASA Langley), and through an industry position as a Full Stack Software Developer at Pratt and Miller Engineering. In the ARSL, Collin is working on automated data collection with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) considering sensing performance and constraints.

Nicholas Kakavitsas

Nicholas received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNC Charlotte in 2020 and the M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNC Charlotte in 2023. He has previous experience working with American Airlines as a A320 Fleet Engineer and with US Army Special Operations Command Unmanned Aerial Systems. For his senior design project, Nicholas helped develop a model of a flexure system from first principles using Lagrangian mechanics. In the ARSL, Nicholas is working on designing algorithms to enable wind field estimation and wind-aware path planning and control for autonomous quadrotors operating in urban environments.


Alex Nikonowicz

Alex received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from UNC Charlotte in 2023. As a senior, he worked on a NAVAIR-sponsored senior capstone project to redesign a landing sensor for the WQ-8C Fire Scout autonomous air vehicle. In the ARSL, Alex is working towards evaluating the capabilities of a sonar-equipped unmanned marine craft to efficiently survey bathymetry in inland water bodies that impact transportation infrastructure.

Undergraduate RESEARCHERS

Kyle VanHorn

Nguyen “Matt” Nguyen

Dillon Freer

Cedric Davis

Sam De Simone

Ryan Monroe

Joey Porter

Conor McCourt


Former Graduate Students

  1. Jacob Herbert, MS ME (2023). Thesis: Design and system identification of a miniature underwater vehicle for controls research. Next Position: Teledyne FLIR.
  2. Michael Brancato, MS ME (2022). Thesis: Autonomous sensing of a Gaussian spatial process with multiple heterogeneous agents. Next Position: Draper Laboratory.

Former Undergraduate / Independent Study Students

  1. Ryan Jacobik (SERVE Program)
  2. Jonathan Blanton (OUR Scholar)
  3. Matthew Lucke
  4. Jacob Armiger (SERVE Program)
  5. Connor Davidson (OUR Scholar)
  6. John Driver
  7. Jacob Harrison
  8. Kalan (Gunner) Petrea (Independent Study)

Interested in joining the ARSL? Send us an email: