Dr. Valavanis received the Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (5 years of study) from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece, in June 1981, and he completed the Professional Engineer (PE) exams in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in February 1982. He received the M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and the PhD degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
From 1987 to 1990 he held the Analog Devices Career Development Chair for Assistant Professors at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, where he was also Director of the Robotics Laboratory. From 1991 to 1999 he was with The Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS), University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he served as Associate Professor (1991-1995) and Professor (since 1995) of Computer Engineering, as Associate Director for Research at the A-CIM Center (1993-1999) and as Director of the Robotics and Automation Laboratory. He also held the A-CIM/[TC]2/Regents Professorship in Manufacturing.
From 1999-2003, he was Professor in the Department of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, Greece, Director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Director of the Graduate Program and Chair of the University Industrial Advisory Board.
Since August of 2003, he is Professor at the USF Department of Computer Science and Engineering, where he also served as Deputy Director at the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) until the summer of 2005. In 2006 he created the Unmanned Systems Laboratory in the College of Engineering, in which he serves as Director. He is also Guest Professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Department of Telecommunications, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
He has organized two International Advanced Robotics Programme (IARP) meetings in Lisbon, Portugal, and Lafayette, LA, he has taught Tutorial Workshops at the IEEE CDC, ACC, and ICRA, Conference on Telecommunications (ConTel) and the Mediterranean Conference in Control and Automation. He served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions in Robotics and Automation from 2/1996-2/1999, as the Robotics and Automation Society “Discrete Event Dynamic Systems Technical Committee” co-Chair for two years, and as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Magazine from 1994 to 1995. He was Editor- in-chief of the Magazine for ten years (1996-2005). He was the Book Review Editor of the Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems until 2006 and he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Series on Microprocessor Based and Intelligent Systems Engineering Series published by Springer. He also serves as a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Awards Committee, and as a co-chair of the Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technical Committee.
Dr. Valavanis' research interests are focused in the areas of Unmanned Systems, Distributed Intelligence Systems, Robotics and Automation. He has published over 300 book chapters, technical journal / transaction and conference papers. He is the co-author of the book (with Dr. G. N. Saridis) Intelligent Robotic Systems: Theory, Design and Applications, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992, he co-edited (with B. Siciliano) the book Control Problems in Robotics and Automation, Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, Vol. 230, Springer-Verlag, 1998, and he co-authored (with J. Balic, N. Tsourveloudis and S. Ioannidis) the book Intelligent Manufacturing Systems: Programming and Control, University of Maribor Publications, 2003. He is also the Editor (and co-author of nine chapters) of the book Advances in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: State of the art and the road to autonomy, published by Springer in June of 2007.
Dr. Valavanis has been on the organizing committee of many IEEE conferences, serving as General, Program, Registration and Local Arrangements Chair. He was the General Chair (with F. Lewis) of the 11th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, June 2003, and the Program Chair of the 2004 IEEE ICRA. He was the General Chair (with P. Anstaklis) of the 15th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, June 2007, and the General Chair (with W. Gruver) of the IEEE SMC International Conference on Distributed Human-Machine Systems, March 2008. In 1998, he was elected as Vice President – Administration of the IEEE Mediterranean Control Association (MCA). He was a Distinguished Speaker in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (- 2003) and he is a senior member of IEEE.