Assistant Professor
Ph.D. degree, Control & Dynamical Systems, California Institute of Technology

4121 Etcheverry Hall
(510) TBD
E-mail: lavaei(at)

Personal Webpage:


Javad Lavaei is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley. He was an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at Columbia University from 2012 to 2015. Javad Lavaei received the B.Sc. degree from Sharif University of Technology in 2003 and the M.A.Sc. degree from Concordia University in 2007. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in Control & Dynamical Systems from California Institute of Technology, and then did a one-year postdoc jointly with Electrical Engineering and Precourt Institute for Energy of Stanford University.Javad Lavaei is the recipient of the Milton and Francis Clauser Doctoral Prize for the best university-wide Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Large-Scale Complex Systems: From Antenna Circuits to Power Grids". He has worked on different interdisciplinary problems in power systems, optimization, distributed computation, and control theory. Javad Lavaei is a senior member of IEEE and has won several awards, including DARPA Young Faculty Award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Google Faculty Award, Governor General of Canada Academic Gold Medal, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Master's Thesis Award, Postgraduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, New Face of Engineering in 2011, and Silver Medal in the 1999 International Mathematical Olympiad. For his computation work on energy systems, he was chosen by Resnick Sustainability Institute as one of the 5 innovators in the area of sustainability worldwide in 2014. Javad Lavaei is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and serves on the conference editorial board for both IEEE Control Systems Society and European Control Association. He is a finalist (as an advisor) for the Best Student Paper Award at the 53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2014. Javad Lavaei's paper entitled "Zero Duality Gap in Optimal Power Flow Problem" has received a prize paper award given by the IEEE PES Power System Analysis Computing and Economics Committee in 2015. Javad Lavaei is a co-recipient of the 2015 INFORMS Optimization Society Prize for Young Researchers.                    


  • Control theory: optimal control, distributed control, robust control, large-scale systems, stochastic system
  • Optimization: nonlinear optimization, low-rank optimization, global optimization techniques, graph-theoretic convex relaxation, distributed computation for big data
  • Power systems: nonlinear power optimization problems (optimal power flow, unit commitment, state estimation, etc.), distributed control of renewable energy, smart grid


Ph.D. Theses Supervised

  • Computational Methods for Nonlinear Optimization Problems: Theory and Applications, 2015 (Ramtin Madani: PhD, Columbia University)
  • Distributed and Large-Scale Optimization, 2015 (Abdulrahman Kalbat: PhD, Columbia University)