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Dr. Anton de Ruiter

Anton de Ruiter
Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
BE, MASc, PhD, PEng
416-979-5000 ext. 554878

Areas of Academic Interest

Dynamics, Guidance, Navigation and Control for Aerospace Systems


Year University Degree
2005 University of Toronto
2001 University of Toronto
1999 University of Canterbury BE

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
AER 723 Introduction to Space Systems Design
AER 627 Introduction to Space Robotics
AER 813 Space Systems Design Project


What do students and spacecrafts have in common? For Anton de Ruiter, both have the potential for autonomy, with a little guidance.

Using predictive modelling, de Ruiter designs possible trajectories for spacecrafts self-assembling within the asteroid-filled environments of space. “Say you want a spacecraft to point at a star with high precision for a long period of time,” says de Ruiter. “We do that with the control system—the brains of everything.”

He takes a similar approach when helping his students navigate the obstacles of academia. "As a student, I don't think I ever attended a single lecture where, at the end, I felt I mastered something,” he recalls. Lectures are the starting point, but self-directed learning is key.

As an associate professor, teaching at Toronto Metropolitan University is a great way to reinforce principles. “You think you understand something until you’ve actually taught it,” says de Ruiter. To prepare for lectures, he approaches topics from every angle in anticipation of potential student questions. “It keeps you sharp.”

Anton de Ruiter

"Students have to put their foot on the gas—I’m just here to make sure the car stays on the road."

  • Canada Research Chair (Tier 2), 2016-2020
  • NSERC Visiting Fellowship in a Government Laboratory, 2006-2008
  • G.N. Patterson Award (UTIAS award for best Ph.D. Dissertation), 2005
  • Etkin Medal (UTIAS award for excellence in flight mechanics), 2005
  • A.H.J. de Ruiter, C.J. Damaren, J.R. Forbes, Spacecraft Dynamics and Control, John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, United Kingdom, 2013
  • A.H.J. de Ruiter, “Observer-Based Adaptive Spacecraft Attitude Control with Guaranteed Performance Bounds”, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 61 (10), 2016, pp. 3146-3151.
  • A. Zou, A.H.J. de Ruiter, K.D. Kumar, “Distributed attitude synchronization control for a group of flexible spacecraft using only attitude measurements”, Information Sciences, Vol. 343-344, 2016, pp. 66-78.
  • A. de Ruiter, J. Forbes, “General Identities for Parameterizations of SO(3) with Applications”, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, 81 (7), 2014.
  • A. de Ruiter, “Spacecraft Attitude Tracking with Guaranteed Performance Bounds”, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 36 (4), 2013, pp. 1214-1221.


  • Ryerson Aerospace Control Systems
  • Editor in Chief, IMechE Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
  • Member of IAF Astrodynamics Committee