Fossen is a naval architect and a cyberneticist. He received an MSc degree in Marine Technology in 1987 and a PhD degree in Engineering Cybernetics in 1991 both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim. He has pursued postgraduate studies as a Fulbright scholar in flight control at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Washington, Seattle. He was appointed professor of guidance, navigation and control at NTNU at age 30. He has been visiting professor at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Fossen has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences (1998) and elevated to IEEE Fellow (2016). He is teaching, mathematical modeling of aircraft, marine craft, unmanned vehicles and control theory. Fossen is one of the co-founders of the company Marine Cybernetics AS, which was aquired by DNV GL in 2012. He is involved in several new high-tech companies in Trondheim as well as NTNU spin-offs. He is currently acting director of NTNU AMOS (2013-2022).


Fossen's expertise covers guidance, navigation, nonlinear control theory, autonomous and intelligent systems, vehicle dynamics, hydrodynamics, vehicle simulators, design of dynamic positioning (DP) system for free-floating and moored ships, nonlinear observers for marine craft and unmanned vehicles (UAV, AUV, USV), autopilots, trajectory tracking, path following, maneuvering control, identification of ship dynamics from sea trials and strapdown inertial navigation systems. Fossen holds several patens on HIL-testing technology for maritime and offshore systems (2005-2009). A patent for weather optimal positioning control of marine vessels was granted in 1998. This work received the Automatica Prize Paper Award in 2002. In 2008 he received the Arch T. Colwell Merit Award at the SAE 2008 World Congress for a paper entitled "Nonlinear Observer for Vehicle Velocity Estimation". He has also received the best regular paper award at IFAC MCMC'15 for a paper entitled "A Virtual Vertical Reference Concept for GNSS/INS Applications at the Sea Surface". Three of his former PhD candidates, Dr Jann Peter Strand (2000), Professor Ole Morten Aamo (2003) and Professor Roger Skjetne (2005) have received an award for best PhD thesis at NTNU.



  • Fossen, T. I. (2011). Handbook of Marine Craft Hydrodynamics and Motion Control. Wiley.
  • Fossen, T. I. (1994). Guidance and Control of Ocean Vehicles. Wiley.
  • Fossen, T. I. (2002). Marine Control Systems. Marine Cybernetics (out of production).


  • Fossen, T. I., K. Y. Pettersen and H. Nijmeijer (2017). Sensing and Control for Autonomous Vehicles: Applications to Land, Water and Air Vehicles. Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences, Springer.
  • Fossen, T. I. and H. Nijmeijer (2012). Parametric Resonance in Dynamical Systems. Springer.
  • Nijmeijer, H. and T. I. Fossen (1999). New Directions in Nonlinear Observer Design. Springer.

  • 1994