Fossen is a cyberneticist, a person who practices cybernetics. He received a 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. Fossen's academic background, besides cybernetics, is computer science, cyber security, aerospace engineering, marine technology and inertial navigation systems. He has been 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, guidance and control systems, and inertial navigation systems. Fossen is one of the co-founders of the company Marine Cybernetics AS (2002), which was aquired by DNV GL in 2012. He is co-founder of the company SCOUT Drone Inspection AS (2017) and he is involved in several new high-tech companies in Trondheim. He is currently the co-director of NTNU AMOS (2012-2022).

Current reasearch interests include:

  • Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC): Autonomous and intelligent systems, field robots, vehicle dynamics including multi-body systems, marine craft hydrodynamics, vehicle simulators, unmanned vehicles (UAV, AUV, USV), autopilots, trajectory tracking, path-following control.
  • Inertial Navigation Systems (INS): GNSS- and compass-denied navigation, aiding techniques, attitude estimation on SO(3), automated situational awareness, sensor fusion and state estimation, nonlinear observer theory, Kalman filtering.
  • Cyber Security: Real-time encryption of feedback control and sensory signals, cryptology, stream chipers, AES, synchronization, authentication methods.

Fossen holds several patens on HIL-testing technology for maritime and offshore systems, a patent for weather optimal positioning control of marine vessels and a patent for UAV landing systems. He received the Automatica Prize Paper Award in 2002 and the Arch T. Colwell Merit Paper Award in 2008 at the SAE World Congress. He has also received the best paper award at the IFAC MCMC'15. Three of his former PhD candidates have received an award for best PhD thesis at NTNU.



  • Fossen, T. I. (2021). Handbook of Marine Craft Hydrodynamics and Motion Control. 2nd. Edition, Wiley.
  • Fossen, T. I. (2011). Handbook of Marine Craft Hydrodynamics and Motion Control. 1st. Edition, 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.