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People

Principal Investigator

David Braun is Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, Mechanical Engineering.
Secondary Appointment: Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering (Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science).

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he was visiting research with the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center, postdoctoral research fellow with the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, and assistant professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design. He holds a Ph.D. (06-09) in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt.

Dr. Braun's work spans fundamental aspects of dynamics, control, and design of compliant robots. Application areas of interest include: data-driven optimal control, variable stiffness robotics, novel actuators, and superhuman augmentation technologies.

PhD Students

Joel (Sung) Kim is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He graduated from Rice University in 2019 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He received a Dean’s Graduate Fellowship, and will continue his degree as a Russell G. Hamilton Scholar.

Research interests: Assistive and augmentation devices, rehabilitation robotics.
Future goals: He wants to be a professor to make meaningful contributions in rehabilitation robotics research to help people in need and teach younger students.
Personal interests: Hiking, eating, music.


Email: sung.kim[@]vanderbilt.edu
Tiange (T) Zhang is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. She graduated from the University of Delaware (B.S. MechE 19'), and received Dean's Graduate Fellowship at Vanderbilt to continue her study as a Russell G. Hamilton Scholar.

Research interest: Assistive and augmentation devices, rehabilitation robotics, and prosthetics.
Future goals: She wants to be a professor/mentor like those who has discovered, inspired, and encouraged her along the way.
Personal interests: Traveling, backpacking, sketching.


Email: tiange.zhang[@]vanderbilt.edu
Chase W. Mathews is a PhD student at Vanderbilt in Mechanical Engineering. He received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University. He received an Engineering Graduate Fellowship from IBM.

Research interests: Assistive and augmentation devices, control systems, robotics, biomechanics.
Future goals: He wants to develop new technology for the medical device industry.
Personal interests: Mountain biking, hiking, cooking, fitness.

Email: chase.w.mathews[@]vanderbilt.edu
Amanda Sutrisno is an incoming PhD student at Vanderbilt Mechanical Engineering, and a current research engineer in the ARCLab. Amanda graduated from Engineering Product Development at SUTD(2016) where she specialized in Theoretical Physics/Electrical Engineering. She received the Dean's Graduate Fellowship, and is a Russel G. Hamilton scholar.

Research Interests Engineering variable Stiffness materials, Theoretical modelling of exoskeletons and actuators.
Future Goals Amanda would eventually like to work on a startup to develop and market exotic materials and exoskeletons.
Personal Interests Boardgames, Fencing

Email amanda.s.sutrisno.1[@]vanderbilt.edu
Cole A. Dempsey is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He received an Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

Research Interests Assistive and augmentation devices, biomechatronics, control systems.
Future Goals He wants to become a professor to drive the innovation of wearable assistive devices and mentor students interested in the field.
Personal Interests Fishing, backpacking, eating, traveling.

Email cole.a.dempsey@vanderbilt.edu
A. Levent Cinar is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Middle East Technical University.

Research Interests Gait stabilization, robotics, dynamics and control.
Future Goals He wants to pursue an academic career and help build a better world.
Personal Interests Snowboarding, traditional and digital art

PhD Students in Singapore

Yuqing Chen is a PhD student at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He received his Bachelor’s degree in control science and engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). Prior to joining SUTD, he was a postgraduate student in control and simulation center of HIT where he worked on control system designs.

Areas of expertise: Robotics; Control Systems; Optimal Control; Mathematical Modeling.

Yuqing's PhD work on optimal control is directed by Dr. Braun.
Evrim Selin Altinkaynak is a PhD student at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey in 2015. She has done her internships in top companies such as Vestel and Aselsan. She received a full scholarship from TEV-SINGA for her PhD in SUTD.

Areas of expertise: Linear control systems, Linear optimization, Statistics, Stochastic models, Embedded systems, CMOS integrated circuit design.

Evrim's PhD work on human locomotion is directed by Dr. Braun.
Yangzhi Li is a PhD student at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He is pursuing a joint PhD in Mechanical Engineering between Singapore University of Technology and Design (PhD advisor: Prof. Soh) and the National University of Singapore (PhD co-advisory: Prof. Yu ) with a full scholarship. He is interested in mechanical design, system control, and mathematical modelling.

Areas of expertise: Robotics; Mechanical design; System control; Hybrid and constrained dynamical systems; Mathematical modelling.

Yangzhi's PhD work on hybrid system simulation and optimal control is directed by Dr. Braun.

Former members


Vincent Chalvet was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Dynamics and Control Laboratory at Singapore University of Technology and Design. He obtained his Engineering Diploma in Mechatronics from the National Engineering Institute, France, in 2008 and the Ph.D. degree in Automatic Control from the University of Franche-Comté in 2013. Prior to joining SUTD, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the CNRS FEMTO-ST Institute where he worked on the design, fabrication, and control of micro electro-mechanical systems.

Areas of expertise: Mechatronics; µ-Robotics; Mechanical design; Automatic control.
Farnaz Adib Yaghmaie was a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Dynamics and Control Laboratory at Singapore University of Technology and Design. She received her B.S. and M.S degrees in Electrical Engineering-Control at K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2009 and 2011. She received her PhD degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) at Nanyang (NTU) Technological University, Singapore in 2016. She won the best PhD thesis award of EEE-NTU among more than 140 PhD students. She is recipient of SPGF, SINGA, and PEDSCT best paper awards.

Areas of expertise: Reinforcement learning; Multi-agent systems; Optimal control.
Lau Hong Fai (Justin) was a research assistant in the Dynamics and Control Lab at SUTD. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Product Development from SUTD where he specialized in Mechanical Engineering.

Areas of expertise: Systems control; Mathematical modelling; Robotics; Mechanical design.
Aaron Chong was a Research Assistant in the Lab from 2015 to 2017.
Subsequently, he earned his MS from The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. Aaron is currently a Research Engineer with Open Robotics in Singapore.
Abhinav Dahiya was a visiting student in 2015, and a Research Assistant with us from 2016 to 2017. He is a PhD student at the University of Waterloo.
M Dewmini Sudara was a visiting student in 2015, and a Research Assistant with us in 2017. She is a PhD student at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
Fabio Izzi was a visiting student in 2016. Subsequently, he earned his MS in Bio-Robotics from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He is a PhD student at the Max Planck institute for Intelligent Systems.
Allan Costa was a visiting student in 2016. Allan is a BS student at MIT.
Alyssa Pybus was a visiting student in 2016. Alyssa is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Salil Apte was a visiting student in 2015. Subsequently, Salil earned his MS degree in Bio-Robotics from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He is currently a PhD student at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.