Nitin Sharma received the B.E. degree in Industrial Engineering from Thapar Institue of Engineering and Technology, India, in 2004, and the M.S. degree and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He was an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Since 2012, he has been an Assistant Professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include the modeling, optimization, and control of functional electrical stimulation-elicited walking. He has won O Hugo Schuck Award for the Best Application Paper from the 2008 American Control Conference. His current research in hybrid exoskeletons is funded by three NSF awards and one NIH R03 Award. He won NSF CAREER Award in 2018.
Albert Dodson received his BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University in 2010. Before enrolling at Pitt, he worked in industry as a Mechanical Engineer for a company that designs flight simulators for commercial and military applications. He graduated with an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Pitt in 2017 and his MS thesis is titled “A Novel User-Controlled Assisted Standing Control System for a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis.”
Albert works as a Research Associate for Professor Sharma’s Neuromuscular Control and Robotics Laboratory. His research contributions include advancing the mechatronic and controls design for the Exoskeleton Project and acting as a co-contributor for the Unilateral Exoskeleton Project.
Xuefeng Bao received his BS in Physics from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2010. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in optimal control methods on hybrid neuroprothesis under the advisement of Dr. Sharma.
Vahid Molazadeh received his BS from K. N. Toosi University of Technology in 2013. He then went to Sharif University of Technology and completed his study in 2015. He is currently pursuing Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under the supervisory of Dr. Sharma. Main Focus of his research is on the Hybrid Zero Dynamics.
Frank Moore-Clingenpeel received his BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, and his BS in Computer Engineering in 2009, both from Valparaiso University. He then went on to work in industry as an Electro-mechanical Design Engineer for two years and an Automation Systems Engineer for three years. He is now pursuing a PhD in Computational Modelling and Simulation under the advisement of Dr. Nitin Sharma and Dr. Peyman Givi.
Zhiyu Sheng graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2013 with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Automation. He then went to Columbia University in the City of New York, and obtained his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. under advisement of Dr. Sharma, focusing on ultrasound imaging, FES control system and muscle fatigue estimation.
Ziyue Sun received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He then went to the graduate program, pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He is doing research in reinforcement learning.
Qiang Zhang received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Wuhan University in 2014, and then received his M.S. in Mechatronic Engineering from Wuhan University in 2017. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Sharma. His research focuses on control of hybrid walking extremity exoskeleton combining FES and motor, and IMU based nonlinear gait estimation during hybrid walking.
Zunding Xiao received his B.S. in Automobile Engineering from Chongqing University of Technology in 2013. He then went to study Mechanical Engineering and received a MS from Swansea University in 2015. Zunding is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in control strategies under the advisement of Dr. Sharma.
Ashwin graduated from Pitt with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Computer Science in 2017. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering focusing on control methods using ultrasound imaging.
Shih-Dun (Stanley) Liu is a fourth-year medical student on MD/research track at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is currently on a research year under the Clinical Scientist Training Program. Stanley was born in Taiwan, and moved to Pittsburgh where he pursued a B.S. in Biological Sciences/Neuroscience Track at Carnegie Mellon University. He graduated with university and research honors in 2010. Stanley received an M.S. in Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Stanley has also worked with biotechnology startup F Cubed, and worked as a research associate at Stanford University. At the Sharma lab, he is working at the intersection between medicine and engineering, helping develop a hybrid exoskeleton that will help patients with spinal cord injury regain functional movements.
Jonathan Powers graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. He is currently enrolled in Pitt’s MBA/M.S. Mechanical Engineering dual degree program. Jonathan is currently a leader on Pitt’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) team, and has been a CAD designer of components on the car for 6 years. As an undergraduate, Jonathan was a teaching assistant for an introductory SolidWorks class. Jonathan has always had a keen interest in Biomechanical Engineering design, and is excited to perform research.
Naji Alibeji, Ph.D. (2017)
Current Employment: Postdoctoral Researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
Nicholas Kirsch, Ph.D. (2016)
Current Employment: Senior Robotics Engineer at I Am Robotics in Pittsburgh, PA
Zunding Xiao ’18; -Thesis: State Estimation of an Acoustic Bubble-Powered Microswimmer from Ultrasound Imaging Data
Albert Dodson ’17 – Thesis: A Novel User-Controlled Assisted Standing Control System for a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis
Ziyue Sun ’17- Thesis: Robust Model Predictive Control of An Input Delayed Functional Electrical Stimulation