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Sunil Agrawal, Ph.D., Professor, Columbia University

Sunil Agrawal received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1990. He is currently a Professor and Director of the Robotics and Rehabilitation (ROAR) Laboratory at Columbia University. Dr. Agrawal has published more than 500 journal and conference papers, three books, and 18 U.S. patents. He is a Fellow of the ASME and AIMBE. His honors include a NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship from the White House in 1994, a Bessel Prize from Germany in 2003, and a Humboldt US Senior Scientist Award in 2007. He is a recipient of 2016 Machine Design Award from ASME for “seminal contributions to design of robotic exoskeletons for gait training of stroke patients” and 2016 Mechanisms and Robotics Award from the ASME for “cumulative contributions and being an international leading figure in mechanical design and robotics.” He is a recipient of several Best Paper awards in ASME and IEEE sponsored robotics conferences. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Wearable Technologies” from Cambridge University Press. He was the Conference Chair for IEEE BioRob2020 organized in New York City.

Ghaith Androwis, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Kessler Foundation

As a Research Scientist in the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research (CMRE) at Kessler Foundation, Ghaith is focused on investigating the efficacy of wearable robotics for improving activities of daily living and developing deeper understanding of the usefulness of wearable robots, orthoses, and novel technologies in persons with impairments. He has a strong background in the clinical implementation of novel interventions for individuals with neuromuscular disabilities, and in the research and development of wearable robotics and administrative support in human-machine integration studies while utilizing state of the art technologies and interventions. His expertise is in biomedical engineering with a Doctor of Philosophy focused on rehabilitation engineering and two postdoctoral training fellowships in wearable robotics, biomechanics, and rehabilitation engineering.

Thomas Augenstein, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Michigan

Thomas Augenstein is a Ph.D. Candidate in Robotics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. Thomas is a member of the NeuRRo Lab, working on his graduate thesis under the advisory of Dr. Chandramouli Krishnan. Thomas’s research interests include design and control of rehabilitation robotics, as well as motor control and learning. Currently, these interests take the form of developing controllers for stroke-rehabilitation robots to implement and investigate novel rehabilitation strategies.

Marisol Barrero, Global Ergonomics Manager, Amazon Web Services (AWS) 

Marisol Barrero joined Amazon Web Services (AWS) as Global Ergonomics Manager in August 2021. Previously she worked for Toyota Motor North America Safety Group for almost 15 years. Most recently she managed the development and integration of safety-related technology and innovations across North American operations, which is a unique role that she started at Toyota. Before that she held the position of Regional Ergonomics Manager, where she managed a team of ergonomists to support Toyota’s 15 North American manufacturing facilities. Prior to Toyota, Marisol worked as an ergonomics consultant with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group and Humantech, as well as a researcher with the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). She received her B.A. and M.S. from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She has been a Certified Professional Ergonomist since 2006. Marisol is involved in several external organizations. She is the co-founder and current Board member of the Automotive Exoskeleton Group (AExG), and is also Director of Workplace Safety Applications with the Wearable Robotics Association. She sits on the ASTM Exoskeleton Center of Excellence Research & Development Committee and is a member of F48, the first external standard on exoskeletons and exosuits. She is a regular speaker at various safety and technology conferences including Applied Ergonomics Conference, National Ergonomics Conference, and Enterprise Wearables Technology Summit.

Terry Butler, CSP, President, Lean Steps Consulting Inc.

Terry Butler is a Certified Safety Professional and ASSE professional member who has focused his 35-year career in global manufacturing on implementing innovative solutions for protecting employees and is currently President of Lean Steps Consulting Inc. Over the last six years Terry has been working with Iowa State University and global manufacturers taking the lead in the industry to quantify the physical benefits of working with and without the aid of exoskeleton technology. He has authored several articles focused on the use of exoskeletons for worker safety. Terry sits on the ASTM F48 committee for Exoskeletons and Exosuits and holds two BS degrees from Illinois State University in Occupational Safety Engineering and Industrial Technology.

Gwendolyn Bryan, PhD, Research, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)

Dr. Gwendolyn M Bryan, PhD, received her bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from University of New Mexico in 2016 and her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University for her work in the Stanford Biomechatronics Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Steve Collins in 2021. Her dissertation focused on the design of a hip-knee-ankle exoskeleton emulator and human-subject studies using the device to optimize assistance patterns to reduce the metabolic cost of walking. Currently, Dr. Bryan is a research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) where she leads a team that is developing exoskeletons for augmentation of able-bodied individuals as well as continuing IHMC’s research on exoskeletons for people with spinal cord injuries.

Kaleigh Fleming, Ergonomics Specialist, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing

Kaleigh Fleming is an Ergonomics Specialist at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Mississippi State University and a Masters in Industrial Engineering from Auburn, specializing in Occupation Safety, Ergonomics, and Injury Prevention. She is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Associate Professional Ergonomist (AEP).

Jason Gillette, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Iowa State University

Jason Gillette is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Education with the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Gillette is a member of the ASTM International F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits Committee. His research interests include biomechanics, ergonomics, and injury mechanisms. Dr. Gillette performs exoskeleton assessments using EMG and motion analysis to quantify effects on muscle activation and fatigue. He has completed exoskeleton studies in lab, manufacturing, and construction settings with companies such as Toyota, John Deere, and Granite Construction.

Joseph K. Hitt, PhD, Executive Director, Wearable Robotics Association

Dr. Hitt is recognized nationally as an expert in wearable robotic technologies and human systems participating on multiple government, private and academic panels and boards such as the Board on Army Science and Technology, the Army Basic Science Review Panel, Wearable Robotics International Workshop, and invited to be the plenary speaker at numerous conferences such as the ones held by the National Robotics Initiative, the National Defense Industrial Association, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Harvard University Smart Clothes Symposium, and ExxonMobil Wearable Technology Workshop. After serving as the director for both the Aerospace Systems and Thermodynamics Group and the Mechanical Engineering Research Center at the United States Military Academy, Dr. Hitt was invited to become a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Dr. Hitt led multiple advanced technology programs in partnership with 15 industry prime contractors, 10 subcontractors, and 10 world-class academic institutions and managed a robotics-centric program portfolio worth over $300 Million. Dr. Hitt currently serves as the CEO of GO XTUDIO, LLC, a product development company focused on wearable and robotic technologies that enhance health, performance, and quality of life. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and his B.S. in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Tom Illauer, Founder and Managing Director, Orthexo

Tom Illauer is the Founder of Orthexo, an industrial and medical exoskeleton marketplace. He has worked for 12 years as a CMO in several healthtech companies and studied marketing, banking and economics.

Arun Jayaraman, PT, PhD, Research Scientist, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Director of Global Outreach, Wearable Robotics Association.

Dr. Jayaraman is the Director of the Max Näder Center for Rehabilitation Technologies & Outcomes Research, Executive Director of the Technology & Innovation Hub (tiHUB), and a Research Scientist at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences, and Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. His research interests focus on developing and executing both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated research in rehab robotics, prosthetics, orthotics, and other assistive and adaptive technologies to treat physical disability. He specifically focuses on using quantitative outcome measures (example wearable sensors, smart phones, biomarkers etc.) to improve the real-world use of rehabilitation technology. Dr. Jayaraman’s work is currently funded by NIH, DOD, NIDILRR, NSF, Industry, and private foundations. He earned his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and his M.S. in Physical Therapy from Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

Guillaume Jones, CTO, Ora Medical

Guillaume Jones is a biomedical engineer with three years of experience at several medical device manufacturers. His areas of expertise include sensor development and software as a medical device (SaMD). He is currently CTO at Ora Medical, a startup that has brought to market a pediatric walker with dynamic weight support and is working on sensors for rehabilitation.

Tommaso Lenzi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Utah

Tommaso Lenzi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Core Faculty in the Robotics Center at the University of Utah. Previously, he was a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (2015-2016) and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University (2013-2014). Dr. Lenzi received his Ph.D. degree in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in 2012 and the MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pisa in 2008. At Utah, he directs the Bionic Engineering Lab, where he conducts research sponsored by the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Health. Dr. Lenzi received the CAREER award from NSF in 2021. His main research interests include robotics, mechatronics, and rehabilitation medicine with a major emphasis on the design and control of wearable robots for human assistance and rehabilitation. He serves as Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the International Conferences on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), and Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BIOROB). He is a member of IEEE, the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), and the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS).

Matthew Marino, Founder & CEO, Head of Performance, Prime Performance LLC

Matthew Marino is the Founder, CEO, and Head of Performance at Prime Performance LLC where he is passionate about helping people heal, improve overall health, enhance wellbeing, and perform at the highest possible levels in sports, at work, and in life. Matt is an internationally recognized expert in ergonomics, specializing in design, testing, utilization, and implementation of wearable technology, exoskeletons and exosuits in clinical and workplace environments. He became focused on medical exoskeletons in 2011, and began working with occupational exoskeletons as a consultant in 2015. In 2019 Matt joined HeroWear as the Director of Ergonomics and Human Performance where he spent three years before returning to his consulting practice. Matt has been an active member of the ASTM F48 Committee on Exoskeletons and Exosuits since its 2017 inception, and he became a founding partner of the ASTM International Exo Technology Center of Excellence in 2019, where he continues to be dedicated to building, connecting, and energizing exo technology research, standards, and applications for the good of humanity.

Brandon Martin, PhD, Engineering Consultant

W. Brandon Martin, PhD, is an Engineering Consultant with expertise in systems design and electrical engineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a focus on signals and systems from Northern Arizona University and Master of Science in Space Studies, focusing on human factors. Dr. Martin has nine years of engineering experience including system design, testing, and analysis. He currently works with Phoenix Robotics Group, Augspurger Komm Engineering, and consults for the US Space Force.

Karen Nolan, PhD, Associate Director, Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering, Kessler Foundation

Karen Nolan is Associate Director in the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering at Kessler Foundation, and Director of the Center’s Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Laboratory. She is also Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Clinical Research Scientist at Children’s Specialized Hospital, and Affiliated Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Nolan is a recognized leader in the field of biomechanics and motor rehabilitation. Her research focuses on improving neurophysiological and functional motor recovery through robotic, orthotic, and clinical interventions, and understanding the mechanisms of recovery of the central nervous system after acute and chronic brain injury. Dr. Nolan has extensive experience in leading the design and implementation of biomechanical research and expertise in balance, gait, rehabilitation robotics, and peripheral motor control. She serves as a grant reviewer for NIH, NIDILRR, and the Veterans Administration, and is a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and Wearable Robotics Association.

Sebastian Orth, CPO, Co-Founder, Orthexo

Sebastian Orth is the Co-Founder of Orthexo, an industrial and medical exoskeleton marketplace. He has worked for 10 years as the head of exoskeleton and neuro orthopedic at the biggest medical supply Store in Germany. Sebastian holds an orthopedic technology.

Ryan Porto, Technical Specialist, Ergonomics, General Motors

Ryan Porto is a Technical Specialist in Ergonomics at General Motors. Ryan received a bachelor of human kinetics and a master’s in human performance from the University of Windsor. For the past 15 years, he has worked with design and manufacturing engineering, managing new program launches in all sectors of the industry including Vehicle, Powertrain and Advanced Propulsion. Ryan leads the advancement of virtual human simulation in product and manufacturing for GM’s Global Ergonomics program. He also provides technical support to the development and implementation of evolving wearable technologies. Ryan is a Co-Chair of the Automotive Exoskeleton Group (AExG), sponsored by the Wearable Robotics Association, and is a member of the Ergonomic task force at the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).

Samuel Reimer, Ph.D., Vice President, Ottobock

Dr. Samuel Reimer is Head of North America for Ottobock’s Bionic Exoskeleton division and CEO of the newly acquired entity U.S. Bionics, Inc. (dba suitX). His focus and passion lie with clients to empower their workforce to protect their well-being and improve their quality of life with a vast exoskeleton portfolio of ergonomic solutions. Before joining Ottobock, Samuel worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. He is a graduate of Imperial College London in Biomedical Engineering and holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich with honors.

Marvyn Rieger, Key Account Manager, Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons

Marvyn Rieger is a Key Account Manager with Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons. In this role, he partners primarily with automotive OEMs on the implementation of exoskeletons, from initial trial to implementation at scale.

Urs Schneider, MD, Director, Health Urs Schneider, MD, Division Director and Department Head, Fraunhofer IPA, and Executive Director, Europe, Wearable Robotics Association

Dr. Schneider is recognized internationally as an expert in exoskeleton and prosthetics and orthotics technologies and biomechatronic research in respect to protection and treatment of the human musculoskeletal system. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in prosthetics & orthotics, rehabilitation and exoskeleton research committees in Europe and US. He serves as Director of the Health Technology Division at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart and manages the Biomechatronics Department. Dr. Schneider also serves as head of the Human Technology Interaction Department at IFF, University of Stuttgart and teaches biomechatronics at Stuttgart University. He is the initiator of WearRAcon Europe and the Exoworkathlon study format, working closely with the Wearable Robotics Association leadership.

Paul Slaughter Ph.D. Student, Center for Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology, Vanderbilt University

Paul Slaughter is a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student in the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology at Vanderbilt University where he specializes in the design and evaluation of occupational exoskeletons and exosuits. He has been deeply involved in developing and field-testing exosuits in close collaboration with U.S. Army Soldiers. Paul received the American Society of Biomechanics Undergraduate Research Award in 2019, his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2020, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2020. 

Katherine Strausser, PhD, Principal Controls Engineer, Ekso Bionics

Dr. Katherine Strausser holds a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She was one of three primary inventors of Ekso, an electro-mechanical lower extremity exoskeleton for medical applications. Ekso and its derivatives including the EksoNR have helped thousands of patients recover from neurological injuries and disorders through advanced rehabilitation technology.  Dr. Strausser is currently the Technology Lead for Exoskeletons at Ekso Bionics, where she continues to lead development of new and novel exoskeleton devices and controls strategies, with a special focus on the interaction of the users with the device.

Hao Su, PhD, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University and UNC Chapel Hill

Dr. Hao Su, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the North Carolina State University. He is also a faculty at the Joint UNC/NCSU Biomedical Engineering Department. He is the Director of Center of Assistive and Personal Robotics for Independent Living. He was a Research Scientist at Philips Research North America where he designed robots for lung surgery, and then a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. He earned his PhD degree on Surgical Robotics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Su has received numerous awards and accolades. He serves as Technical Editor of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, associate editor of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RAL), IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, and IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. He is also Editorial Advisor Board of International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery. He holds patents on surgical robotics and socially assistive robots.

Philip Sugar, Director of Strategy, Wearable Robotics Association

Phil Sugar has served in leadership positions at multiple businesses and organizations, with extensive start up and management experience at a variety of software companies. As the CFO for EnviroMetrics Software, Phil developed and implemented a sales and marketing strategy that doubled and tripled revenue in 1994 and 1995. Later, as COO of Essential Technologies, he was in charge of developing the strategic business and financing plan which included seeking out venture capital. After serving on the Board of Directors for Return Central, Inc., Phil moved on to be named the CEO of Smart Button Associates, Inc. During his tenure there, he was instrumental in growing the customer loyalty software company to have over 50 clients in the hotel and hospitality industry. Phil is currently the President of SpringActive Corporation which he helped found and currently oversees all its business activities. He received his BAS in Systems Engineering from the Moore School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BSEcon in Entrepreneurial Management from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Sugar, PE, PhD, Professor, Arizona State University and Director of Science & Technology, Wearable Robotics Association

Dr. Sugar is a Professor in the Polytechnic School, part of the Ira. A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He started the Human Machine Integration Laboratory in 1999. He is currently developing wearable leg exoskeletons that assist a person to walk and run. These systems seamlessly transition between walking and running. The lab projects have involved the development of advanced compliant actuator concepts, cutting-edge prosthetics for amputees and energy harvesting from a walking foot-soldier. Dr. Sugar received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Gray Thomas, Ph.D., Research Investigator, University of Michigan

Gray Thomas is a Research Investigator at the University of Michigan in the Robotics Department, working with Dr. Robert Gregg and collaborating with Dr. Elliott Rouse. He studies direct human control of physically interactive robots through a combination of strength amplification control, human modeling and estimation, and high-bandwidth design. In 2019 he earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked with Professor Luis Sentis on the topics of multi-contact impedance control for humanoid robots, system identification for robust control, and series elastic actuation. These early directions offered a unique perspective that led to his current research. Prior to his Ph.D., he earned his B.S. in Engineering Robotics at Olin College of Engineering in 2012. He was the recipient of the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship and Olin Full-Tuition Scholarship. Other research interests include force-feedback, series-elastic actuation, and robust control.

Duncan Treffers, Chief Growth Officer, GoX Labs

Duncan Treffers joined GoX Studio, dba GoX Labs in March 2022 as Chief Growth Officer after being Chief Sales Officer for the Dutch exoskeleton start-up, LAEVO from 2015 to 2022. While at LAEVO, Duncan introduced the first industrial passive back support exoskeleton to the world by building a network of channel partners, forming strategic partnerships with industry leaders, and presenting / demonstrating the exoskeleton at numerous conferences around the world. At GoX Studio, Duncan continues his passion to enhance the safety, health, performance, and quality of life of workers, athletes, and elderly people.

Rita Vasquez-Torres, Founder, New Stone Soup VT LLC

Rita retired from Natick Soldier Center in 2012 after 20+ years of Service. During the last 12 years of her career, she attracted and managed over 45M worth of joint RDT&E activities with strong government-industry and academia projects. She also served as government liaison for Exo and DermoSkeleton robotic technologies for military and non-military from 1998-2012. Since then, she founded a company providing consulting services, became a co-founder of the ASTM ET-CoE and has been a passionate advocate for #exosforall. 

Jason Wheeler, Ph.D., Research & Development Engineer, Sandia National Laboratories

Jason Wheeler is a Distinguished R&D Staff Member in the Robotics Group at Sandia National Laboratories. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He has led or contributed to several research projects related to prosthetics, exoskeletons, robotics, and control systems. He is currently leading a consortium exploring the use of wearable systems to improve safety for workers at U.S. Department of Energy sites.

Rob Williams, Sales Engineer, LifeBooster

Rob Williams has been working in the technology industry since 2002. Rob started their career as a GIS Technician at Elections Canada, followed by a GIS Specialist role at CriSys. In 2004, they joined Geosoft Inc. as an Account Representative and was promoted to an Account Executive in the Mining market. In 2009, they were promoted again to an Account Executive for the Energy and Government markets. In 2016, they joined Fatigue Science as an Account Executive and in 2017, they joined Intelex Technologies Inc. as a Senior Account Executive. Currently, they are a Sales Engineer at LifeBooster Inc. Rob Williams attended Queen’s University from 1997 to 2001, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Rob then attended Sir Sanford Fleming College from 2001 to 2002, studying Geographical Information System – Applications Specialist.

Steve Xu, MD, MSc, CEO, Co-founder, Board Member, Sibel Health

Steve Xu MD, MSc is a physician-engineer, board certified dermatologist, academic, and entrepreneur. He holds an appointment as the Director of Medical Research at the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University, and the Ruth K. Freinkel, MD, Professorship in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University. Dr. Xu has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, which include works in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, he is an inventor on 15 pending and granted patents in the fields of digital health, medical device development, and medical innovation as an MIT 35 Under 35 honoree (Class of 2022). He is currently on leave from his academic position at Northwestern University to serve as the CEO of Sibel Health where he is also a cofounder and board member. To date, Sibel has raised more than $50 million USDs, launched ICU-grade wearable sensors in more than 20 countries, and monitored more than 14,000 individuals worldwide.

Aaron Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Georgia Tech

Dr. Aaron Young is an Associate Professor and Woodruff Faculty Fellow in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech and has directed the Exoskeleton and Prosthetic Intelligent Controls (EPIC) lab since 2016. Dr. Young received his MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on neural and rehabilitation engineering from Northwestern University in 2011 and 2014 respectively. He received a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University in 2009. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan in the Human Neuromechanics Lab working with lower limb exoskeletons and powered orthoses to augment human performance. His research area is in advanced control systems for robotic prosthetic and exoskeleton systems for human movement augmentation. He combines machine learning, robotics, human biomechanics, and control systems to design wearable robots to improve the community mobility of individuals with walking disability. He has received an NIH New Innovator Award, NIH NCMRR New Investigator award and IEEE New Faces of Engineering award, and his EPIC lab group recently won the International VIP Consortium Innovation Competition. He has over 50 peer-reviewed journal publications primarily in IEEE and ASME journals and is an associate editor for the Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) journal.

Karl Zelik, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University

Karl Zelik is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he co-directs the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology. He is also Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of HeroWear, a workforce wearables company that makes back-relieving exosuits to support workers in logistics, manufacturing, and other physically demanding jobs. Dr. Zelik serves on the Board of a non-profit called the American Bionics Project, which seeks to accelerate the development and adoption of revolutionary new technologies for people with lower-limb disabilities. His overarching mission is to improve health, mobility, and independence for individuals with physical disabilities and to enhance human performance and well-being through advances in movement science and assistive technology.