Soft Materials Robotics

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

As of 10/4/2016, the program is no longer accepting applicants for IGERT traineeships. However, Tufts University faculty and graduate students continue to do ground-breaking work in the field of Soft Material Robotics. If you are interested in doing graduate research at Tufts University in Soft Material Robotics or in any of its adjunct disciplines, please visit the website.

Soft Material Robotics is rooted in biomimetics. The concepts and solutions are inspired by animals that have already evolved desirable capabilities. However, rather than replicating natural designs, the engineered devices will use discoveries in biology to invent new materials, structures and controls. These findings can be incorporated into existing machines to make them more robust and adaptable. In the long-term, we envision that this approach will even extend to using living systems to assemble, actuate and power moving devices. Living cells contain the instructions and mechanisms to build their own nano-scale structures and then to self assemble into complete tissues and organisms. Using molecular, cell and tissue engineering, these capabilities can be controlled to produce an entirely new type of organic machine. 
To produce such machines, we need interdisciplinary scientists and engineers who have depth and breadth of knowledge in a range of fields, including biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer science, and are comfortable working in a highly collaborative manner on high-innovation, high-risk projects. 

Learn more about the NSF | IGERT Program in Soft Material Robotics


Barry A. Trimmer
Ph.D. , University of Cambridge, England
Neurobiology: Cellular and Molecular Processes in Behavior
Christopher Börgers
Ph.D. , New York University
Mathematical neuroscience and applied dynamical systems
Luis Dorfmann
P.E., Ph.D. , University of California, Los Angeles
Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Mathematical Models of Material Behavior, Nonlinear Magneto- and Electromechanical Interactions, Biomechanics of Soft Materials, Rubber Elasticity and Inelasticity.
Soha Hassoun
Ph.D. , Washington
Computational Methods for Systems Biology and Metabolic Engineering, Computer-Aided Design for Integrated Circuits
David Kaplan
Department Chair and Stern Family Professor of Engineering
Ph.D. , Syracuse University
Biopolymer Engineering, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, Bioengineering
Valencia Joyner Koomson
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Cambridge
Design of Silicon-Based Mixed-Mode VLSI Systems (Analog, Digital, RF, Optical), Analog Signal Processing, Optoelectronic System-on-Chip Modeling and Integration for Applications in Optical Wireless Communication and Biomedical Imaging
Gary G. Leisk
Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Tufts University
Machine Design, Non-Destructive Testing
Michael Levin
Ph.D. , Harvard Medical School
Morphological and behavioral information processing in living systems
William Messner
John R. Beaver Professor
Ph.D. , University of California at Berkeley
Automatic Control Systems with an Emphasis on Applications to Data Storage Systems, Robotics, Microfluidics, Biological Systems and Instrumentation
Jason Rife
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Navigation, Robotics, Controls
Chris B. Rogers
Department Chair and Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Robotics, Musical Instrument Design, Engineering Education
Matthias Scheutz
Professor and Program Director
Ph.D. , Indiana University
Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, Cognitive Modeling, Complex Systems, Foundations of Cognitive Science, Human-Robot Interaction, Multi-scale Agent-based Models, Natural Language Processing
Igor Sokolov
Ph.D. , The Mendeleev Institute of Metrology
Nanomechanics of Cells, Molecules, Polymers; Photonic Sensors; Soft Condensed Matter and Biomedical Research; Energy-Related Materials and Sustainability, Surface Science and Engineering
Sameer Sonkusale
Ph.D. , University of Pennsylvania
Integrated Circuits for Sensors and Instrumentation, Nanoelectrochemical Systems on Silicon, CMOS Image Sensors for Scientific Imaging, Analog to Information Converters, Active Metamaterial Circuits and Systems, Terahertz Integrated Circuits, Metamaterials and Plasmonics
Samuel W. Thomas III
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Organic, Surface Chemistry, and Materials Science
Eric D. Tytell
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Biomechanics and Neural Control of Locomotion
Robert D. White
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Michigan
Micro- and Nano- electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), Sensors, Dynamic System Modeling, Acoustics, Vibrations
Qiaobing Xu
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Biomaterials, drug delivery, micro/nanofabrication, tissue engineering

For more information, contact the Soft Material Robotics Program Director, Professor Barry Trimmer.

Soft Material Robotics
200 Boston Ave., Suite 2600
Department of Biology
School of Arts and Sciences
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.8739
Fax: 617.627.0909