Information for Interested Students

We would like to provide some helpful information for prospective students interested in research at the BioRobotics Lab.  Due to a high volume of interest in our lab, it may not be possible to get an individual response from one of our principal investigators or current graduate students.  Please read the appropriate page below FIRST, before sending an e-mail, and try to be as specific as possible with the name of the project you’re interested in working on.  Thanks!

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

Prof. Sam Burden and team (2017-2018 edition)

  • Benjamin Chasnov was appointed to the Computational Neuroscience Training Program in Sep. 2018
  • Liam Han defended his Masters thesis in Mechanical Engineering in June 2018. Liam’s dissertation was titled “Automating perturbation experiments for a hopping robot using a cable-driven impedance haptic system“. He is now working at Amyris as an automation engineer in Emeryville, CA.
  • Tianqi Li defended his Masters thesis in Mechanical Engineering in June 2018. Tianqi’s dissertation was titled “Experimental realization of deadbeat control on a hybrid model of legged locomotion“. He has started his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M in Fall 2018.
  • Alyssa Giedd and Clara Orndorff received the UWIN undergraduate fellowship in May 2018
  • Alyssa Giedd also received a CSNE UW Undergraduate Fellowship in May 2018
  • Momona Yamagami will be publishing a conference paper in Cyber-physical-human systems in Dec 2018 (Please click link for the abstract)
  • Momona Yamagami received a WRF Innovation Graduate Fellowship in Neuroengineering in Aug 2017

Fall 2017 Acheivements!

2017 Rudolph Kalman Best Paper Award – We are proud to announce that a paper co-authored by Prof. Howard Chizeck received the 2017 Rudolph Kalman Best Paper Award presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this year. The paper titled “Electromechanical Modeling and Adaptive Feedforward Control of a Self-Sensing Scanning Fiber Endoscope” can be publicly accessed here. You can also find a news article about the award on the EE website.

EE Research Day Poster (1st Prize) – Andrew Haddock won a $5000 prize during the Electrical Engineering Research Day Poster session.

Deep Brain Stimulation research from BRL is on the news!

Prof. Howard Chizeck and students of the BioRobotics Lab have developed a method to deliver targeted treatment to people suffering from Essential Tremors using brain signals. They combined electrodes on top of the brain to sense movement in the parts of the body that experience essential tremor, along with a deep brain electrode, to deliver stimulation only when it’s needed.

Here are a few articles from the news:

Top story on NSF’s Science 360 website (June 29):;jsessionid=442F66BBC864503F62F1748A5018342B Direct link:

National Science Foundation website:

Neuroscience News:

UW Today:

My Science:

Health and Medicine News:

E Science News:

Jersey Tribune:


Science and Technology Research News:

Science Daily:


BioRobotics Lab at Awesome Con!

Over the weekend, Ph.D. students Katherine Pratt and Timothy Brown attended Awesome Con, Washington DC’s Comic Con. They were panelists for a session titled “THE HUMAN-TECHNOLOGY FRONTIER: TO ENHANCEMENT AND BEYOND?” at Future Con, a science and technology celebration inside Awesome Con to discuss the intersection of science, engineering and science fiction. They were joined by Dr. Dan Cosley and moderator Dr. Suveen Mathaudhu for a discussion about the cutting-edge research in engineering, computer science, materials, biology, and the social and ethical implications of our increasingly technologically advanced lives. A huge shoutout to the National Science Foundation for making this event possible!

Check out some of the pictures from Future Con, courtesy of Kevin Pratt.

Panelists (L to R): Dr. Suveen Mathaudhu, Tim Brown, Katherine Pratt, Dr. Dan Cosley
Star Talk Live (L to R): Scott Adsit, Katherine Pratt (Woohoo!)  and Colonel Chris Hadfield


Katherine and Tim sharing their wealth of knowledge with Future Con attendees!

Congratulations to our graduates!

The BioRobotics Lab had a total of 10 students graduating with their degrees during the Spring of 2017. Nava Aghdasi, Danying Hu, Kevin Huang and Mohammad Haghighipanah graduated with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Brady Houston with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Muneaki Miyasaka with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and Jacob Baldassini, Niveditha Kalavakonda, Kyle Lindgren and Yana Sosnovskaya with an M.S in Electrical Engineering. Congratulations to all our graduates on successfully defending their thesis and graduating with their respective degrees!

                                        Some of our graduates with Prof. Blake Hannaford (Picture Courtesy: Pegah Hassanzadeh)


Ethics in Neural Engineering

CSNE just published an article about work in Neural Engineering done at the BioRobotics Lab. It introduces the importance of having conversations about Neuroethics and the role of our Philosophy Ph.D. student and CSNE member Tim Brown at the lab. Check out the article here.

An article co-authored by Ph.D. student Katherine Pratt on work done in neuroethics and neural security was published on The Conversation. You can read the article at this link.

BRL Summer Plans!

Our students are going great places this summer!

  • Maggie Thompson is headed to two internships, with Draper Labs this summer and then Northrup Grumman in the fall
  • Tim Brown received a predoctoral fellowship through Humanities Without Borders (learn more here and here)
  • Katherine Pratt is going to be an intern with the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the ACLU’s office in Seattle, WA
  • Kyle Lindgren is going to be an intern with the Army Research Laboratory this summer

BRL in the News

BluHaptics, a spinoff from the BioRobotics Lab, just received $1.3 million in Series A funding from a group of Seattle investors to help it develop a commercial product for delivery later this year.  Check out the coverage from these area journals:


Congrats to BRL professor Blake Hannaford on being named an Amazon Catalyst Fellow.  Read the full article here.


BRL alumnus Fredrik Ryden was featured by UW CoMotion for his work as a Commercialization fellow.  Read more here.

Fredrik and fellow BRL alumnus Charlie Matlack (founder of startup PotaVida) were panel members to prospective EE graduate students as they visited campus last week, discussing how the university supports entrepreneurship.

Winter Quarter Accomplishments, part 2

We’ve had many papers and conference submissions accepted!

-Two papers accepted to the 8th International IEEE Conference on Neural Engineering in Shanghai, China, May 25-28, 2017:

A. Haddock, A. Velisar, J. Herron, H. Bronte-Stewart, H. J. Chizeck, “Model Predictive Control of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinsonian Tremor”

B. Houston, M. Thompson, J. Ojemann, A. Ko, H. Chizeck, “Classifier Based Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor”

-Paper accepted to be published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters:

M. Haghighipanah; M. Miyasaka; B. Hannaford, “Utilizing Elasticity of Cable Driven Surgical Robot to Estimate Cable Tension and External Force,” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1-1

-Paper accepted to the Hybrid System Control Conference (HSCC):

A. Pace, S. Burden, “Piecewise–Differentiable Trajectory Outcomes in Mechanical Systems Subject to Unilateral Constraints”

-Paper accepted to the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

A. Pace, S. Burden, “Decoupled limbs yield differentiable trajectory outcomes through intermittent contact in locomotion and manipulation”

Winter Quarter Accomplishments, part 1

As winter quarter draws to a close, we’d like to highlight some of the achievements of our students:


Danying Hu passed her dissertation defense and is now Dr Hu




Junjie Yan passed his general exam










Maggie Thompson passed her general exam





Tyson Heo passed his masters thesis defense!





Also, BRL alums Hannah Werbel (left) and Evan Wang (right) were both awarded Undergraduate Medalists!  Read more about them here.

Congrats to all!