Elliott J. Rouse, PhD

Dr. Rouse is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Neurobionics Lab. The vision of his group is to discover the fundamental science that underlies human joint dynamics during locomotion and incorporate these discoveries in a new class of wearable robotic technologies. The Lab uses technical tools from mechanical and biomedical engineering applied to the complex challenges of human augmentation, physical medicine, rehabilitation and neuroscience. Dr. Rouse and his research have been featured at TED, on the Discovery Channel, CNN, National Public Radio, Wired Magazine UK, Business Insider, and Odyssey Magazine.

Dr. Rouse is a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation  Society and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, as well as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a member of the IEEE EMBS Technical Committee on Biorobotics, and is on the Editorial Board of  RESNA’s Assistive Technology journal. He is dedicated to effective student mentoring and training, as well as translating his research to the public through entrepreneurship; he holds patents for the design and control of wearable robotic systems.

Dr. Rouse received the BS degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University in 2007, and the MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Subsequently, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Fellow, working with the Biomechatronics Group in the MIT Media Lab. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Dr. Rouse was faculty in the School’s of Medicine and Engineering at Northwestern University, and a Research Scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the RIC). More information can be found on his personal website.

Doctoral Students

University of Michigan

Alejandro F. Azocar, MS     Mechanical Engineering

Alejandro received a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, Alejandro worked in the Land, Air, and Space Robotics (LASR) Lab; Vehicle Systems and Control Lab (VSCL); and the Advanced Mechanical Bipedal Experimental Robotics (AMBER) Lab. In addition to research, Alejandro completed six internships at NASA Johnson Space Center. His current research interests include the design and control of prostheses and exoskeletons, human-machine interaction, and rehabilitation of pathological gait.

Alejandro is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a GEM Associate Fellow. He is the 2015 recipient of the Sigma Gamma Tau Ammon S. Andes National Award, recognizing him as the top aerospace engineering student in the United States. He also received the 2013 NASA Aeronautics Scholarship. More information can be found on his personal website.

Ung Hee (Jordan) Lee, BS     Mechanical Engineering

Ung Hee is a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. His research interests include control of robots and robot programming, human & robot perception, and developing prosthetics using brain-machine interfaces. Ung Hee received a B.S. degree in Physics from Korea University in 2015. While he was in Korea, he worked in rehabilitation robotics research at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Before joining the Neurobionics Lab, he worked in the Automotive Research Center at the University of Michigan from 2016 to 2017 and interned in Fetch Robotics Inc., as a robotics software engineer during Summer 2017.

 Yves Nazon II, MS     Mechanical Engineering

Yves Nazon II received the BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and the MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. During his time as an undergraduate student he participated in the Meyerhoff Scholars and the MARC U*STAR trainee programs, became a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, worked in the Energy Harvesting & Design Optimization Lab under the direction of Dr. Soobum Lee, and did summer research at Purdue University, MIT, and University of Southern California. Yves has been named an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a GEM University Fellow. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and is interested in the control of exoskeletons. 

Northwestern University

Max Shepherd, MS     Biomedical Engineering

Max is a PhD candidate interested in improving stroke mobility with wearable robotics.  Max graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina, where he studied biomedical engineering. Before coming to Northwestern, he interned at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, and Walt Disney Imagineering/Disney Research. In his spare time, he climbs, plays ultimate, designs furniture, plays in a bluegrass band, and designs model prosthetics with Lego.


Amanda Shorter, MS     Biomedical Engineering

Amanda Shorter received her BAS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada in 2015, and her MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA, in 2017.  As an undergraduate student, she worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Center for Image Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention. Her work focused on the mechanical design of pediatric neurosurgical continuum robots. Amanda was recognized as the 2015 Sandford Fleming Foundation Award recipient for her outstanding contributions throughout her multiple work placements. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. Her primary research interests include changes to the biomechanics and neural control of movement in the presence of pathology, and applications in the design and control of assistive technologies and rehabilitation. 

Andrew Vigotsky, BS     Biomedical Engineering

Andrew graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University, with a BS in Kinesiology, where he also completed research in the Movement Analysis Laboratory, in addition to interning for a local sports scientist, Dr. Bret Contreras. Before attending Northwestern, Andrew interned in the Leon Root, MD Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Hospital for Special Surgery, in addition to the Human Performance Laboratory at CUNY Lehman. His primary research interests pertain to the relationship between muscle structure and function; his current work focuses on quantifying muscular contributions to joint stiffness by combining dynamometric measures of joint stiffness with shear-wave ultrasound. 

Master’s Students

University of Michigan

Rachel Harris, BS     Robotics

Rachel received her BS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. As an undergraduate, she worked with the Man Vehicle Lab to study differences in surface electromyography during premeditated and reactionary movements. She also completed internships with Insitu and Northrop Grumman designing payload mounts for small unmanned aircraft and developing software tools for damage assessment and fleet tracking. She is now a graduate student at the University of Michigan, pursuing a Master’s in Robotics. Her current research interests include machine learning and control for rehabilitative robotics and robotic prostheses. Recently, she has been working with the Neurobionics Lab to design a new motion controller and electronics package for a variable stiffness prosthetic ankle. 

Chien-Wen (Wayne) Pan, BS     Robotics

Wayne is an MS student in Robotics at the University of Michigan. His interests include design, modeling, and control of wearable robots and mechatronic systems. Currently, he is working on a soft actuator for exoskeletons. Wayne received a BS in Aeronautics and Astronautic Engineering at the National Cheng Kung University. After he graduated, he worked developing a 3D printer for bio-compatible materials as a research assistant in National Taiwan University.

Brandon Peterson, BS, BA     Robotics

Brandon received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, he worked on two robotics teams in UF’s Machine Intelligence Lab. His contributions focused on path planning and computer vision tasks for a small ground robot and an autonomous submarine. He also conducted research on an interdisciplinary project in the mathematics and biology departments, which focused on the leaf economics of plant species with different life-history strategies. Further, he completed a Player Development/Baseball Operations internship with the New York Mets in St. Lucie, FL. He is now a first-year student at the University of Michigan, pursuing a Master’s in Robotics. His current interests lie at the intersection of robotics and medicine, with the overall goal of developing robots for the greater good.


Hashim Quraishi, BS     Biomedical Engineering (TU Delft)

Hashim is a Master’s student in Biomedical Engineering from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. In the last year of his Bachelor’s he studied for a semester in Lund, Sweden and afterward received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft. In his first year as a Master’s student, Hashim worked as a Mechanical Engineer for Project MARCH, which is a student team dedicated to making an exoskeleton for paraplegics. His current professional interests include research and prototyping in the fields of medical instruments, rehabilitation, and prosthetics for both the upper and lower extremities. 

Hashim believes that studying and working abroad will assist him in his journey of becoming a better engineer and helping people. Besides gaining professional experience, it also allows him to travel and experience foreign cultures.

Northwestern University

Alex Wind, BS     Biomedical Engineering

Alex received a BS in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he also studied Computer Science. As an undergraduate, he worked for NorthShore University Health System in both the SIM Lab, where he developed a vasectomy simulation module, and the Neurogynecobiology Laboratory where he contributed to the development of a device to measure blood-oxygen levels of muscle and deep tissue in real time. At The University of Chicago, he helped develop algorithms to predict long-term incidences of type-II diabetes complications. He is also interested in Sociology, specifically Social Stratification, and performed research investigating the causes and effects of unequal access to justice in the United States. Alex loves to play pinball, watch Star Trek, and is currently pursuing his MS in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University where his primary research interest is studying the role of joint impedance and control in lower limb biomechanics.


Postdocs Master’s Students
 Timothy Reissman (Assistant Professor, University of Dayton) Ricki Irwin- Robotics (Controls Engineer, HDT Robotics)
  Christopher Nesler- BME (Research Engineer, UT Dallas)  
   Jeff Lee- BME (Product Development Engineer, Smith & Nephew)
  Claire Melvin- ME (NPI Manufacturing Engineer, Intuitive Surgical)