Prospective/Incoming Students and Postdocs

I love my job. Even though there are some things I wish I didn’t have to do (e.g., all the paperwork :), I love doing innovative research in surgical robotics and teaching students everything I know about mechatronics, robotics, haptics, and human-centered modeling.

The most satisfaction that I get in my job is being able to mentor and train someone who wants to pursue a career in robotics research. Watching them grow into an independent, critically thinking, and successful individual gives me great joy. That’s not to say that I’m perfect at it and it’s guarantee that all my students and postdocs (most of whom never really needed to be in my lab in the first place, but we did have some fun!) will find great success, but helping you achieve your dream in robotics is the most important thing that I want to do.

I am best at advising students who are eager to be independent, naturally curious and creative, and fearless to try something new. I understand that sometimes it’s hard knowing what you want to do with your professional life so I also try to provide smaller, more manageable goals as you work through the process of finding a passion. I also understand that research topics that I’m passionate about may not always fit with what you might want to do. For that reason, I try to meet with students a few times before committing them to a project to make sure we have a good fit and potential.


For UG/MS students already at UT Austin. Please reach out! If I don’t write back to invite you to the next lab meeting, email me again, or just show up! (AHG 2.302). I get a lot of emails and do miss some. Don’t take the lack of a response as an indicator that I’m not willing to let you join the lab.


For PhD students, please first apply to your preferred UT graduate program and list my name in your research statement. Please then email after the application has been submitted with information about what program you submitted the application to. It is much easier for me to see applications in Mechanical Engineering so if you applied to another department and would like to join my lab, please make sure I am aware so that I can request to review your application.

It is not my policy to intervene with the normal review process for students, but I do try to reach out to applicants who I think could be a good fit for my lab in December/January to set up a short meeting to discuss opportunities. There is a chance I might miss someone so please be proactive if you are interested in joining our lab. I am open to students who want to work in all aspects of surgical and medical robotics, and in particular am hoping to build more strength in the lab related to controls and hardware/design as we have been focusing a lot on human modeling and analysis in the past.  I think we made great progress in those areas so it’s time to take what we learned to create a new class of human-adaptive and intelligent surgical robots!


For postdocs, open positions will be posted here but there are sometimes opportunities not associated with an open call. If you want to know if I’m taking anyone right now, just ask and use [Postdoc Inquiry] in the subject line (send emails to: I typically don’t respond to requests that are outside my research area and I will write back to you if I think there is a good fit.

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