About Me

Mechanical Engineering PhD Candidate at Stanford University

I am a second-year PhD candidate at Stanford interested in mission-driven research and development at the intersection of biomechanics, robotics, psychology, and neuroscience. For the past few years, I have been studying and experimenting with ideas for developing assistive technologies for people with limited mobility.

In high school, I became interested in brain-computer interfacing (BCI). Starting junior year, I worked on a project with the aim of controlling various robot manipulation and locomotion tasks via brainwaves. I built and programmed a life-size humanoid and robotic wheelchair and experimented with electroencephalography (EEG) for controlling them. This work exposed me to various topics including signal processing, natural language modeling, robot control, and system design.

At Olin College of Engineering, I initiated a research study on BCI with Professor Sam Michalka. Her expertise in neuroscience has been instrumental in shaping my work in the area since then. Under her supervision, I helped form a research group and assisted in setting up the Human Augmentation Laboratory (HAL), a space dedicated to neuroscience R&D activities at Olin. For the following four years, I continued to work as a research assistant at HAL. My BCI research has entailed using medical-grade EEG technologies for robust classification of various mental states. This also gave me an opportunity to study the theory and implementation of signal processing and machine learning techniques.

From 2017 to 2019, I also assisted Professor Jon Adler in a psychology research project on narrative identity. This work investigated the relationship between the body and mind at the intersection of disability studies and personality psychology. In addition to providing a new perspective on assistive technologies, this experience has helped me hone my research skills pertaining to data collection, analysis, and interpretation using both qualitative and quantitative metrics.

Further, the project-based curriculum at Olin enabled me to invest time and effort to study several BCI-related areas including linear algebra, artificial intelligence, and user-oriented design, in the context of hands-on projects. In this website, I have highlighted a few of my project outcomes. Since moving to Stanford, my graduate coursework has spanned biomechanics, robotics, automatic controls, neurotechnology, and psychology. These areas have provided a foundation for my interdisciplinary research in exoskeleton-assisted gait.

I now work in the Stanford Biomechatronics Laboratory under the advisment of Professor Steve Collins. In my first two years, I have assisted in a study that compared the energetic benefits of walking with one-, two-, and three-joint lower-limb exoskeleton assistance. I then designed and conducted a human-subjects study aimed to improve energy economy and walking speed for older adults. This work entailed the novel formulation of multi-objective human-in-the-loop optimization and resulted in the greatest reduction is energetic cost of transport thus far reported for older adults' exoskeleton-assisted gait.

As I continue to pursue my PhD, I will continue my R&D activities in assistive technologies with an eye toward its theoretical foundations. I hope to further deepen my technical knowledge, learn from active researchers in the field, and participate directly in the state-of-the-art biomechatronics work. My ultimate goal is to build and transform technology into ubiquitous tools in the service of augmenting mobility for people across the globe.