People

Nitin Sharma

Professional Biography: Nitin Sharma received the B.E. degree in Industrial Engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, India, in 2004, and the M.S. degree and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, in 2008 and 2010 respectively. He was an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. From 2012-2017, he was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, and promoted to an Associate Professor in 2018. In 2019, he joined the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University-Raleigh and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has won O. Hugo Schuck Award for the Best Application Paper from the 2008 American Control Conference. His research in hybrid exoskeletons is funded by NSF awards and NIH. His awards include NSF CAREER Award in 2018, IEEE Control Systems Technology Award 2019, and NIBIB Trailblazer Award in 2021.

Research Interests: His research interests include the modeling, optimization, and control of functional electrical stimulation (FES), hybrid exoskeletons that combine FES and a powered exoskeleton. His research group has recently started looking into using ultrasound imaging-derived sensing signals to address human-robot interaction problems in rehabilitation.

Email: nsharm23@ncsu.edu

RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

Albert Dodson

Albert Dodson received his BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University in 2010. Before enrolling at Pitt, he worked in industry as a Mechanical Engineer for a company that designs flight simulators for commercial and military applications. He graduated with an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Pitt in 2017 and his MS thesis is titled “A Novel User-Controlled Assisted Standing Control System for a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis.”

Albert works as a Research Associate for Professor Sharma’s Neuromuscular Control and Robotics Laboratory. His research contributions include advancing the mechatronic and controls design for the Exoskeleton Project and acting as a co-contributor for the Unilateral Exoskeleton Project.

Email: aedodson@ncsu.edu

PhD STUDENTS

Ziyue Sun

Ziyue Sun received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He then went to the graduate program, pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He is doing research in reinforcement learning.

Email: zsun32@ncsu.edu

Qiang Zhang

Qiang Zhang received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Wuhan University in 2014, and then received his M.S. in Mechatronic Engineering from Wuhan University in 2017. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Sharma. His research focuses on control of hybrid walking extremity exoskeleton combining FES and motor, and IMU based nonlinear gait estimation during hybrid walking.

Email: qzhang25@ncsu.edu

Ashwin Iyer

Ashwin graduated from Pitt with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Computer Science in 2017. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering focusing on control methods using ultrasound imaging.

Email: aiyer3@ncsu.edu

Krysten Lambeth

Krysten Lambeth graduated from Salem College in 2019 with a B.S. in Mathematics and is now pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.  Her research is focused on synergy-inspired control of walking with a hybrid exoskeleton.

Email: kflambet@ncsu.edu

Mayank Singh

Mayank received his B.Tech. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Delhi Technological University (New Delhi, India) in 2018, and is now pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering at NC State University. He is interested in advancing rehabilitation assistive devices for mobility in impaired individuals. His research focuses on developing reinforcement learning and MPC based data-driven control methods for lower limb rehabilitation.

Email: msingh25@ncsu.edu

MASTERS STUDENTS

Surendar Kotte

Surendar Kotte graduated from the National Institute of Technology, India with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree specializing in Robotics and Control systems. His thesis work focuses on characterizing Neuromusculoskeleton system for Tremor study.

Email: skotte@ncsu.edu

DOCTORAL ALUMNI

Zhiyu Sheng (2021)

Dissertation: Ultrasound Imaging for Assessment of Muscle Contractility and Estimation of FES-Induced Fatigue in a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis (published to Pitt ETD in 2022)

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zhiyu-Sheng

Current Affiliation: Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Vahidreza Molazadeh (2020)

Dissertation: Iterative Learning Control Methods for Hybrid Wearable Robots (published to Pitt ETD in 2022)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vahidreza-molazadeh-6b33a1b6/

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/2141080435_Vahidreza_Molazadeh

Current Affiliation: Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD

Xuefeng Bao (2019)

Dissertation: Robust and Adaptive Optimal Control Methods for a Hybrid Neuroprosthesis.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bao-xuefeng-a7924a80

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/2113589807_Xuefeng_Bao

Current Affiliation: Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Naji Alibeji, Ph.D. (2017)

Dissertation: “A Human Motor Control-Inspired Control System for a Walking Hybrid Neuroprosthesis”

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/naji-alibeji-312248139

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Naji_Alibeji

Current Affiliation: Senior Development Engineer, Acutronic USA, Pittsburgh, PA

Nicholas Kirsch, Ph.D. (2016)

Dissertation: “Control Methods for Compensation and Inhibition of Muscle Fatigue in Neuroprosthetic Devices”

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-kirsch-b9b9b7a2

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicholas_Kirsch

Current Affiliation: senior Robotics Engineer, IAM Robotics, Pittsburgh, PA

MASTERS ALUMNI

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Natalie Fragnito

Noor Hakam

Utkarsh Kumaran

Tahia Monjuli

Ali Myers

Claire Weibking