Brenna Argall, PhD
Lab Director

Dr. Argall is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Northwestern University. Her research lies at the intersection of robotics autonomy, machine learning and human rehabilitation. She is director of the assistive & rehabilitation robotics laboratory (argallab) at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC, now the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab), the nation’s premier rehabilitation hospital. The mission of the argallab is to advance human ability by leveraging robotics autonomy.

Argall is a 2016 recipient of the NSF CAREER award, and was named one of the 40 under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business. Her Ph.D. in Robotics (2009) was received from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was a member of the CORAL Research Group. Her B.S. in Mathematics (2002) also was received from Carnegie Mellon, where she minored in Music and Biological Sciences. Prior to joining Northwestern and RIC, she was a postdoctoral fellow (2009-2011) in the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Prior to graduate school she held a Computational Biology position in the Laboratory of Brain & Cognition at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Personal website and Email contact: brenna.argall at northwestern.edu

Tem Gebrekristos
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Tem is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Norhtwestern University. He attended Caltech from 2012 to 2017 and graduated with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, he worked on two short research projects for Chiara Daraio. One project was at Caltech as part of the Freshman Summer Research Institute in 2012. It focused on the dynamic properties of carbon nanotubes. The other project was at ETH Zurich in 2014 and focused on characterization of novel bio-composite materials. In 2015, he had an internship with Rockwell Collins, an aerospace company in Orange Country, CA where he performed tolerance analyses on components of the throttle system for aircraft. After graduation, from 2017 to 2018, Tem worked as a field engineer for a company in Monrovia, CA called Amada Miyachi America that manufactures and maintains welding machines.

Email contact: tem at u.northwestern.edu

Deepak Gopinath, MS
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Deepak is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Northwestern University. He completed his B.Tech in Engineering Physics from IIT Bombay in 2003, after which he moved to Boston, USA to pursue a Professional Diploma in Music, at Berklee College of Music majoring in Composition and Jazz Performance. Prior to coming to Northwestern, he pursued a Master’s in Music Technology at Georgia Tech under Dr. Gil Weinberg where he worked in the field of Robotic Musicianship. His current interests are in robotic manipulation and shared autonomy in assistive, rehabilitation and augmentation robotics.

Email contact: deepakgopinathmusic at gmail.com

Vishwajeet Karmarkar

MS Student, Mechanical Engineering

Vishwajeet is a Masters student in the Mechanical Engineering department at Northwestern University. He received his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pune, India. Prior to joining Northwestern he had a startup called 12C Composites that provided manufacturing solutions for Carbon Fiber composites. He has also worked for an Electric vehicle company where he developed IOT products. His research interests lie in machine learning, perception systems, and navigation for robotics. He is particularly interested in exploring techniques to leverage simulation platforms for improving real-world assistive robotics.

Personal website and Email contact: vishwajeet at u.northwestern.edu

Jongmin Lee, MS

PhD Student, Computer Science

Jongmin Lee is a PhD student in the computer science department at Northwestern University. He first joined argallab in the fall of 2019 and has since been affiliated with the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Broadly, his current research interests include human—robot collaboration, shared autonomy, and motor learning and control, with an emphasis in assistive and rehabilitation robotics and artificial intelligence. He holds a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech.

Email contact: jmlee at u.northwestern.edu

Christopher Miller
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Chris is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at Northwestern University. He received his bachelor’s, with honors, in electrical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 2016. While at Penn State, he was a member of the Intelligent Vehicles and Systems Group where he developed their autonomous wheelchair platform. His prior work focused on safe assistive robotics hardware development and model-based energy state estimation for smart wheelchairs. After graduation, Chris worked as an electrical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) designing components for and leading electrical system design on both US DoD/DARPA and industry-sponsored projects. Presently, his research interests include developing improved assistive robots and shared control strategies for assistive robotics used in rehabilitation.

Personal website, LinkedIn and Email contact: chris.x.miller at u.northwestern.edu

Mahdieh Nejati, MS
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Mahdieh is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Northwestern University. She received her B.E. (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and her M.S. in Robotics from Northwestern University. She has worked at several robotics labs and startups in New Zealand and the US. She has experience working with smart material, wearable devices, and surgical platforms. She co-invented fabric sensors while at StretchSense Inc., helping expand the product line to wearable applications. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, novel sensing and control strategies and robotics with applications in assistive devices, rehabilitation and medical robotics. She is particularly interested in developing novel algorithms for assistive robotics to introduce learning from non-experts and non-task-experts to robot autonomy and learning to platforms such as wheelchairs and robotic arms.

Personal website and Email contact: m.nejati at u.northwestern.edu

Andrew Thompson, MS
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Andrew is a doctoral candidate in the Mechanical Engineering department at Northwestern University. He received his B.S. in Physics alongside a B.A. in Folklore & Ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2017. In 2019, he received an M.S. in Robotics from Northwestern University. During his Master’s, he worked on projects involving gait dynamics for legged machines, the design and fabrication of soft actuators, and the development of a novel SEA for eventual use in rehabilitative exoskeletons. Andrew’s research interests are primarily focused with the design and analysis of joint human-robot systems with an emphasis on addressing the user at their particular level of need.

Email contact: andrewthompson2019 at u.northwestern.edu

Michael Young, MS
PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering

Michael is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Northwestern University. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2013 and 2016, respectively. During his Master’s, he simultaneously worked in the TEES Division of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization where he supported the commercialization of research-based technologies. Michael is also cofounder of LifeMotion Technologies, a startup looking to help restore mouth function to oral cancer survivors using a robotic technology. His current research interest lies in the development of assistive and rehabilitative robotic technologies, with special interest in shared autonomy between robot and user.

Personal website and Email contact: michaelyoung.aero at gmail.com

Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows
Ahmetcan Erdogan, PhD

[ April 2015 — August 2017 ]

Graduate Students
Alexander Broad, PhD
 
Siddarth Jaini, PhD
 
Pascal Egli

Visiting Masters Student, ETH-Zurich

 

Matthew Derry, MS

[June 2019]

 

[June 2019]

 

[ Winter 2016 — Summer 2016 ]

 

[ Winter 2012 — Summer 2015 ]

Undergraduate Students
Abenezer Mekete

Cornell University

Marc Gyongyosi

 

Brian Zhan

 

Christian Ingham

University of Maryland, Baltimore County  

 

Bryanna Yeh

 

Katherine Lin

[Summer 2019]

 

[ Fall 2014 — Spring 2017 ]  

 

[ Winter 2016 — Fall 2016 ]  

 

[ Summer 2016 ]    

 

[ Winter 2015 — Spring 2016 ]  

 

[ Winter 2015 — Spring 2016 ]

© argallab