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Robert J. Wood approved for promotion to tenured full professor

Harvard President Drew Faust has approved Robert J. Wood for promotion to the role of full professor with tenure at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Wood, a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute, is founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory, which leverages expertise in microfabrication for the development of biologically inspired robots. His teamÍs project to develop robotic flying insects received an NSF Expeditions in Computing Award in 2009.

Wyss Core Faculty member Robert Wood

He completed his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees working with Professor Ron Fearing in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

His current research interests involve the creation of biologically inspired aerial and ambulatory microrobots; the fluid mechanics of low-Reynolds-number flapping wings; minimal control of under-actuated, computation-limited systems; new micro- and mesoscale manufacturing techniques; and morphable, soft-bodied robots.

One aspect of his work on flying robots recently resulted in an innovative fabrication technique, inspired by childrenÍs pop-up books, which cheaply and efficiently produces electromechanical devices on the scale of just a few millimeters.

Wood is the winner of multiple awards and honors for his work, including in 2008 being named to the TR35 — Technology Review magazine’s annual list of the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 — and in 2010 receiving the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Barack Obama.

In March, the Harvard engineer was named one of two recipients of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Alan T. Waterman Award.

Wood’s group is also dedicated to STEM education, using novel robots to motivate young students to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Source: Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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