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Mechanical Engineering Department Expands Robotics Expertise

Robotics research and education at UT Dallas has gotten another boost with the addition of Dr. Wooram Park as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

“My research focuses on mathematical modeling, simulation and computation in the context of several different application areas that have similar mathematical descriptions: biomedical robotics, computational structural biology, medical imaging and biomechanics,” Park said. “My specific interests are modeling and path planning of flexible medical needles, developing computational algorithms for single-particle electron microscopy and analyzing human motions based on the musculoskeletal model for human body.”

His long-term goal, he added, is to design a framework that is inspired by robotics and then is applied to very general systems ranging from vision-based control systems to biological and medical systems.

“Wooram Park brings critical expertise to our department in topics that are essential to the department’s teaching and research mission,” said Dr. Mario Rotea, head of Mechanical Engineering.

Park earned his bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering from Seoul National University and received his PhD in mechanical engineering in 2008 from Johns Hopkins University. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins, working on needle-steering technology for minimally invasive surgical diagnosis and treatment.

Robotics and control systems capabilities at the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science have grown significantly in the past two and a half years, starting with the appointment of the school’s dean, Dr. Mark W. Spong, a world leader in robotic control systems research.