Faculty Expertise Directory

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Meet Our Research Directors

Norman Badler

Norman Badler

Director, HMS Professor
Computer and Information Science (CIS)

Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Toronto, 1975. MSc in Mathematics, University of Toronto, 1971. BA (with highest honors) in College of Creative Studies, emphasis in Mathematics; University of California, Santa Barbara, 1966-1970.

As director of the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation, Norm investigates computer graphics and artificial intelligence techniques and applications for embodied agents, virtual humans, and human-computer interaction. His major research directions include developing behavior-based animation of human movement for individuals and groups, constructing a parameterized action representation for real-time simulation and animation, and studying the relationship among human movement, natural language, and communication. †Normís crowd and populace simulation research incorporates environmental context and animates actors with roles and stochastic, scheduled, reactive, and opportunistic behaviors.

Links: Email| Personal Webpage | Publications | Full Profile

Dan Lee

Dan Lee

Director, GRASP
Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE)

Education: 1995 Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 1990 AB, Harvard University.

Dan's research focuses on applying knowledge about biological information processing systems to building better artificial sensorimotor systems that can adapt and learn from experience. Drawing from the ways in which biological systems compute and learn, Dan and his lab look at computational neuroscience models, theoretical foundations of machine learning algorithms, as well as constructing real-time intelligent robotic systems, with an ultimate goal of making machines that better understand what we want them to do.

Links: Email | Full Profile



Director, PRECISE
Cecilia Fitler Moore Professor
Computer and Information Science (CIS)

Education: BS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1977 Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1983

Insupís research interests are in real-time, embedded, and cyber physical systems, which increasingly affect our daily lives. His research goals are to ensure and improve the correctness, safety, timeliness, trustworthiness, and compositionality of these systems. Insup has been developing techniques and tools for compositional real-time scheduling, model-based development, quantitative trust management, and run-time verification. He has also been transitioning his research results into practice by applying them to safety-critical embedded systems and high-confidence medical device systems.

Links: Email| Publications | Full Profile

Faculty Excellence

Penn Engineering is home to distinguished, world class faculty recognized as leading authorities in their research communities. They are internationally renowned for their pioneering research, in demand as consultants and advisors to major corporations and governments worldwide, and are innovative educators at the University of Pennsylvania.

Scholarly Excellence: The George H. Heilmeier Award

The George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research was established by Penn Engineering for the purpose of recognizing excellence in scholarly activities of the faculty. Named in honor of George H. Heilmeier, it recognizes his extraordinary research career, his leadership in technical innovation and public service, and his loyal and steadfast support of Penn Engineering.

Vijay KumarDr. Vijay Kumar, winner of the 2012-2013 Heilmeier Award, is UPS Foundation Professor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Kumar studies collective behaviors in biological and robotic systems. He and his group design novel architectures, create abstractions for systems of interacting individuals, and develop new algorithms for cooperating robots. The overarching themes in his research include modeling nature and developing bio-inspired architectures and algorithms, understanding group/individual dynamics, and the design and composition of controllers for robust, scaleable autonomous systems. Kumar's key challenges include operation in unstructured, dynamic environments, integration of control, communication and perception, and scaling down to smaller sizes with limited actuation, sensing, and computational resources.

Dr. Karen Winey, winner of the 2011-2012 Heilmeier Award, is professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Winey’s research interests include both polymer nanocomposites and ion-containing polymers. In nanocomposites, she designs and fabricates polymer nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires with the aim of understanding how to improve their mechanical, thermal, and in particular, electrical conductivity and resistive switching properties. In ion-containing polymers, including block copolymers and polymers with ionic liquids, Winey combines imaging and scattering methods to provide unprecedented insights into their morphologies.

We encourage you to visit the list of all our outstanding George H. Heilmeier Award recipients.

Interdisciplinary Excellence: PIK Professors

Faculty positions established by the Penn Compact, known as “Penn Integrates Knowledge” (PIK) professorships, are part of the university-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members to Penn whose research, teaching and service exemplify the integration of knowledge across distant disciplines. Integrating knowledge is one of the leading initiatives of the Penn Compact, President Amy Gutmann’s three-point initiative to propel Penn from "Excellence to Eminence” and to provide the University with the resources to address some of the most complex and urgent questions facing the world today.

Penn Engineering is home to two of these sought-after joint appointments, Christopher B. Murray, Richard Perry University Professor, and Robert Ghrist, Andrea Mitchell University Professor.

Chris MurrayA world-leader in nanotechnology, Dr. Christopher Murray is the Richard Perry University Professor and holds joint appointmentsin the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Department of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Murray’s pioneering research includes the development of nanocrystalline materials - artificial atoms (nano crystals or quantum dots) that self-assemble into devices with completely new multi-functionalities.


Robert Ghrist One of the best applied mathematicians in the world, Dr. Robert Ghrist has been appointed as the Andrea Mitchell University Professor, and is Penn Engineering’s second PIK professor. His appointment is between the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering and the Department of Mathematics in the School of Arts and Sciences. The theme of his research is in applying advanced topological methods in engineering problems such ensuring coverage in sensor networks or multiple robot coordination, to hydrodynamics on Riemannian manifolds or bifurcation theory.

Faculty Awards

Our faculty members have received numerous prestigious awards and fellowships from top engineering, science and technology organizations like:

National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
IEEE (formerly the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Physical Society (APS)
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Awards for faculty members are listed in the Awards & Accomplishments or can be found by browsing our Faculty Research Directory.