Prof. Jessy Grizzle Named the Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering

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Prof. Jessy Grizzle was recently named the Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering. Prof. Grizzle, a professor in the division of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the EECS Department, is an expert in the theory of nonlinear control systems. His current research focuses on modeling and control of automotive powertrain systems, and the control of bipedal robots.

Prof. Grizzle's work in bipedal robots has received significant attention among other researchers, and the press. After creating a path-breaking approach to control walking for the French robot, RABBIT, he has continued to press forward to enable an even more natural walking gait in robots through advanced feedback control and machine design. He is collaborating with Jonathan Hurst and others at Carnegie Mellon University to test this theory on a new robot, called BiMASC (biped with Mechanically Adjustable Series Compliance) currently under construction through funding by the National Science Foundation.

 
L: Gabriel Buche, Jonathan Hurst, Jessy Grizzle

This research is expected to have enormous impact on both medical prosthetic limbs, and on the ability to create robots that are able to remain stable on uneven terrains. For additional information about his work on bipedal robots, including press releases, papers, and videos, please see Prof. Grizzle's web page.

In recognition of his robotic research, Grizzle was named to the Scientific American Top 50 Technologists of 2006. His book, Feedback Control of Dynamic Bipedal Robot Locomotion, co-authored by former student Eric Westervelt and others, is now available for pre-order.

Grizzle combines research excellence with teaching excellence. He has been recognized with a CoE Teaching Award, and a Tau Beta Pi Engineering Professor of the Year award. He is particularly appreciative of the Tau Beta Pi award, since the students of this CoE student honor society determine the winner.

Upon hearing the news of his professorship, Prof. Grizzle said he was stunned, and extremely grateful. He is also honored that it is in the name of the Levins, "who have done so much for the College of Engineering." With typical humility and spousal pride, Jessy calls his wife, Dr. Laurie K. McCauley, William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor and Chair, Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, the accomplished member of the family.

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The Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering professorship was endowed in 1998 by Jerry and Carol Levin. Jerry Levin has been a leader in College of Engineering fundraising campaigns. He pledged $5M to spur additional contributions to the Michigan Engineering Fund in 2002, he is currently a co-chair of Progress & Promise: 150th Anniversary Campaign, and he recently initiated the Levin Challenge for the remaining years of that campaign. He stated, "The idea of creating this challenge was very appealing to me. I was personally able to leverage the analytical skills I developed at the University of Michigan into a successful career marketing products and services to consumers."