SML alumnus Zheng Chen wins NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Zheng Chen, who received his Ph.D. at MSU in 2009, has won an NSF CAREER Award. Zheng is currently an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Wichita State University ( and directs the Bio-inspired Robotics and Control Lab there. His Ph.D. dissertation, completed in SML, exploited a control systems perspective to examine ionic polymer-metal composite artificial muscles and sensors. That work produced a number of highly cited publications and a US patent and was quite instrumental to our follow-up work in this area. Zheng was a postdoc with University of Virginia and then an R&D engineer with Baker Hughes prior to joining Wichita State in 2013.

Zheng has a diverse set of research interests spanning bio-inspired robotics, smart material artificial muscles and sensors, renewable energy systems, dynamic systems and controls. His CAREER grant (, "CAREER: Artificial Muscle Based on Dielectric Elastomers for Dexterous and Compliant Prostheses", will focus on advancing dielectric elastomer-based artificial muscles for robotic assistive applications through studies on bio-inspired design, dynamic modeling, and control.