Guest Speakers Share Insights on Robotics

This school term, students and coaches in the Robotics Club welcomed two guest speakers from the faculty at Tulane University and one from the University of Denver who shared their expertise and insights on robotics.

Visiting from Tulane were Senior Professor Katherine Kleinpeter Raymond, Ph.D. (a Dominican alumna) and Professor Dylan Lucia, MS who met with robotics teams’ members while they prepared for their upcoming competition. They discussed their research work and consulted with the students on the design of their robot which included solutions for a mechanical issue with the robot’s arm.

Kimon P. Valavanis, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Denver, presented, “History of Robotics: a Journey Through Time.” His talk covered how robotics began 3,000 years ago, its evolution, and where we are today with robots that have become part of our lives.

Dr. Raymond is Associate Chair and Senior Professor of Practice in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tulane, teaching such courses as Statics, Mechanics of Materials, service learnings for Product and Experimental Design and Team Design, and the senior capstone Team Design course. She holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Tulane University’s former School of Engineering, researching high-performance concrete bridge girders.  Her interest is in blending mechanics with medical innovation and service opportunities to allow students a unique approach to learning. She co-directs Biomedical Innovation for Global Impact (BIG Impact), which involves undergraduates in global experiences designing to improve healthcare in low-resource communities.

Professor Lucia is a Visiting Instructor of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University. He is a Tulane graduate with bachelor and master degrees in Biomedical Engineering. As a faculty instructor, he focuses on mentoring and teaching students in the department’s design courses, as well as physiology labs. He worked in the Tulane Scot Ackerman MakerSpace throughout his time as a student, as well, where he specialized in teaching CAD & CAM, water-jetting, and other forms of rapid prototyping.

Dr. Valavanis has interests in Generalized System Theory, Formal Metrics for Autonomy and Resilience, and Integrated Control and Diagnostics of complex engineering systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Currently John Evans Professor, Director of Research and Innovation at the D. F. Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, and Founding Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute. He is also Guest Professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He also was chosen by the Academic Senate and the Board of Governors of the Politecnico di Torino to collaborate in research and offer a series of seminars and short course in Robotics and Unmanned Systems under the Scuola di Dottorato program requirements as part of the European Research Council (ERC), European Commission, Horizon 2020 Scientific Programme, Part 1 – Excellent Science.