This year, the School of MIME welcomed four new members to our faculty: Joe Davidson, assistant professor of robotics; Naomi Fitter, assistant professor of robotics; Ean Ng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Ali Tabei, assistant professor of advanced manufacturing. They join our already robust group of researchers and teachers, and the MIME faculty now numbers 57.
Davidson work to design and build integrated robotic systems for labor-intensive applications requiring physical interaction in unstructured environments. His previous work includes robotic harvesting of fresh market apples and actuator design for robotic rehabilitation of neurologically impaired patients. Davidson received his B.S. from the United States Military Academy in 2004. After serving in the military for five years, he worked as a project manager for the CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company at Hanford, WA from 2009 to 2012. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Washington State University and was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2016 to 2018.
Fitter researches physical human-robot interaction, socially assistive robotics, haptics, robots in education, and robotic entertainers. Her past degrees include a B.S. and B.A. in mechanical engineering and Spanish from the University of Cincinnati and an M.S.E. and Ph.D. in robotics and mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her doctoral work in the GRASP Laboratory’s Haptics Group and was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the University of Southern California Interaction Lab from 2017 to 2018. Her past experiences in industry include fluid modeling and simulation for the Procter & Gamble Oral Care Division and wearable health monitoring device development and evaluation for Microsoft Research. As a member of the Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CoRIS) Institute, Dr. Fitter aims to equip robots with the ability to engage and empower people in interactions from playful high-fives to challenging physical therapy routines.
Ng's research interests lie at the intersection of engineering economics, performance measurement and decision theory. Her research focuses on measuring factors that are crucial to organizational improvement but have been traditionally deemed unmeasurable, such as the cost of safety in a workplace, quantifying improvement strategy outcomes, and predicting project failures and managing project termination. Prior to her current position, Ean was the program director for the online engineering management program since the program inception and a senior researcher at Oregon State. Her previous funded research includes economic modeling of the use of advanced technologies (mobile LiDAR, e-Construction, etc) in roadway construction and maintenance, economic modeling of a continuing education provider’s business model, assessment of continuous improvement effort in manufacturing organization, and quantifying the relationship between safety culture and the actual safety outcome in high risk workplace.
Tabei's interdisciplinary research is focused on understanding the mutual interactions between manufacturing process parameters and materials’ microstructure and properties. The laboratory of materials and manufacturing utilizes both computational methods and experimental analyses to investigate the manufacturing and materials correlations. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, and in 2015 received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Afterward, he continued academic research as a post-doctoral fellow for one year. Later, he served as a senior research engineer at the ATI Corporation, working on developing manufacturing routes and new high-temperature alloys. In his early research career, Dr. Tabei investigated the synthesis of nanomaterials and semiconductor processing methods. His most recent works link manufacturing and materials science via computational and experimental tools.