We work on the biomechanics and control of motor behavior in humans and other animals. Our work spans the areas of mechanics, dynamics, robotics, biomedical engineering, as well as comparative and evolutionary biomechanics. We apply principles of mechanics, both mathematical and experimental, to understand how the mechanical design and material properties of our bodies help or hinder the ability to control it. Applications of our work include human health and biologically inspired design of robotic or prosthetic devices.


If you are interested in doing your PhD in my lab, please write to me with your CV, your interests, and your views on the work carried out in my lab. Those with a background in mechanics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, physics, robotics or control theory are particularly encouraged to apply. Motivation, thoughtfulness and creativity are more important than your background.

I am also looking for two postdoctoral fellows with a strong mathematical background, and interest/experience in human subject experiments. Those interested in mechanics, evolution, control theory, or robotics, with a bent for mathematical work, are highly encouraged to apply. Please send me an email with your CV and names of references.


Recent publications

Journal Article
Venkadesan M, Mahadevan L. Optimal strategies for throwing accurately. Royal Society Open Science [Internet]. 2017;4:170136. http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/4/170136
Schulze A, Gomez-Marin A, Rajendran VG, Lott G, Musy M, Ahammad P, et al. Dynamical feature extraction at the sensory periphery guides chemotaxis. eLife. 2015;4:e06694.
Roach NT, Venkadesan M, Rainbow MJ, Lieberman DE. Elastic energy storage in the shoulder and the evolution of high-speed throwing in Homo. Nature. 2013;498(7455):483-6.  (7.12 MB)
Mosier K, Lau C, Wang Y, Venkadesan M, Valero-Cuevas FJ. Controlling instabilities in manipulation requires specific cortical-striatal-cerebellar networks. J Neurophysiol. 2011;105(3):1295-305.  (1.12 MB)
Lieberman DE, Venkadesan M, Werbel WA, Daoud AI, D'Andrea S, Davis IS, et al. Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature. 2010;463(7280):531-5.  (2.12 MB) (835.17 KB)
Book Chapter
Venkadesan M, Bandi MM, Mandre S. Biological feet: Evolution, mechanics and applications. In Bioinspired Legged Locomotion: Models, Concepts, Control and Applications (ed. M. Sharbafi and A. Seyfarth). Elsevier Science; 2017.
Conference Paper
Srinivasan A, Venkadesan M. Polynomial mechanics and optimal control. In 2015 European Control Conference. Linz, Austria: IEEE; 2015.  (428.97 KB)
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