Madhusudhan Venkadesan

Madhu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and the Graduate Program in Physical and Engineering Biology at Yale. He studies the use of mechanical design to solve control problems, with applications in biomedical sciences, evolutionary biology and robotics.

Graduate Students

Neelima Sharma

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Neelima is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale. She earned her B.E. (2011) in Biotechnology from Delhi University. Her research work combines simulation and experiments. She has studied human hands and their stability during contacts, and her current project focuses on the functional morphology of animal joints.

Ali Yawar

Ali is a PhD candidate in MEMS at Yale. He received his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in 2014. His bachelor’s thesis was on the design of muscle-like actuators. He is interested in bio-inspired mechanisms, morphology based control systems, and passive dynamic machines. He has worked on human throwing at NCBS, India, humanoid locomotion at TUHH, Germany, human arm kinematics and robotic simulation at EPFL, Switzerland, and soap film dynamics at OIST, Japan.

Khoi Nguyen

Khoi Nguyen started his PhD training in 2016 and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences at Yale. He has previously worked on problems involving the mechanics of floating cereal pieces, and of evaporating coffee droplets. His current research is of the stiffening mechanism of fish fins and its applications to robotic design. Khoi received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University (2014) and his M.S. in the same field from Carnegie Mellon University (2015).

Visiting Assistants in Research (VAR)

Nihav Dhawale

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Nihav Dhawale is graduate student at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India and a visiting assistant in research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences at Yale. He started his PhD in 2011 under Venkadesan, working on the energetics and stability of human running locomotion. His work involves conducting human subject experiments in conjunction with building simple mathematical models to ascertain how stability of running is achieved. Prior to this, he completed an M.Sc. in Physics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2010 and and a B.Sc. in Physics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in 2008.

Undergraduate Students

Lucinda Peng

Lucinda Peng is an undergraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yale with a B.S. Biomedical Engineering expected May 2018. She is interested in the biomechanics of running, and has previously studied this at the University of Florida.

Claire Huebner

Claire Huebner is an undergraduate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yale with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering expected in May of 2018.  She is interested in the intersection of mechanics and biology specifically in relation to the study of  the human musculoskeletal system.  Her previous research at Yale was in polymer chemistry for drug delivery in Dr. Mark Satlzman’s lab.

A. Michael West

A. Michael West is an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale expected to graduate in May 2018.  His primary interest of research is innovation of mechanical mechanisms through biologically inspired means. More, specifically he is interested in rehabilitation robotics which he has previously studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Collaborators, Mentors, and Other Interesting People

  • Prof. Francisco Valero-Cuevas* (PhD), University of Southern California, USA.
  • Prof. John Guckenheimer* (PhD,postdoc), Cornell University, USA.
  • Prof. Daniel E. Lieberman* (postdoc), Harvard University, USA.
  • Prof. L. Mahadevan* (postdoc), Harvard University, USA.
  • Prof. Shreyas Mandre*, Brown University.
  • Prof. Mahesh Bandi*, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.
  • Dr. Marcelo Dias*, Aalto University, Finland and NORDITA, Sweden.
  • Dr. Neil T. Roach*, American Museum of Natural History, USA.
  • Prof. Paolo Paoletti*, University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Prof. Emanuel Todorov*, University of Washington, USA.
  • Prof. Matthieu Louis*, CRG, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Prof. Sethu Vijayakumar*, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • Prof. V. Sundaresan, UC Davis, USA.
  • Prof. Sam WalcottUC Davis, USA.
  • Prof. Neville Hogan, MIT, USA.
  • Prof. Andy Ruina, Cornell University, USA.

* Co-author on paper(s), grant(s), or both.

Lab alumni


  • Vandana Phadke - Senior Clinical Research Scientist, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India
  • Dhiraj Singh - Postdoctoral Scholar, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
  • Aisa Biria

Ph.D. students

Visiting Assistants in Research

  • Surabhi Simha - PhD student, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Akshay Srinivasan - PhD student, University of Washington, Seattle

Masters students

  • Vishaal Krishnan - PhD student, University of California, San Diego

Undergraduate students

  • Yale: Xuan Truc-Nguyen (PhD at UCSD), Jeffrey Gau (PhD at Georgia Tech), Robert Loweth (PhD at UMich, Ann Arbor), Daniel Pfaff (BS at Worcester Polytechnic), Sarah Weil, Bernardo Saravia, Henrik Hartmann, Daniel Pfaff, Betsy Li, Megan Perkins, Petter Wehlin, Alexander Lee, Lucia Korpas, Katherine Li, Dante Archaengeli.
  • NCBS: Kishan Kishan, Radha Nayak, Evan John Philip, Archishman Raju, Anirban Mukherjee, Harsha Vardhan Dasarathy, Prashanth Srinivasan, Aravinda Ramakrishnan, Prashanthi Ravi, Jennifer Chang, Sumanth Dathathri.

(High) School students

  • Yale: Nick Monteiro
  • NCBS: Ranjini Narayanan