Professor Steven Dubowsky

Steven Dubowsky received his Bachelor's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York, and his M.S. and Sc.D. degrees from Columbia University. He is currently in both the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at M.I.T and Director of the Mechanical Engineering Field and Space Robotics Laboratory. He has been a Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, a Visiting Professor at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, and Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology. For the 8 years before he joined academia Professor Dubowsky was a research engineer in industry. Dr. Dubowsky's research has included the development of modeling techniques for manipulator flexibility and the development of optimal and self-learning adaptive control procedures for rigid and flexible robotic manipulators. He has authored or co-authored nearly 300 papers in the area of the dynamics, control and design of high performance electromechanical and optical systems. His current research includes fuel cell power for mobile systems and photovoltaic-powered clean water systems for challenging field environments. Professor Dubowsky is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and has served as an advisor to the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Science/Engineering, the Department of Energy, and the US Army. He is a Fellow of both the ASME and IEEE and is a member of Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi honor societies.

Professor Richard Wiesman

Dr. Richard M. Wiesman is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering where he teaches and supervises research in the areas of design, manufacturing and product development. He also teaches in the areas of controls, instrumentation and robotics, and is co-director of MIT's Field and Space Robotics Laboratory. Dr. Wiesman is also Chief Technology Officer of QinetiQ North America and is responsible for developing the information and scientific technology vision and strategy for the company.



Jekanthan Thangavelautham
Postdoctoral Associate
Laboratory Communications Officer

Jekanthan Thangavelautham received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering Science (Major in Aerospace) and Ph.D. from University of Toronto, Canada. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate and the Laboratory Communications Officer at the Field and Space Robotics Laboratory at M.I.T. He previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and as a Project Manager on a Canadian Space Agency funded lunar robotic demonstrator project in collaboration with the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and NORCAT. He has authored or coauthored nearly 20 papers in the areas of robotics, neural networks, artificial life, machine learning and space mining. His current research focuses on system design and control of fuel cell power supplies for field systems in challenging environments. Apart from research, he provides technical consulting assistance to humanitarian NGOs and has developed engineering outreach classes for high schools students. He is a member of AIAA and IEEE.

Amy Bilton
Postdoctoral Associate

Amy Bilton is a postdoc working on modular design methodologies for photovoltaic reverse osmosis systems. She received her B.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Aerospace Engineering in 2004 and a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. Amy also worked for Pratt & Whitney Canada between 2006 and 2008. Her research interests include optimization methods, control system design, renewable energy, and design for the developing world.

Research Assistants

Leah Kelley
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD Candidate

Leah Kelley has been with the FSRL since June of 2009. Her current research focus is on the thermal management of small, community scale solar-powered reverse osmosis systems. She received her Bachelorís of Engineering from the City College of New York in 2008. Prior to pursuing a career in engineering, Ms. Kelley danced professionally for 10 years with Lynn Barr Dance Theatre in New York, and has a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory.


Adi Bhujle
Graduate Research Assistant & Webmaster
SM Candidate

Adi Bhujle graduated from Caltech with a B.S., double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Business Economics and Management in June of 2010. He is part of the team working on the photovoltaic reverse osmosis desalination project.


Nicole Byrne
Graduate Research Assistant
SM Candidate

Nicole received her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in May of 2010.  She  worked for Charles Stark Draper Laboratory from June 2010 to August 2012 as a mechanical engineer.  She is now a first year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering working with Professor Wiesman and Draper Laboratory as a Draper Lab Fellow in the Cold Atom Sensor Research group.

Chris Pombrol
Graduate Research Assistant
SM Candidate

After graduating from Caltech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Christopher Pombrol joined the FSRL in September 2012. He is a Master's student working on the photovoltaic reverse osmosis desalination project.

Nate Michaluk
Graduate Research Assistant
SM Candidate

Nate joined the FSRL in the Fall of 2012 after graduating from Penn State with dual BS degrees in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. Nate's research project involves improving technology used in space. He enjoys playing volleyball and disc golf.


Huda Elasaad
Technical Research Assistant
SM Candidate

Huda joined the FSRL in October of 2012, after completing her double M.S. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she concentrated on industrial and environmental chemical contamination and control. She has previous professional experience in the water industry, including municipal plant operations and water technology application. She is now working on the PVRO project.  

Visiting Students

Administrative Assistant

Irina Gaziyeva
Administrative Assistant

Irina Gaziyeva has recently jointed the FSRL group, November 2011. Irina has a BA in Management degree with Innovation Entrepreneurship track from Clark University, Worcester, MA. Currently handles daily administrative and financial tasks for the lab.


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