Dr. Allison Okamura is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She also holds a courtesy appointment in Computer science there. Research in Allison’s lab examines three different areas of robotics. The first is haptics, which involves human machine interactions through the sense of touch. The second is designing medical robots that can, for example be used to help people recover from stroke or perform surgery. A final area that Allison studies is creating soft robots that can conform to their environments. Much of Allison’s free time is spent with her husband, daughter, and son. When she’s not at work, Allison also enjoys relaxing, running, and playing ice hockey. Allison received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and she was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D. both in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at Stanford University, Allison was Professor and Vice Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Allison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being elected as a fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She has also been awarded the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics Early Career Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. In addition, Allison was honored as a Duca Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, a Robert Bosch Faculty Scholar, a Gabilan Fellow, and an Alumni Distinguished Scholar by Stanford University, as well as a Decker Faculty Scholar by Johns Hopkins University. In our interview, Allison speaks more about her experiences in life and science.

Direct download: 477_Allison_Okamura_Final.mp3
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