Graduate Students

Luis Nolasco, Ph.D. Student

B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Wichita State University, 2014

M.S., Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 2015-2017

Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology, University of Michigan (2017-present)

Luis is currently leading a research study focusing on how healthy individuals and lower limb amputees negotiate different surface terrains in daily life.

Luis's RBL Publications:

  • Lapointe, A., Nolasco, L., Sosnowski, A., Andrews, E., Martini, D.N., Palmieri-Smith, R., Gates, D.H., and Broglio, S.P. (2017) “Kinematic differences during a jump cut maneuver in people with and without a concussion history” International Journal of Psychophysiology (In Press, accepted 8/12/17)
  • Actis, J.A, Nolasco, L., Gates, D.H., and Silverman, A.K. (2018) Lumbar loads and trunk kinematics in people with a transtibial amputation during sit-to-stand, Journal of Biomechanics (In Press).
  • Actis, J.A., Honegger, J.D., Gates, D.H., Petrella, A., Nolasco, L. and Silverman, A.K. (2018) “Validation of lumbar spine loading from a musculoskeletal model including the lower limbs and spine” Journal of Biomechanics 68, 107-114.

Deema Totah, Ph.D. Student

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institutue of Technology

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Ph.D. Student, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Deema is interested in optimizing the design of ankle-foot orthoses and is co-advised by Kira Barton

Deema's RBL Publications:

  • Totah, D., Menon, M., Jones-Hershinow, C., Barton, K., and Gates, D.H. (2019) “The impact of ankle-foot orthosis stiffness on gait: A systematic literature review” Gait & Posture. 69: 101-111.
  • Totah, D., Ojeda, L., Johnson, D.D., Gates, D.H., Mower Provost, E., and Barton, K. (2018) “Low–back electromyography (EMG) data-driven load classification for lifting tasks” PloS ONE 13(2): e0192938.

Jay Kim, Ph.D. Student

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2012

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013

Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology, University of Michigan (2016-present)

Jay's research interests include the design and testing of robotic prosthetic systems.

Christina Lee, Ph.D Student

B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2018

M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2018

Ph.D. Student, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan (2018-present)

Christina is interested in neural engineering and motor control of prosthetic devices.

Michael Gonzalez, Ph.D. Student

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Florida

Ph.D. Student, Robotics, University of Michigan (2017-present)

Michael's research interests include upper limb prosthetic design, sensation, and control, as well as how these elements impact overall user satisfaction.

Michael's RBL publications:

  • Kang, J., Gonzalez, M. A., Gillespie, R. B., & Gates, D. H. (2019). A Haptic Object to Quantify the Effect of Feedback Modality on Prosthetic Grasping. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(2), 1101-1108.

Vibha Vempala, M.S. Student


B.S. Biomedical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2018

M.S. Student, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan (2018-present)


Sean Carroll, M.S. Student

BSc (Hons) Biology, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2017

M.S. Student, Movement Science, University of Michigan, 2018-Present

Sean's research interests include the design, testing, and optimization of lower limb orthotics/exoskeletons.


Ki Ash, M.S. Student


Lab Alumni

Susannah Engdahl, Ph.D.,

B.S., Physics, Wittenberg University, 2013

M.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2013-2015

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2015- 2019

Susannah’s research interests include upper limb prostheses, rehabilitation, and psychoprosthetics.

Susannah's RBL publications:

Engdahl, S., Christie, B., Kelly, B., Davis, A., Chestek, C. and Gates, D.H. (2015) “Surveying the interest of individuals with upper limb loss in novel prosthetic control techniques” Journal of Neural Engineering and Rehabilitation, 12:53.

Engdahl, S., Chestek, C., Kelly, B., Davis, A., and Gates, D.H. (2017) “Factors associated with interest in novel interfaces for upper limb prosthetic control” PLoS One 12(8): e0182482.

Engdahl, S. and Gates, D.H. (2017) “Reliability of upper limb and trunk joint angles in healthy adults during activities of daily living” Gait & Posture. 60, 41-47.


Jeffrey Cowley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

B.S., Exercise Science, Utah Valley University, 2009

M.S., Kinesiology - Biomechanics, Illinois State University, 2012

Ph.D., Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 2012-2017

Jeff's RBL publications:

        • Cowley J, Dingwell J, Gates D.H. (2014) Effects of Local and Widespread Muscle Fatigue on Movement Timing. Experimental Brain Research, 232(12):3939-48
        • Gates D.H., Smurr-Walter L, Cowley J, Wilken J, Resnik L. (2016) Motion Requirements for Upper Limb Activities of Daily Living. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(1) 1-10.
        • Cowley, J.C., Gates, D.H. (2017) Proximal and Distal Muscle Fatigue Differentially Affect Movement Coordination. PLoS One. 12(2): e0172835.
        • Cowley, J.C., Leonardis, J., Lipps, D., Gates, D.H. (2017) The Influence of wrist posture, grip type and grip force on median nerve shape and cross-sectional area. Clinical Anatomy 30(4): 470-478.
          • Cowley, J.C., Resnik, L., Wilken, J.M., Smurr Walters, L, Gates, D.H. (2017) “Movement quality of conventional prostheses and the DEKA arm during everyday tasks” Prosthetics Orthotics International, (Mar) 1-8. (PMID #26932980)
          • Cowley, J.C. and Gates, D.H. (2018) “Influence of remote pain on movement control and muscle endurance during repetitive movements” Experimental Brain Research, 236(8): 2309-2319.
          • Cowley, J.C. and Gates, D.H. (2017) “Inter-joint coordination changes during and after muscle fatigue” Human Movement Science 56 Part B, 109-118.