Kira Barton

Prof. Kira Barton


Prof. Kira Barton ( received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001. Barton continued her education in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 2006 and 2010, respectively. She held a postdoctoral research position at the University of Illinois from Fall 2010 until Fall 2011, at which point she joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Her primary research focus is on precision coordination and motion control for emerging applications, with a specialization in iterative learning control. Barton’s work intersects controls and manufacturing and combines innovative manufacturing processes with enhanced engineering capabilities. The potential impact of this research ranges from building high-resolution DNA sensors for biological applications to the integration of advanced sensing and control for rehabilitation robotics.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Joaquin Gabaldon

Joaquin Gabaldon (

Ph.D., Robotics, University of Michigan
BS, Mech. Eng., California Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Computer vision, sensor fusion, marine localization, multi-agent autonomy

Research Title: Marine Mammal Monitoring and Analysis through Controlled and Uncontrolled Agent Coordination

Future Plans: Autonomous vehicle design in industry

Ding Zhang

Ding Zhang (

Research Title:

Bio-inspired Coordination: Learning to Identify Individual Versus Coordinated Behaviors from Bottlenose Dolphins in a Controlled Environment

Research Project:

My research concerns understanding and identifying the differences between individual and cooperative behaviors from a population of bottlenose dolphins in a controlled environment. This will involve developing a generalized framework for identifying and classifying

cooperative and individual behaviors towards eventual implementation on a robotic platform.

Laxmi Prasad Poudel (

BS, Ph.D., Mech. Eng., University of Arkansas

Research Interests: Smart Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Multi-agent Manufacturing, Automation, Reinforcement Learning in Manufacturing

Research Title: Software-Defined Control of Smart Manufacturing

Future Plans: Carry out fundamental research in the field of Advanced Manufacturing

Ph.D. Students

Zahra Afkhami

Zahra Afkhami (

Research Interests: Additive manufacturing, E-Jet Printing, Repetitive process, Iterative learning control (ILC), Model predictive control (MPC), Data-driven MPC, Nanofabrication, Machine learning, Nonlinear vibration and dynamics, Smart materials.

Research Title: Manufacturing Autonomy for Directed Evolution of Materials (MADE-Materials) for Robust, Scalable Nanomanufacturing

Yaqing Xu

Yaqing Xu (

MS, Mech. Eng., University of Michigan
BS, Mech. Eng., Peking University

Research Interests: Discrete event systems, smart manufacturing, machine learning, control

Future Plans: Apply innovation technology to solve real-world problems

Maxwell Wu

Maxwell Wu (

BS, Mech. Eng., University of Michigan

Research Interests: Airborne wind energy, Iterative Learning Control, Optimization, Motion planning

Research Title: Economic Iterative Learning Control of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

Nazanin Farjam

Nazanin Farjam (

MS, Mech. Eng., University of Toledo

Research Interests: Process Modeling and Control, Additive Manufacturing, Printed Electronics, E-jet Printing (EHD)

Research Title: Additive Nanomanufacturing for Customized Device Fabrication

Max Toothman

Max Toothman (

BS, Mech. Eng., Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Interests: Hybrid Modeling of Manufacturing Systems, Manufacturing Controls, Mechatronics, Computational Data Science

Bo Fu

Bo Fu (

MS, Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon University
BS, Vehicle Engineering, Tongji University

Research Interests: Multi-robot task planning, planning under uncertainty, machine learning, localization, mapping

Research Title: Fleet organization and decision making in heterogeneous vehicle teams to meet energy requirements in restricted and unknown environments.

Tyler Toner

Tyler Toner (

BS, Mech. Eng., Auburn University

Research Interests: Control and estimation, modeling and simulation, digital twins, smart manufacturing

Research Title: Digital Twin Framework for Mobile Manipulator Collaboration with an Additive Manufacturing Fleet

Loubna Baroudi (

MS, Mech. Eng., University of Michigan
BS, Mech. Eng., Arts et Métiers (Paris, France)

Research Interests: Wearable sensors for healthcare, human motion, human gait analysis, biomechanics, data science

Research Title: Investigating How Wearable Sensing Technologies can be Leveraged to Quantify Human Health

Mingjie Bi (

MS, Mech. Eng., University of Michigan
BS, Marine Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Research Interests: Multi-agent systems, agile supply chain, dynamic decision-making, smart manufacturing

Research Title: Distributed Decision-making in Disrupted Industrial Environments using a Multi-agent Framework

Abigail Rafter (

BS, Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon University

Research Interests: Controls, Smart Manufacturing

Joseph Wilson (

MS, Robotics, University of Michigan
BS, Computer Engineering, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Research Interests: Learning, Localization and Mapping

Paola Rioja (

BS, Mech. Eng., University of Michigan

Research Interests: Wearable Sensors, Controls, Mechatronics, Human Motion, Biomechanics


Farhan Javed (

BS, Mech. Eng., Delhi Technological University

Research Interests: Iterative Learning Control, Electrohydrodynamic Jet printing, Mechatronics, Optimization, Dynamics and Controls

Xenia Demenchuk (

BS, Mech. Eng., the Ohio State University

Research Interests: Modeling and simulation, digital twins, mobile robotics, manufacturing

Project Description: Develop and validate simulation to support ongoing research in digital twin applications in manufacturing

Kavan Shah (

BS, Mech. Eng., Penn State University

Research Interests: Smart Manufacturing, Digital Twins, Manipulation, Motion Planning, Controls, Mechatronics

Project Description: Present a requirements framework to realize complete virtual commissioning. Virtual commissioning is the process of verification and/or validation of a manufacturing system’s process design and controls design, by using simulation technology and digital twins to confirm if the simulated or emulated performance metrics meet manufacturer requirements.

Rohit Damodar (
Sam Worsham (
Paola Rioja (
Kaifan Yue (
Michelle Ji (
Shreya Phirke (

Visiting Scholars

Birte Caesar, Institute of Automation Technology, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany (

Undergraduate Students


Postdoctoral Researchers:

Noopur Jamnikar, 2022, General Electric
Leo Tse, 2022
Yassine Qamsane, 2021, Siemens
Felipe Lopez, Schlumberger Limited Industrial Internet Center (SLIIC)
Patrick Sammons, Analyst
Mamadou Diagne, Assist. Prof. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

PhD Students:

Isaac Spiegel, 2021, Guidance Navigation and Control Engineer at Terran Orbital
Efe Balta, 2021, Postdoctoral Researcher at ETH Zürich
Ilya Kovalenko, 2020, Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University
Deema Totah, 2020, Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa
Changbai Tan, 2020
Michael Quann, 2019
Christopher Pannier, 2019, Assistant Professor at University of Michigan Dearborn
Miguel Saez, 2018, General Motors
Leo Tse, 2017, Postdoctoral researcher at University of Michigan
Berk Altin, 2016, Postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Cruz
Ingyu Lim, 2016, Ford Motor Company

Visiting Scholars:

Tom Van de Laar, Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Enric Xargay
Robin Riethmueller, University of Stuttgart Institute for Nonlinear Mechanics, Germany
Max Raff, University of Stuttgart Institute for Nonlinear Mechanics, Germany
Leontine Aarnoudse, Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Roel Vromans, Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Remy Pelzer, Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Yuan-yuan Liu, Shanghai University, China
Xiaomei Hu, 2015, Shanghai University, China
Mauro Mazzolini, 2014, Synesis
Diego Manzocchi, 2014, Synesis

Master’s Students:

Ruijie Geng
Xiang Gao
Allison White
Harrison Chen, Jugaad Labs
Mu-Ti Chung
Eric Huang
Mingjie Bi, pursuing PhD at University of Michigan
Loubna Baroudi, pursuing PhD at University of Michigan
Nolan Payne
Doruk Aksoy, purusing PhD at University of Michigan
Mattison Rose
Katelyn Angeliu
Rongyu Liang, pursuing M.S at University of Michigan
Akshay Garg, pursuing M.S at University of Michigan
Kshitij Jain, pursuing M.S at University of Michigan
Lauren Ransohoff, Northrop Grumman
Chiranjeevi Vegi, M.S, University of Michigan
Devyani Kalvit, 2017 M.S. University of Michigan
Matthew Porter, 2016, pursuing PhD at University of Michigan
Yunli Shao, 2015, pursuing PhD at University of Minnesota
Tong Li, 2015, pursuing PhD at University of Michigan
Dan Zhao, 2015, pursuing PhD at University of Michigan
Sayooj Pillai, 2014, Cummins, Inc. 
Siva Aduri, 2014, MS University of Michigan
Bokai Chen, 2014, M.S University of Michigan
Yi-Kai Wang, 2013, M.S. University of Michigan
Chengeng Qu, 2013, Finance Masters Program
William Grenis, 2013, UM Masters Program
Danvir Sethi, 2013, Mathworks
Astha Kukreja, 2013, Cummins, Inc.
Bert Jiang, 2012, Mathworks
Jaekyu Hyun, 2012, Hyundai

Undergraduate Students:

Ritika Sibal
Benjamin Getz 
Steven Lengieza
Gary Zheng
Sharon Sun (UROP)
Vanessa Sheldon (UROP)
Ethan McMillan
Adam Lassman
Nick Tavis
Annika Stoldt Meghna Menon
Anne Gu (UROP, ME490)
Dan Xu(ME490)
Ryan Tepper(ME390)
Tom Brown(ME390)
David Robinson (UROP)
Alex Nettekoven (International UROP)
Tanay Nerurkar (ME490)Eliana Almario (SROP)
Michael Dobrowolski (UROP)
Ravesh Sukhnandan (SURE)
Michael Mahon (UROP)
Audrey Ramey (NNIN REU)
Syfith Jeet Singh
Nattasit (North) Dancholvichit
Andrew O’Hara (UROP)
Chien-An (Anne) Yu (UROP)