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David Braun

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering

Mechanical Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Intellectual Neighborhoods

Research Focus

Dr. Braun's research interests include adaptive robotics, optimal control, and dynamical systems. Application areas of interest include (1) real-time optimal control as a paradigm to create teaching and self-learning robots, (2) locomotion mechanics and legged robots used as human assistive, augmentation, and transportation devices, and (3) the mathematical design of compliant mechanisms, variable stiffness actuators, programmable materials, and muscles for robots.

The multidisciplinary research that combines engineering, physics, and applied mathematics, conducted in Dr. Braun’s Laboratory, has been disseminated in top academic journals in the fields of robotics (IEEE Transactions on Robotics), control (Automatica), biomechanics (IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering), physics (APS Physical Review Letters) as well as in other science journals (AAAS Science Advances), and has been featured by several national and international news outlets, including The Guardian UK, Die Welt Germany, and The Conversation US, among others.

Please visit my research website for the list of current projects and publications.


David Braun received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, in 2009. From 2010 to 2013, he was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Statistical Machine Learning and Motor Control Group at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting researcher with the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center. In 2014, he joined the Singapore University of Technology and Design as a founding faculty. In 2019, he moved from Singapore to Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, with a secondary appointment in computer engineering.

Dr. Braun received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2022, and the IEEE King-Sun Fu Transactions on Robotics Memorial Best Paper Award in 2014. He was Scientific Program Co-Chair of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Area Chair of the 2018 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, and Associate Editor of the 2019-2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.