Aaron M. Dollar, newly designated as the John J. Lee Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Sciences, focuses his research and teaching in the areas of robotics, robotic grasping and manipulation, machine and mechanism design, rehabilitation and assistive devices, prosthetics, underactuated mechanisms, and the biomechanics of human movement.

His term as the John J. Lee Assistant Professor is effective through December 2015.

Two years ago, he was chosen by Technology Review as one of “35 Young Innovators Under 35” for his work on designing flexible robotic hands that can pick up and manipulate small objects. That same year, he received a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), given to junior faculty members who excel at integrating research with teaching.

Dollar came to Yale as an assistant professor in 2009 after doing postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he earned his Ph.D. in engineering sciences at Harvard University. While a graduate student, he won the Best Student Paper recognition at the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics and took first place in the ASME Student Mechanism Design Competition.

Dollar is the founder and editor of RoboticsCourseWare.org, a repository for pedagogical materials for facilitating the implementation of new university-level robotics courses, which he launched in 2008 in collaboration with Daniel Rus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Paolo Fiorini of the University of Bologna. He is part of a Yale-led research team awarded a $10 million grant from the NSF that will develop sophisticated “socially assistive” robots over the next five years to help pre-school-age children with educational and therapeutic goals.

Dollar is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the IEEE Robotics and Automation, Engineering in Medicine and Biology, and Education Societies; and the American Society for Engineering Education.