Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 2015, Stanford University with Prof. Mark Cutkosky
Thesis: “Applying Gecko Adhesives to the Real World.”
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2011, Stanford University, GPA: 4.07
A.B., Mechanical Engineering, 2009, Harvard University, Highest Honors, GPA: 3.83, Concentration GPA: 3.88/4
Secondary in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Biomechanics
Thesis: “Paradigm for Building Multi-functional Composite Structures with Embedded Actuation.”
Design, Robotics, Mechanics, and Materials Lab 07/16-present
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
Collaborative Haptics And Robotics in Medicine Laboratory, 07/15-7/16
Stanford University, with Prof. Allison Okamura
-Studying soft robotic technologies to understand factors governing performance.
-Applied understanding to create a pneumatic artificial muscle capable of 400% strain.
-Studying robotic devices capable of growth.
Biomimetic and Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory, 12/09-06/15
Stanford University, with Prof. Mark Cutkosky
-Investigated the factors that determine the performance of gecko-inspired adhesives.
-Studied gecko adhesive morphology with custom sensor.
-Proposed two fundamental factors for performance: 1) Full Contact and 2) Even Loading.
-Demonstrated importance of factors by creating successful designs:
a) ankle mechanism for loading adhesives that increases capabilities seven-fold.
b) surface grasping mechanism that allows autonomous quadrotor perching.
c) adhesive device that shows little drop-off in performance even at human scale.
d) curved surface gripper for grasping without squeezing.
e) world’s smallest climbing robot.
f) climbing robot capable of hoisting 100x body weight.
-Led team on multi-year project culminating in demonstration of first human to climb glass
using hand-sized area of gecko adhesives.
Romotive, Inc. 1/12-3/13
-Designed robust mechanism for holding and tilting iPhone for mobile robot.
-Mechanism requirements: DFM injection molding and line assembly, 10,000 cycles
minimum life, robust to 2m drop test, positive user experience.
Square One Robotics 7/12
-Consulted on the design of robotic gripper for grasping rock with microspines.
Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory, 8/07-8/09
Harvard University, with Prof. Robert Wood
Undergraduate Research Assistant
-Investigated the factors determining movement performance of a smart composite material
with embedded actuation
-Demonstrated understanding with:
a) device capable of folding into 3D shapes
b) millimeter-scale multi-segmented robotic swimmer
-Optimized Shape Memory Alloy springs for use as artificial muscles.
Multi-scale Robotics Laboratory, 6/08-8/08
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, with Prof. Bradley Nelson
Herschel Smith Fellow
-Designed and fabricated actuated module for capsule-sized endoscopic microrobots as part of the Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical (ARES) system
-Established Smart Composite Microstructure manufacturing at Institute of Robotics
and Intelligent Systems.
Quad Bikes, Non-Profit Community Bicycle Shop, Cambridge, MA 9/06-8/09
-Repaired, refurbished, and built bikes at a local shop, 10-12 hr/wk.
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 6/07-8/07
Florida State University, with Prof. Irinel Chiorescu
National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
-Designed, drafted (with CAD), and had machined an interlocking sample holder for
quantum chip experiments at 4mK and 10 Tesla.
Harvard Skeletal Biology Laboratory, 1/06-5/06
Harvard University, with Prof. Daniel Lieberman
Undergraduate Research Assistant
-Studied the function and activation of the gluteus maximus in trunk stabilization
during running and jumping, running test with EKG, force sensors and rate gyros.
Awards and Honors
-IOP Publishing Outstanding Reviewer Award 2016
-Best Student Paper Award, IEEE ICRA 2015
-ASME Best Journal Paper Award in Bioinspired Systems and Materials 2015
-JRSI article Ranked by Altmetrics #1 of 952 articles from JRSI, top 5% of all time
-Co-author, Best Paper Award IEEE, IROS 2015
-Invited to exhibit work at TED2015
-Featured in Cosmos Magazine, Career Profile 2015
-Co-author Best Student Paper Award Finalist, IEEE ICRA 2014
-National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2012-2014
-National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate fellowship, 2009-2012
-Graduated with Highest Honors, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2009
-Phi Beta Kappa, 2009
-Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, 2008
-Research Experience for Undergraduates recipient, Summer 2007- $3800
National Science Foundation
-Herschel Smith Undergraduate Research Program Award, Summer 2008- $6000
Herschel Smith Foundation, Harvard University
-First Place and new Harvard school record, Model Bridge Contest (5400lbs.), 2007
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
-Harvard College Research Program Award, Summer 2007, Fall 2007, Fall 2008- $4800
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
Articles in Archival Journals (in Preparation)
1. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., Han, A.K., Jiang, H., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Grasping
with Shear Adhesion.” In preparation (paper invited to IEEE Trans. Robotics).
2. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., Okamura, A.M. “400% Strain, Internally Powered Soft
Artificial Muscle.” In preparation.
3. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., Suresh, A., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Spatially Variant
Microstructures for Highly Anisotropic Adhesion.” In preparation.
4. Hawkes, E.W., Okamura, A.M. “Locomotion by Growth.” In preparation (abstract reviewed, full
submission requested by Nature).
5. Christensen, D.L, Hawkes, E.W., Suresh, A., Lindheim, K. and Cutkosky, M.R. “Micro but
Mighty: Microrobots Creating Macro Forces.” In preparation.
6. Pope, M., Kimes, C.W., Jiang, H., Hawkes, E.W., Han, A.K., Christensen, D.L., and Cutkosky,
M.R. “Robust Vertical Perching and Climbing Using Microspines.” In preparation.
Articles in Archival Journals (in Review or Published)
7. Hawkes, E.W., Lentink, D. “Robots smaller than bumble bees can hover longer with flapping
wings than with spinning wings.” J. R. Soc. Interface (2016): In review.
8. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., Pope, M., and Cutkosky, M.R. “One Motor, Two Degrees of
Freedom through Dynamic Response Switching.” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
9. Thomas, J., Loianno, G., Pope, M., Hawkes, E.W., Estrada, M., Jiang, H., Cutkosky, M.R., and
Kumar, V. “Aggressive Flight for Perching on Inclined Surfaces.” ASME J. Mechanisms
and Robotics. In press.
10. Hawkes, E.W., Jiang, H., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Three Dimensional Dynamic Surface
Grasping with Dry Adhesion.” Int. J. Robotics Research. (2015): 0278364915584645.
11. Eason, E.V., Hawkes, E.W., Windheim, M., Christensen, D.L., Libby, T. and Cutkosky,
M.R., "Stress distribution and contact area measurements of a gecko toe using a
high-resolution tactile sensor," Bioinsipration & Biomimetics. 10, no. 1 (2015): 016013.
12. Suresh, A., Christensen, D.L., Hawkes, E.W., and Cutksoky, M.R. “Surface and Shape
Deposition Manufacturing for the Fabrication of a Curved Surface Gripper.”
ASME J. Mechanisms and Robotics. 7, no. 2 (2015): 021005.
13. Hawkes, E.W., Eason, E.V., Christensen, D.L., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Human Climbing
with Efficiently Scaled Gecko-inspired Dry Adhesives.” J. R. Soc. Interface
(2014): 201512 20140675. ASME Best Journal Paper Award in Bioinspired Systems and Materials.
14. Pope, M., Lussier Desbiens, A., Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D., and Cutkosky, M.R.
“Design Principles for Efficient, Repeated Jumpgliding." J. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 9, no. 2 (2014): 025009.
15. Hawkes, E.W., Eason, E., Asbeck, A., and Cutkosky, M.R. "The Gecko's Toe: Scaling Dry Adhesives for Climbing Applications." IEEE Trans. Mechatronics, 18, no. 2 (2013): 518-526.
16. Stirling, L., Yu, C., Hawkes, E.W., Miller, J., Wood, R.J., Goldfield, E., and Nagpal, R.
“Applicability of shape memory alloy wire for an active, soft orthotic.” J. Mater. Eng. Perform., 20.4 (2011) : 658–662.
17. Paik, J. K., Hawkes, E.W., and Wood, R.J. “A novel low-profile shape memory alloy
torsional actuator.” Smart Materials and Structures 19.12 (2010) : 125014.
18. Hawkes, E.W., An, B., Benbernou, N., Tanaka, H., Kim, S., Demaine, E., Rus, D.,
and Wood, R. J. “Programmable matter by folding.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 107.28 (2009): 12441-12445. Over 200 Citations.
19. Nagy, Z., Harada, K., Fluckiger, M., Susilo, E., Kaliakatsos, I.K., Menciassi, A.,
Hawkes, E.W., Abbott, J.J., Dario, P., and Nelson, B.J. “Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical Systems: Opportunities and Challenges,” Int’l J. Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics (IJBBR), 1.1 (2008): 3.
Refereed Conference Articles (in Review or Published)
20. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., and Okamura, A.M. “Design and Implementation of a
300% Strain Soft Artificial Muscle.” 2016 IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation.
21. Estrada, M., Hockman, B., Bylard, A., Hawkes, E.W., Cutkosky, M.R., and Pavone, M. “Free-
Flyer Acquisition of Spinning Objects with Gecko-Inspired Adhesives.” 2016 IEEE Int’l Conf. Robotics and Automation. In review.
22. Wu, X.A., Suresh, A.S., Jiang, H., Ulmen, J., Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., and Cutkosky,
M.R. “Tactile Sensing for Gecko-Inspired Adhesion.” IEEE Int. Conf. Intelligent Robotics and Automation, (2015). Best Paper Award.
23. Jiang, H., Pope, M., Estrada, M., Edwards, B., Cuson, M., Hawkes, E.W., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Perching Failure Detection and Recovery with Onboard Sensing,” Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2015).
24. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., Han, A.K., Jiang, H., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Grasping
without Squeezing: Shear Adhesion Gripper with Fibrillar Thin Film,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation, (2015). Best Student Paper Award.
25. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Vertical Dry Adhesive
Climbing with a 100x Bodyweight Payload,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation, (2015).
26. Jiang, H., Hawkes, E.W., et al. “Scaling Controllable Adhesives to Grapple Floating
Objects in Space,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robot. and Automation, (2015).
27. Christensen, D.L, Hawkes, E.W., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Tugs: Enabling Microrobots to
Deliver Macro Forces with Controllable Adhesives,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and
28. Thomas, J., Loianno, G., Pope, M., Hawkes, E.W., Estrada, M., Jiang, H., Cutkosky, M.R.,
and Kumar, V. “Planning and Control of Aggressive Maneuvers for Perching on Inclined
or Vertical Surfaces.” ASME IDETC, (2015): 025010.
29. Estrada, M., Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Robust Landing, Perching
and Vertical Climbing: Design of a Multimodal Robot,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and
Automation, (2014): 4215-4221. Best Student Paper Finalist.
30. Winck, R. C., Sketch, S. M., Hawkes, E. W., Christensen, D. L., Jiang, H., Cutkosky, M. R.,
and Okamura, A. M. “Time-delayed teleoperation for interaction with moving objects in
space.” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation, (2014): 5952-5958.
31. Eason, E. V., Hawkes, E. W., Windheim, M., Christensen, D. L., Libby, T., and Cutkosky, M.
R. “Adhesive Stress Distribution Measurement on a Gecko.” In Biomimetic and Biohybrid
Systems, Living Machines Conf. (2014): 386-388.
32. Jiang, H., Pope, M., Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D., Estrada, M., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Modeling the Dynamics of Perching with Opposed-Grip Mechanisms,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation, (2014): 3102-3108.
33. Seitz, B., Goldberg, B.,Doshi, N., Ozcan, O., Christensen, D., Hawkes, E.W., Cutkosky,
M., and Wood, R.J. “Bio-inspired mechanisms for inclined locomotion in a legged
insect-scale robot,” ROBIO, (2014): 791-796.
34. Hawkes, E.W., et al. "Dynamic surface grasping with directional adhesion,” Int. Conf. Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2015): 5487-5493.
35. Christensen, D.L, Hawkes, E.W., Wong-Foy, A., Pelrine, R.E., and Cutkosky, M.R., "Incremental Inspection for Microrobotic Quality Assurance," Proc. ASME 2013 IDETC/CIE, (2013): V001T09A030.
36. Hawkes, E.W., Ulmen, J., Esparza, N., and Cutkosky, M.R. "Scaling Walls: Applying Dry Adhesives to the Real World." Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2011): 5100-5106.
37. Kim, S., Hawkes, E.W., Cho, K., Joldaz, M., Foley, J., and Wood, R.J. “Micro artificial muscle fiber using niti spring for soft robotics,” Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2009): 2228-34.
38. Cho, K., Hawkes, E.W., Quinn, C., and Wood, R.J. “Design, fabrication and analysis of a body-caudal fin propulsion system for a microrobotic fish,” IEEE Int’l. Conf. Robotics and Automation, (2008): 706-11.
-Stanford University, Department of Mechanical Engineering: PhD Thesis: “Applying Dry
Adhesives to the Real World,” 2015.
-Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: Mechanical Engineering
Highest Honors Undergraduate Thesis: “Paradigm for Building Multi-functional Composite Structures with Embedded Actuation,” 2009.
1. Hawkes, E.W., Okamura, A.M. “300% strain inverse pneumatic artificial muscle (IPAM),” 2016.
(Stanford Disclosure S15-364).
2. Hawkes, E.W., Okamura, A.M. “Robotic device capable of growth,” 2016. (Prov. Appl. No.
3. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L, and Cutkosky, M.R. “Controllable Adhesive on Conformable
Film for Non-flat surface,” 2015. (U.S. Appl. No.: 14/993332).
4. Hawkes, E.W., Eason, E.V., Christensen, D.L, and Cutkosky, M.R. “Climbing Device with Dry
Adhesives,” 2015. (PCT. Appl. No.: PCT/US2015/027729).
5. Christensen, D.L, Hawkes, E.W., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Enhancing ground reaction
forces substantially beyond friction using dry adhesives,” 2015 (U.S. Appl. No.: 14/952228).
6. Hawkes, E.W., Christensen, D.L, and Cutkosky, M.R. “One Degree of Freedom Climbing
Robot with Anisotropic Directional Dry Adhesion,” 2015. (U.S. Appl. No.: 14/926728).
7. Hawkes, E.W., Jiang, H., and Cutksoky, M.R. “Surface grasping mechanism
using directional adhesives,” 2014. (PCT. Appl. No.: PCT/US2015/031748).
8. Hawkes, E.W., Pope, M., Christensen, D.L., and Cutkosky, M.R. “Velocity-dependent
magnetic averaging for one-way clutch,” 2014. (U.S. Appl. No. 61/924,140).
9. Hawkes, E.W., Choi, K.J., Wood, R.J. “Multi-segmented spine with integrated actuation,” 2009. U.S. Patent No. 12/784,899, US20100295417A1.
-NASA “Astrobee,” $500,000, under Prof. Cutkosky, 2016
-NSF CHS “Soft User Interfaces,” $1.2 million, PI: Prof. Sean Follmer, In Review
-Ford-Stanford Alliance “Gecko Gripper,” $250,000, PI: Prof. M. Cutkosky, 2015
-NSF NRI “Robosimian on Rough Terrain,” $1.5 million, PI: Prof. K. Hauser, 2015
-NASA JPL “CIF FY16 Advanced Concept,” $200,000, PI: Dr. A Parness, 2015
-DARPA “Z-Man,” Phase IIIb, $500,000, PI: Prof. M. Cutkosky, 2013
-NASA DRDF “ON-OFF Gecko Adhesion,” $200,000, PI: Dr. A. Parness, 2012
-DARPA “Programmable Matter,” Phase II, $1 million, PI: Prof. R. Wood, 2009
-Spring 2018: ME 153 Product Design
-Autumn 2017: Soft Robotics Seminar
-Guest lecturer for ME 161/261: Control, Vibration, and Design of Dynamic Systems, 2015
-Guest lecturer for ME 310: Design Innovation; Lecture on The Art of Iteration in Design, 2015
-Taught Stanford Cycling Safety and Skills Clinic, 2012-2015
-Mentored Stanford Undergraduate Research Institute Fellows, 2012-2015
-Mentored younger PhD students, resulting in 16 papers as co-author, 2012-2015
-Taught Stanford Cycling 301: Bicycle Fit, Maintenance, and Safety, 2014
-TA for both undergraduate and graduate levels, ME 161/261: Control, Vibration, and
Design of Dynamic Systems, 2014
-Recognized as Outstanding TA by members of ME 161/261, 2014
-“Soft Robotics,” SCU Physics Colloquim 2016, Santa Clara University
-“Mechanics, Design, and Materials for Soft Robotics,” BiD Seminar 2016, UC Berkeley
-“Gecko Adhesion,” Exhibited work by invitation at TED2015, Vancouver, CA
-“Grasping without Squeezing,” ICRA 2015, Seattle, WA
-“Climbing with 100x Body Weights,” ICRA 2015, Seattle, WA
-“Applying Gecko Adhesives,” PhD Defense 2015, Stanford, CA
-“Human Climbing with Gecko Adhesives,” ThinkTech Hawaii, 2014
-“Rock Climbing with Spines,” ARAVIS AG Venture Capital 2014, Stanford, CA
-“Dynamic Surface Grasping,” IROS 2013, Tokyo, Japan
-“Scaling Walls,” IROS 2011, San Francisco, CA
-“Adaptable,” EXPE 2010, Stanford, CA
-“Telepresentation,” SAP Headquarters 2009, Berlin, Germany
-“Microrobotic Swimmers,” Rhodes Scholar Presentation 2008, Birmingham, AL
-“Sample Holder for Quantum Chip Experiments,” REU Presentations 2007, Tallahassee, FL
-Category 1 sponsored competitive cyclist with multiple podiums at National Championships
-Enjoy guitar, bonsai, yoga, hiking, and building gifts for loved ones
Dr. Elliot Wright Hawkes
University of California, Santa Barbara