Gregory Chirikjian, professor of mechanical engineering, is known for his work in the kinematics and motion planning of robots. He previously served as chair of the department from 2004 to 2007, chair of the Mechanical Engineering master’s degree program (2016 to 2018), and chair of the Engineering Mechanics program (1995 to 2012). He is currently on a leave of absence from Johns Hopkins and is serving as professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore.
Chirikjian’s research interests lie in robotics, automation and manufacturing; biomolecular mechanics, conformational analysis and nanoscience; mathematical crystallography; medical image registration, fiducial design, and reconstruction; and in mathematical modeling and computational mathematics. He has developed numerical and analytical techniques for eﬃcient computation of motion in binary robot arm design. He holds four patents for his work.
Chirikjian directs the Robot and Protein Kinematics Laboratory, which is involved in research in computational structural biology, self-replicating robotic systems, and applied mathematics, among other areas. It is part of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) at Johns Hopkins University. Current projects include work developing a system to allow real-time browsing of library collections and to create a library robot capable of physically retrieving books. Another effort aims to improve views of CT or MRI imaging within single image slices.
Chirikjian served as program director for the National Robotics Initiative and the Robust Intelligence cluster in the CISE/IIS Division of the National Science Foundation from 2014 to 2015. An elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Chirikjian has won numerous awards for his work, including the 2019 Machine Design Award from ASME, the 2014 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, and the 2014 A.T. Yang Memorial Award from ASME. He was honored as a Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1994, with a certificate signed by President Clinton. He has been the editor-in-chief for the journal Robotica since 2005, and has been an associate editor for other journals such as the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Mechanisms and Machine Theory, a guest editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and a reviewer for several others.
Chirikjian received his bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and engineering mechanics, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, from Johns Hopkins in 1988. He then earned a PhD in applied mechanics from the California Institute of Technology in 1992. He joined the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering in 1992.