Mechanical Engineering

Contact Information

Office:
Higgins Laboratories, 011
Phone: +1-508-831-6122
Fax: +1-508-831-5680
stafford@wpi.edu

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Kenneth Alan Stafford

Ken came to WPI in 1994 as the department head of Aerospace Studies. Shortly after his retirement as a USAF colonel in 1997, he was hired to manage several WPI student design competition teams, including the WPI/Mass Academy of Math and Science FIRST robotics team (FRC190). This team has since grown to become one of the most popular student activities at WPI and has received more than 60 local, regional, and international awards and trophies-including the 2007 World Championship. Currently assigned as director of the Robotics Resource Center and associate director of the Robotics Engineering Program, he was a member of the interdisciplinary team that developed the Robotics Engineering (RBE) curriculum and established WPI’s RBE bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degree programs.

Ken’s research interests include low-speed aerodynamics, mechanical systems for autonomy and robotic dexterity, continuously variable transmission design, super-charging and hybridization of vehicle power systems, and K-12 pre-engineering curricula development. He relishes student interaction through teaching and a wide variety of academic and nonacademic projects. He is currently the faculty advisor to the Sailing Club, Collab Lab (WPI Hackerspace), Tau Beta Pi chapter, and FRC Team 190 Robotics Team, as well as a member of the WPI Footpounders Racing Team, Motorsports Club, and Senior Honor Society.

Research Interests

  • Mechanical Systems for Robot Dexterity
  • High Efficiency Hybrid and Alternative Power Drivelines
  • Continuously Variable Power Transmissions
  • Low Speed Aerodynamics

Education

  • BS, ME, Oregon State University, 1972
  • MS, Aero Engr, Air Force Institute of Technology, 1980

Labs and Centers

Professional Highlights

  • WPI Trustee Award for Community Service
  • WPI University Ambassador Award
  • Top Graduate, AFIT
 
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