Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Office:
Olin Hall, 215
Phone: +1-508-831-5392
Fax: +1-508-831-5886
mpopovic@wpi.edu

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Marko B. Popovic

Marko B. Popovic, PI, is an assistant research professor in the Physics department. He is also affiliated with Robotics Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at WPI. His research interest ranges from fundamental physics and particle physics to human neurosensory-motor organization and engineering robotics systems that assist and augment humans. Professor Popovic teaches courses within RBE and BME programs, such as Introduction to Biomechanics and Robotics; and physics undergraduate and graduate courses, such as Classical Mechanics 1110, Electromagnetism 1120, and Introduction to Particle Physics.

Professor Popovic received a PhD in physics from Boston University in 2001. From 2002 to 2009, his research focus was human biomechanics, AI, robotics, health science and technology, and even e-banking and new-generation Internet, all at MIT. Since joining WPI in 2010, Professor Popovic’s research is focused on human biophysics and development of new paradigm in biomedical engineering that he calls Soft Robotics Exo-Musculature. He studies physical and biological principles and designs soft wearable robotics orthotics systems.

Professor Popovic is also building new models of high-energy physics, which might describe interesting phenomena at very small space-time distances and potentially explain the Higgs sector of the standard model of particle physics.

Professor Popovic authored about 20 peer-reviewed publications cited by more than 650 other research publications. Results of his work are showcased by CNN, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, and many other domestic and overseas media. He is one of the founders of the MIT Biomechatronics Group, and a member of the team praised for the best innovation in health in 2007, the robotics ankle, by CNN and TIME. In 2011, Professor Popovic's Society of Physics Students (SPS) team received top Sigma Pi Sigma Research Undergraduate Award at the national level for the project, Physics Applied to Post-Stroke Rehabilitation: Shoulder Soft Robotics Brace. In summer 2011, Professor Popovic chaired the Biomechanics and Robotics Theme of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference, which is the top biomedical conference in the world and the largest conference in New England in 2011.

Professor Popovic recently accepted an invitation from a publisher to write a textbook on biomechanics and robotics for senior undergraduate and first- and second-year graduate students. This will be the first unified textbook on this important and popular theme. The book will be available after May 2012.

Professor Popovic enjoys teaching and interacting with students. He considers himself to be a knowledgeable, fair, approachable, and inspiring professor and advisor who always praises good ideas, hard work, and a hands-on approach. He promotes creativity and professionalism. Professor Popovic’s efforts as a teacher are repeatedly recognized with outstanding scores in student evaluations.

Research Interests

  • Physics
  • Biomechanics
  • Robotics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Neurosciences

Education

  • BSc, Belgrade University 1995
  • MS, Ohio State University
  • PhD, Boston University 2002

Featured Publications

  • S. B. Kesner, L. Jentoft, F. L. Hammond, R. D. Howe, and M. B. Popovic (2011). "Design Considerations for an Active Soft Orthotic System for Shoulder Rehabilitation," 33rd Annual International IEEE EMBS Conference , August 30-September 2, 2011, Boston.
  • H. Herr and M. B. Popovic (2008). "Angular Momentum in Human Walking," Journal of Experimental Biology 211, pp 467-481.
  • M. B. Popovic, A. Goswami, and H. Herr (2005). "Ground Reference Points in Legged Locomotion: Definitions, Biological Trajectories and Control Implications," International Journal of Robotics Research Vol. 24, No. 12, pp. 1013-1032.
  • M. B. Popovic, A. Hofmann, and H. Herr (2004). "Angular Momentum Regulation During Human Walking: Biomechanics and Control," Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, New Orleans, pp. 2405-2411.
  • M. B. Popovic and E. H. Simmons (1998). "A Heavy Top Quark from Flavor-Universal Colorons", Physical Review D, vol. 58, 095007. (physics top cite, >130 citations: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/hep-ph/9806287)

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Professional Highlights

  • Professor Popovic's Society of Physics Students (SPS) team received the Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Award at the national level in 2011 for the project “Physics Applied to Post-Stroke Rehabilitation: Shoulder Soft Robotics Brace."
  • Professor Popovic chaired the Biomechanics and Robotics Theme of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference, 2011.
  • Professor Popovic recently accepted an invitation from a publisher to write a textbook on biomechanics and robotics for senior undergraduate and first- and second-year graduate students. This will be the first unified textbook on this important and popular theme. The book will be available after May 2012.
  • Professor Popovic authored a top-cited paper in particle physics (April 2012, more than 130 citations) predicting “new” particles and interactions. The world’s most advanced high-energy labs (including CERN) are now actively searching for signatures of this “new physics.” Professor Popovic also authored a top-cited paper in biomechanics and robotics (about 100 citations) on dynamical balance, control, angular momentum, and ground reference points.
  • Professor Popovic is one of the founders of the MIT Biomechatronics Group (ex Leg Lab) established in 2001 and a member of the team praised for the best innovation in health in 2007, the robotics ankle, by CNN and Time Magazine. He had the honor of officially giving the name to the MIT CSAIL during an open call for the ″new″ lab′s name before CSAIL was established in 2003. In 2008, Professor Popovic led the MIT Center for Future Banking as projects manager. In 2009, he chaired the SumMIT Conference on "Future Networks: Economy, Energy, Health" held at MIT.
 
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