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Jack Aldrich

Ph.D. Candidate, C.Phil.
Citizenship: U.S.A.


Structural Systems and Control Laboratory
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0411
Phone: (858)  822-2020
FAX: (858) 822-3107 
E-Mail: jaldrich@ucsd.edu

Office: EBU I 2113

Curriculum Vitae: PDF File

Advisor | Research Interests | Education | Academic Experience | Publications | Professional Experience | Biography


Research Interests

  • Biologically-inspired mechatronics and robotics

  • Nonlinear control of articulated multibody objects

  • Piezoelectric mechanisms and devices

  • Optimal control for snake-like robots driven by tensegrity networks

  • Mathematical analysis and optimization theory

  • Computer vision


University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California USA 
  • C.Phil., Mechanical Engineering, 2003.
    • Advisor: Robert E. Skelton
  • B.S., Applied Mechanics (Structural Engineering), Cum Laude, 1991.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusett USA
  • M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1993.
  • Oceanids Bertha Lebus Scholarship,  Future Educators Award,  2003-04.

Academic Experience

University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California USA
  • Research Assistant/Graduate Student, Structural Systems and Control Lab  1997 - present
    • Derived rigid-body kinematics and dynamics for hyper-redundant robots driven by tensegrity networks.  Designed optimal path-planning, minimum-time/energy control and nonlinear feedback for new class of tendon-driven robots.  Developed nonlinear compensators to enable artificial muscle implementation for tensegrity actuation networks.

  • Teaching Assistant, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department 1997-2001
    • 1. Partial Differential Equations,  2. Formal Systems in Logic and Language,  3. Linear Control Theory, 4. Experimental Techniques (Controls Lab).

Space Engineering Research Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
  • Graduate Research Assistant with Prof. Nesbitt W. Hagood and Andreas von Flotow. 1991-1993 

    •  Analyzed large space structure dynamics with finite-element program.  Designed, fabricated, and tested 6-axis piezoelectric actuator for the structure.

Powell Earthquake Engineering Lab, UCSD, La Jolla, California USA
  • Research Assistant.  1990

    •  Constructed retrofitted R/C buildings and bridges.  Managed the design, instrumentation and seismic testing of a structural testbed under Professor Seible.


  • Aldrich, J.B., Skelton, R.E., “Input and State Redundancy Resolution for manipulators driven by tensegrity networks”, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, (In preparation).

Conference Papers

Professional Experience

Trans-Science Corporation

  • Engineer 1994-1995

    • Worked with team of engineers and UCSD professors on the dynamic analysis and manufacturing for the first 100% advanced aerospace composite cable-stayed bridge. Funded by Aerospace Technology Transfer.


  • I began work as a construction engineer building and testing retrofitted bridge prototypes at UCSD's Powell Earthquake Engineering Lab.  This work was instrumental in my receipt of a graduate research appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I designed, built and tested a vibration-control device using piezoelectrics for a NASA-funded telescope.  After graduating from M.I.T. with an M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1993, I worked with a team of engineers at TransScience, Inc., in developing the first 100% advanced aerospace composite cable-stayed bridge.  In 1997, I returned to U.C. San Diego to investigate a new approach to biologically-inspired robots and am now set to graduate with a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2004.