Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler

Elizabeth T Hsiao-Wecksler



For more information


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Berkeley, 2000
  • M.S. Mech. Eng. Rochester Institute of Technology 1994
  • B.S. Mech. Eng. Cornell University 1987

Academic Positions

  • Adjunct Professor, Zhejiang University – University of Illinois College of Engineering Joint Institute, Haining, China, 09/18-01/19
  • Faculty Affiliate, Co-Course Director, Clinical Neuroscience, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, 03/17 – present
  • Visiting Affiliate Faculty, Prosthetics & Orthotics Program, School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, January 2017-May 2017
  • Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2015-August 15, 2019
  • Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2015-date
  • Faculty Affiliate, Beckman Institute, UIUC, February 2014-date
  • Faculty Affiliate, Neuroscience Program, UIUC, March 2011-date
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2009-August 16, 2015
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center on Health, Aging and Disability, UIUC, 2008-date
  • Faculty Affiliate, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, UIUC, August 16, 2005-date
  • Faculty Affiliate, Bioengineering Department, UIUC, October 31, 2002-date
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, July 21, 2002-August 15, 2009
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, April 2000-June 2002

Other Professional Employment

  • Research Assistant, University of California-San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA, January 1995-March 2000
  • Xerox Corporation, Rochester, NY. Associate Engineer (7/87-4/88), Engineer (4/88-8/90), Senior Project Engineer (8/90-8/94)

Other Professional Activities

  • Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor, IntelliWheels, Inc., Champaign, IL, May 2010 – January 2018

Research Statement

I direct the Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory (HDCL) in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. Our research group uses methods from design, control theory, mechatronics, pneumatics and soft robotics, musculoskeletal biomechanics, and movement analysis. The HDCL focuses on investigating and improving movement control and function through two main areas: assistive device development and locomotion biomechanics. The HDCL’s interest in assistive device development stems from a desire to improve function and the quality of life of persons with disability.

Research Interests

  • Locomotion biomechanics
  • Robotic medical training simulators to mimic patients with movement disorders, soft pneumatic robotic projects, wearable sensors for movement and anxiety detection, rolling mobility devices
  • Design and control of mechatronic devices in healthcare

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Jahanian, O., Gaglio, A., Schnorenberg, A. J., Muqeet, V., Hsiao-Wecksler, E. T., and Slavens, B. A. "Evaluation of Hand-rim and Wrist Joint Kinetics During Geared Manual Wheelchair Propulsion in Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury", Presented at 56th annual Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium, Milwaukee, WI, April 12-14, 2019. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 55(2): 324-329, 2019.
  • Song, S.Y, Zallek, C.M., Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T. “Quantification of Spasticity in Upper-Arm Muscles Using the PVRM (Position, Velocity, and Resistance Meter)”, Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 16-18, 2019.
  • Jahanian, O., Gaglio, A., Muqeet, V., Schorenberg, A., Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T., Slavens, B.A., "Hand-rim Biomechanics of Geared Manual Wheelchair Mobility" Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) 2018 Annual Conference, Arlington, VA, July 13 - 15, 2018. Student Scientific Paper Winner
  • Thompson, N., Zhang, X., Ayala, F., Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T., Krishnan, G. “Augmented Joint Stiffness and Actuation using Architectures of Soft Pneumatic Actuators”, 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018.
  • Pei, Y., Ewoldt, R.H., Zallek, C.M., Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T. “Revised Design of a Passive Hydraulic Training Simulator of Biceps Spasticity”, Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 10-12, 2018.
  • Gaglio, A., S. Daigle, E. Gacek, O. Jahanian, B. Slavens, I. Rice, and E.T. Hsiao-Wecksler, “Validation of an Instrumented Wheelchair Hand Rim,” Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 11-13, 2017.
  • Xiao, C., O. Jahanian, A. Schnorenberg, B.Slavens, and E.T.Hsiao-Wecksler, “Design and Biomechanical Evaluation of Pneumatic Ergonomic Crutch,” Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 11-13, 2017.
  • Wang, Z. and E.T. Hsiao-Wecksler, “Design of a Compact High Torque Actuation System for Portable Powered Ankle-Foot Orthosis,” Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 11-14, 2016.
  • Islam, M. and E.T. Hsiao-Wecksler, “Developing a Classification Algorithm for Plantarflexor Actuation Timing of a Powered Ankle-Foot Orthosis,” Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 11-14, 2016.


  • Song, S.Y., Hsiao-Wecksler, E. T., and Zallek, C.M. “Method and apparatus for muscle tone and limb movement measurement and assessment”, invention disclosure submitted, June 27, 2019. U.S. Provisional Patent Application submitted January 17, 2020.
  • Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T. and S.C. Daigle, IntelliWheels: The Automatic Gear-Shifting System for Manually Propelled Wheelchairs, United States Patent (Pub. No.: US9707138 B2). Filing date: July 27, 2012. Publication date: July 18, 2017.
  • Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T., D. Farooq, C. Xiao, G. Krishnan, G. Singh, Y.L. Oo, Forearm and Wrist Support for Crutch Users. United States Patent (Pub. No.: US9662263 B2). Filing date: Oct 13, 2015. Publication date: May 30, 2017.
  • Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T., K.A. Shorter, V. Gervasi, D.L. Cook, R. Remmers, G.F. Kogler, and W.K. Durfee, "Portable active pneumatically powered ankle-foot orthosis," United States Patent (Pub. No.: US9480618 B2). Filing date: Mar 14, 2012. Publication date: Nov 1, 2016.
  • Liang, J., E.T. Hsiao-Wecksler, R.H. Ewoldt, and S.R. Tippett, “Passive Hydraulic Medical Training Simulator for Mimicking Joint Spasticity and Rigidity,” Invention disclosure submitted November 24, 2015. U.S. Provisional Patent Application #62/321,360 submitted April 12, 2016.
  • Hsiao-Wecksler, E.T., E. Loth, G. Kogler, K.A. Shorter, J.A. Thomas, and J.N. Gilmer, "Portable Active Pneumatically Powered Ankle-Foot Orthosis," United States Patent (Pub. No.: US 2011/0112447 A1).

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Member, IEEE
  • Member, World Association for Chinese Biomedical Engineers
  • Member, Pi Tau Sigma
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers - Design and Rehabilitation Committee of the Bioengineering Division, 2008-present, Conference Reviewer (2010, 2013)
  • Fellow, American Society of Biomechanics - New Member Committee, 2007, Woman in Science Committee, 2007-2009, Elected Annual Meeting Program Chair, 2010-2012

Service on Campus Committees

  • Provost's Executive Committee for the Illinois Design Initiative, 2016-2018
  • Chancellor and Provost's Committee on LGBT Concerns, 2004-2005, 2012 - 2018


  • Distinguished Engineering Educator Awardee - Society of Women Engineers (2018)
  • Fellow - American Society of Biomechanics (2018)
  • Fellow - ASME (2015)
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research (2013)
  • Willett Faculty Scholar (2013)

Teaching Honors

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, UIUC, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent – UIUC, Fall 2005, Fall 2006, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2018

Research Honors

  • Honorable Mention, Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, UIUC, 2005
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, UIUC, 2004 -2005

Public Service Honors

  • Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Medical Devices (2016 - present)
  • American Society of Biomechanics Program Chair (2012)

Other Honors

  • “150 for 150”, Top 150 accomplished women at the University of Illinois in celebration of its sequential 1867-2017

Courses Taught

  • BIOE 481 - Whole-Body Musculoskel Biomech
  • BIOE 497 - Individual Study
  • ENG 298 - LEGO Robotics Mentoring
  • ME 370 - Mechanical Design I
  • ME 481 - Whole-Body Musculoskel Biomech
  • TAM 210 - Introduction to Statics
  • TAM 211 - Statics