Zeynep Temel, a robotics researcher who uses inspiration from nature to design novel means of motion and locomotion for tiny robots, has been named by the World Economic Forum to its Young Scientists Class of 2020.
Temel, an assistant professor in the Robotics Institute, and Stephanie Sydlik, an assistant professor of chemistry, are the latest Carnegie Mellon University faculty members to join the WEF's Young Scientists community. The distinction recognizes scientific rising stars under the age of 40 who are pursuing high-impact research.
"I am very excited to be a part of the WEF Young Scientists community and incredibly honored to be representing CMU," Temel said. "It will be a great adventure to learn from amazing scientists and develop projects that will improve the state of the world. "
Temel, who joined the CMU faculty in 2019, focuses on small biological systems, such as insects, that can repeatedly achieve incredible speeds and accelerations and/or exert great force. She uses analytical and computational models, as well as physical prototypes, to test hypotheses and explore bio-inspired designs. This work has included the fabrication of tiny jumping and swimming robots.
In her Zoom Lab, Temel is developing advanced manufacturing techniques for producing these devices, as well as embedded sensors and actuators to add control mechanisms and intelligence to them. She anticipates applications in such areas as milliscale surgical robots, search-and-rescue swarm robots, and space exploration.
Temel earned a Ph.D. in mechatronics at Sabanci University in Turkey and was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard and Brown universities before joining CMU.
Normally, members of the Young Scientists community attend the WEF's annual Meeting of the New Champions in China during the summer, but the event has been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are looking forward to working with the Class of 2020 Young Scientists to help leaders from the public and private sector better engage with science and in doing so, help young researchers become stronger ambassadors for science, which the world needs now and will continue to need post-COVID-19," said Alice Hazelton, the WEF's program lead for Science and Society.
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