Reinkensmeyer Nets Academic Senate Research Award

David ReinkensmeyerNov. 15, 2016 - Samueli School professor David Reinkensmeyer, who earlier this year won the school’s 2016 Innovator of the Year award, has been honored again for his research. The professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering was selected by the UC Irvine Academic Senate for its 2016-17 Distinguished Mid-Career Faculty Award for Research. Reinkensmeyer, whose research focuses on neuromuscular control, motor learning, robotics and rehabilitation, was honored at a ceremony held on Nov. 14 at the Newkirk Alumni Center.

Reinkensmeyer has a joint appointment in biomedical engineering and anatomy and neurobiology. A lifelong inventor, he is working to develop physically interacting robotic and mechatronic devices that can help patients recover hand, arm and leg function after neurologic damage caused by stroke or spinal cord injury. His Biorobotics Laboratory has developed many robotic devices that assist in movement training, motor learning and rehabilitation – nearly 30, by his estimate – three of which he has successfully commercialized.

Prior to joining UCI in 1998, he was a postdoctoral fellow and a research assistant professor in the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Medical School. Reinkensmeyer earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT, and master’s and doctoral degrees, also in electrical engineering, from UC Berkeley.

Reinkensmeyer credited the contributions of his research associates in winning the award. “I feel extremely grateful to my current and past graduate students, whose work this award acknowledges as well, to my collaborators and colleagues across the university who have challenged and supported me, and to the leadership, staff, and students of UCI for creating a wonderful environment to be a professor,” he said.

- Anna Lynn Spitzer