Monash Engineering has appointed Professor Dana Kulić to lead the planning and establishment of a new robotics research facility, beginning in January 2019. Professor Kulić is currently head of the Adaptive Systems Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where her research interests include robot learning, humanoid robots, human–robot interaction and mechatronics.
“I’m excited to build on Monash’s existing research strengths in robotics to develop an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to robotics research and education,” said Professor Kulić. ”Not just traditional robotics in industry and manufacturing, but robotics that work in human environments with and for people.”
Professor Kulić has also been part of the research team at Waterloo Robohub, an interdisciplinary robotics facility incorporating a diverse fleet of robots and dedicated infrastructure. Her previous work also includes the design of autonomous systems for robot learning, human-robot interaction in industrial and home settings, and systems for automated rehabilitation measurement and guidance in clinical settings.
“We’re delighted to have Professor Dana Kulić join our Faculty,” said Dean of Engineering Professor Elizabeth Croft. “Her international experience as a world leading robotics researcher will amplify our strengths in Smart and Autonomous Systems, Automation and Human-Centred Robotics. We look forward to her leadership in this area.”
The new robotics research initiative at Monash will aim to develop robots with a broad variety of applications, particularly across health, education, aged care and rehabilitation services. “The aim is not just to improve processes, but to make a real difference to people’s lives, including health care users and workers in the field,” Professor Kulić said.
“Robotics is a transformative technology at the cusp of making a broad impact on our society,” she added. “I hope our efforts at Monash will place Australia at the international forefront of the coming robotics age, and help solve some of the big challenges our world is facing.”
Monash Engineering extends a warm welcome to Professor Kulić and looks forward to her arrival in 2019.