Smart Robotics Lab members and friends Holiday Celebration party. November 2019




Jun Zhang, Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Nevada, Reno
1164 N. Virginia Street, Mail Stop: 0312, Reno, NV 89557 USA
Office: 225 Palmer Engineering
Director: Smart Robotics Lab 
Tel: (775)682-9383
[Curriculum Vitae] || Google Scholar Page 




Graduate Students 


Thulani Tsabedze (2019/01 - present)

Thulani is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He grew up in Swaziland in Africa, and received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, with a concentration in Design and Manufacturing. He was a Lead Engineer in the Modular Robotics Lab at UPenn from 2016 to 2018. His broad interest is in the design, fabrication and control of novel high-performance and low-cost medical and assistive robots, specifically using smart materials/muscles. 



Revanth Konda (2019/01 - present)

Revanth is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his BS degree in Mechatronics from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India in 2016 and his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University in 2018, respectively. He was a Research Intern in Entrigna Inc. in 2018. His research interests include robotics, mechatronics, non-linear control and artificial intelligence. He is particularly interested in evaluating the use of AI to control highly non-linear systems such as robotic arms and exoskeletons which are realized using artificial muscles.



David Bombara (2018/10 – Present)

Nevada Undergraduate Research Award, 2019 Spring

Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Scholarship, 2019 Fall - 2020 Spring

Graduate Dean's Merit Scholarship, 2020 Fall - 2021 Spring

David will become a Master student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno starting 2020 Fall. He started working in our lab since October 2018. He is interested in researching robotics and artificial muscles. In his free time, David enjoys running, reading, and playing board games.




Undergraduate Students 


Gregory Billingsley (2020/02 - present)

Gregory is a junior student studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating in Spring 2020, he wishes to pursue graduate school in robotics. 



Bethany-Anne Calvert (2019/12 - present)

Bethany is currently a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Upon her graduation in Spring 2021, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering. Bethany has always been interested in smart robotics, and hopes to one day improve this technology in a way that has a positive impact on the world. In her free time she loves to travel, hang out with friends, and binge the occasional TV show.



Cianan Brennan (2019/10 - present)

UNR Pack Research Experience Program Scholar, 2020 Spring

Cianan is a sophomore at the University of Nevada Reno working towards a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering. He plans to pursue a career in automotive design or renewable energy after graduation. In his free time he likes to ski, play guitar, and explore the outdoors in his Jeep Wrangler.



Erik Hartman (2019/08-Present)

Erik will start as a freshman in Electrical Engineering at UNR in 2020 Fall. He started working with us as a high school student at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) High School as part of their dual credit program since August 2019. Erik plans to pursue graduate school in Aerospace Engineering. In his free time, he enjoys welding, graphic design, videography, and competing in UPA powerlifting events.



Ryan Coulter (2019/04 - Present)

NSF REU participant, 2019 Summer 

NSF EPSCoR Undergraduate Research Opportunity Research Scholarship, 2019/12-2020/05

Ryan is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He plans to graduate in Spring 2021, and hopes to pursue a graduate degree. Ryan has interests in robotics and mechanical designs, and the applications of 3D printing in new technologies. His hobbies include video game development, 3D printing, and drawing.



Alumni and Mentee

I have been very fortunate to work with many students. I enjoy interacting with students. Seeing my students improving and succeed is my favorite moment. My mentees described me to be rigorous, motivating, engaging, and helpful

Many students earned authorship on peer-reviewed journals and conference papers. Here is the list of students I have worked with in the past:

  Name Degree / Program Mentoring next 
Graduate students Tianyu Wang PhD, ECE, UCSD 2017/01-2018/01  PhD, ECE, UCSD
Yijing Li Master, ECE, UCSD 2018/01-2018/05  MS, ECE, UCSD
Undergraduate students Sean Ross Mechanical Eng, UNR 2019/12-2020/05  
Edwin Abrego Electrical Eng, UNR 2019/09-2020/05 GE
Steven Fowzer Mechanical Eng, UNR 2019/03-2020/05 industry
Vasilii Mansurov Electrical Eng, UNR 2019/02-2019/08 MS, UNR
Christopher Fulwider Mechanical Eng, UNR  2019/05-2019/08 BS, UNR
Christopher Mullen Mechanical Eng, UNR 2019/05-2019/08 BS. UNR
Lyndie Munson Mechanical Eng, UNR  2019/03-2019/08 BS, UNR
Aaron Wiese  Mechanical Eng, UNR  2018/09-2019/05 Navarre Corp.
Winnie Kuang Mechanical Eng, UCSD 2016/04-2018/08 NASA Ames Research Center
Guhan Sundar Bioengineering, UCSD 2016/09-2018/05 MS, University College London
Zixuan Lan Mechanical Eng, UCSD  2016/09-2018/03 MS, UPenn 
Taylor West Bioengineering, UCSD  2016/05-2018/02 MS, UCSD
Anthony Simeonov Mechanical Eng, UCSD  2016/04-2016/09 PhD, MIT
Alex Tran  Bioengineering, UCSD  2016/04-2016/09 Tesla
Adam Factor Bioengineering, UCSD  2017/04-2018/05 industry
Kaushik Iyer Bioengineering, UCSD  2016/02-2016/06 MS, UCSD 
High-school students Scott Wade Davidson Academy of Nevada  2019/05-2019/09 BS, Boston University
Visiting undergraduates Robson Adem Electrical & Computer Eng, Lafayette College  2017/06-2017/08 Senior, Lafayette College
Robbie Huerta Mechanical Eng, Cali Polytech State Univ  2017/06-2017/08 Senior, Cali Polytech State Univ 
Luis Ernesto Espinoza Mechanical Eng, Univ Auto de Baja Cali  2017/06-2017/08 Senior, Univ Auto de Baja Cali, Mexico
Jose Valderrama Mechanical Eng, UCF  2016/06-2016/08 MS, Georgia Tech
Josh Henry Mechanical Eng, Univ West Indies  2016/06-2016/08 MS, Univ West Indies, Thinidad