The McDermott Professorships were established in August 2017, funded by an anonymous gift, with the goal of providing early career support and recognition to faculty members who have established extraordinary records of research productivity, teaching excellence, and university service, and who show promise of being leaders of the UT Dallas faculty in the future.
Gregg’s dedication to improving the lives of those with disabilities is evident in his continued research into robotic prosthetics and orthotics. His Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory, an interdisciplinary environment, channels that mission through needs-driven research.
The facilities at UTD are world class and provide the space and equipment for my research laboratory to thrive. The leadership at UTD has worked hard to remove potential barriers to success, which has created an excellent environment to get things done.
Dr. Robert Gregg is an eminent researcher in the field of prosthetics and human locomotion. His work has helped lower-limb amputees and others without the use of their legs to again become ambulatory through the development and use of robotic prostheses.
He also researches orthotic exoskeletons that are used both for rehabilitation of mobility and performance or strength enhancement.
“I was originally inspired to pursue a PhD in robotics based on a fascination with Hollywood depictions of humanoid robots and robots mimicking biology,” Gregg said. “If we can get bipedal robots to walk like humans, we should be able to build more functional prosthetic and orthotic devices to help humans walk.”
Since joining the UT Dallas faculty in 2013, Gregg has received the Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. He also earned a Junior Faculty Research Award from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Additionally, the NSF has awarded him numerous grants throughout his tenure to continue his work on robotic prosthetic advancement.
Before joining the UT Dallas family, Gregg worked as a research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Center for Bionic Medicine.
In the classroom, Gregg tries to mix practical examples from his own research so that students can combine the abstract academics with real-world work to cement their foundational understanding of the field. He also likes to mix in humor whenever possible — even if “they do not always laugh, it keeps them on their toes,” he said.
Gregg received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.