Chen Li named recipient of Beckman Young Investigator Award

June 1, 2018
Chen Li

Chen Li

Chen Li, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, has been selected by the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation for its prestigious Young Investigator Program, which provides support to promising early career faculty members in the chemical and life sciences.

The $600K award, administered over four years, is intended to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

With this support, Li will use an approach at the interface of biology, engineering, and physics to advance understanding of how animals move in complex natural terrains. He seeks to develop new tools that will enable experiments in lab terrains that have the complexity and scale now found only in nature. In addition to establishing the new field of terradynamics, Li’s research is foundational for the ability to develop robots capable of handling complex and difficult terrains, such as those encountered in natural and other disaster settings.