kenn r. oldham, phd

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Kenn R. Oldham is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.  Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Prof. Oldham was a Research Fellow at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. He is a member of the Mechanical Engineering Vibration and Acoustics Laboratory and the Michigan center of the NIH Network for Translational Research.

Prof. Oldham’s research focuses on the intersection of micro-scale technology and control systems. Research interests include design for controllability, optimal and low-power control, micro-scale dynamics and modeling, and micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) fabrication.  By applying tools from dynamic systems and control theory, Prof. Oldham’s research group attempts to overcome significant limitations of MEMS technology incurred by substantial processing variation, limited energy availability, and noisy environments. Applications for this research include terrestrial micro-robotics, endoscopic microscopy, inertial sensor calibration, medical device instrumentation, and computer hard disk drive vibration control.

Recent research has particularly emphasized piezoelectric MEMS devices for actuation and/or sensing. In addition, Prof. Oldham has significant interest in engineering outreach for secondary education, as a Berkeley ADEPT Fellow in 2006 and through activities in southeast Michigan since 2010.