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Meet The Team!


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Prof. Amir Jafari


Associate Professor,

Associate Editor of IEEE Robotic and Automation Letters (IEEE RA-L)

Department of Biomedical Engineering,

University of North Texas,
UNT Discovery Park 

Amir Jafari received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 and 2006, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in Robotics from Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2011. He then moved to Bio-Inspired Robotic Lab (BIRL) at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland as a postdoctoral researcher, the lab that then moved to University of Cambridge in UK. In 2014. From 2014 to 2016, he was a scientist Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. From 2016 to 2021, he was an assistant professor with the department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Since September 2021, he is an associate professor with the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Texas. 


Dr. Jafari’s research interests lie primarily in the area of Rehabilitation Robotics, Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuators. He has authored more than 50 scientific articles in prestigious robotic journal and conferences such as IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics, Advanced Functional material and IEEE/ASME International Conference on Robotics and Automations (ICRA). He holds 6 international patents and edited a book entitled as: Soft Robotics in Rehabilitation, that has been published by Elsevier.  Dr. Jafari is an associate editor for IEEE Robotic and Automation Letter (IEEE RA-L), a top scientific journal in the field of Robotics. He has been the chair for 3 international robotic workshops in Switzerland (2011), Australia (2018) and the USA (2019). Dr. Jafari’s research works have been cited by other researchers more than 2000 citations according to Google Scholar. He has received millions of $ as federal and international research grants, including a prestigious early CAREER award from National Science Foundation (NSF). 

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Trevor Exley

Robotic Instructor 

Mr. Exley conducts research on soft robotics and compliant actuation methods in the Advanced Robotics Manipulators (ARM). His primary objective is to devise innovative soft actuation techniques suitable for rehabilitation devices, particularly prosthetics. Trevor's journey at the University of North Texas commenced in 2017. Since then, he has earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in biomedical engineering, complemented with a concentrated minor in mechanical engineering. His academic pursuits encompass biomedical instrumentation, biomechanics, and machine learning. Notably, his Master's thesis centered on Parkinson's disease, as he assessed the predictive potentials of quiet standing data in collaboration with the Biomedical AI Lab.

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Nicole Berry

Robotic Instructor

Nicole Berry is the Instructional Laboratory Supervisor for the biomedical department at UNT. Nicole has been involved with the BMEN department since 2019 when she transferred to UNT from Collin Community College. She completed a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Biology in 2022 and will graduate with a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2024. In her position as the instructional lab supervisor, Nicole seeks innovative ways to teach students biomedical engineering. Nicole is passionate about creating a fun learning environments that focuses on building problem solving abilities, critical thinking, and confidence.

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Robert Powell

Robotic Instructor 

Mr. Powell graduated from Texas A&M University in 1997.  He spent the next thirteen plus years in the field of lab automation.  This journey started at UT Southwestern Medical Center, then to Tecan Inc, and finally to Hologic Inc. As a Field Service Engineer, the designs and inner workings of the robotic lab instruments were gained.  With his diverse background and work experience, it is his goal to bring that knowledge to school of Robotics and STEM. 

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Daniel Johnson

Robotic Instructor

Mr. Johnson received his B.S. in Physics at Stephen F. Austin with minors in Math and Astronomy in 2017. With previous work experience in EMT and Computer Networking, he began his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and aimed to combine his knowledge into the field of Soft Robotics. He is an expert in novel thermoactive soft actuators that has potential to be used in Rehabilitation Robotics.

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