Steering Committee

Steering Committee


Picture of David Hsu

David Hsu

Richard A. Sapp Professor; Professor of Management

David Hsu is the Richard A. Sapp Professor and a Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Stanford University with undergraduate majors in economics and political science. After a few years working in industry, he received his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, followed by his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hsu’s research interests are in entrepreneurial innovation and management. Within that domain, he has investigated topics such as intellectual property management, start-up innovation, technology commercialization strategy, and venture capital. His research has appeared in leading journals such as Journal of Finance, Management Science, RAND Journal of Economics, and Research Policy. He serves as an associate editor of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation department of Management Science. In 2008, Hsu was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industry Studies Fellowship. At Wharton, he teaches two MBA electives, Entrepreneurship and Technology Strategy. At Penn, Hsu is Associate Faculty Director of the Weiss Tech House, which encourages and supports students in the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies. He is a co-founder of the Y-Prize competition.


Picture of Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar

Nemirovsky Family Dean, Penn Engineering

Vijay Kumar holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University. His research expertise includes control systems, robotics, and mechanical systems, and he is a member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI), and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS). He was honored as a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2005 and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2003 and was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1996 and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991. He is a co-founder of the Y-Prize competition.

Vijay studies collective behaviors in biological and robotic systems. He and his group design novel architectures, create abstractions for systems of interacting individuals, and develop new algorithms for cooperating robots. The overarching themes in his research include modeling nature and developing bio-inspired architectures and algorithms, understanding group/individual dynamics, and the design and composition of controllers for robust, scaleable autonomous systems. Vijay’s key challenges include operation in unstructured, dynamic environments, integration of control, communication and perception, and scaling down to smaller sizes with limited actuation, sensing, and computational resources.


Picture of Kate Stebe

Kathleen Stebe

Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation, Penn Engineering

Kathleen J. Stebe received a B.A. in Economics from the City College of New York, Magna cum Laude, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Levich Institute, also at CCNY, under the guidance of Charles Maldarelli. Thereafter, she spent a post-doctoral year in Compiegne, France working with Dominique Barthès Biesel. Professor Stebe joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, where she rose through the ranks to become Professor and to serve as the department chair. In 2008, Professor Stebe joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as the Richer and Elizabeth M. Goodwin Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. From 2008-2012, Professor Stebe served as the department chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In July 2012, she assumed the post of Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Professor Stebe has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies; she has received the Robert S. Pond Excellence in Teaching Award at JHU, the Frenkiel Award from the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society, and was named a Fellow of the APS. Professor Stebe’s research focuses on directed assembly of materials in diverse settings, e.g. using capillary interactions at fluid interfaces, elastic energy fields in liquid crystals, and tension and bending mediated interactions in lipid bilayers. She is an expert in interfacial flows, with particular emphasis on how surfactants can be used to manipulate interfacial flows, and how surfactants alter drop break up modes. Other aspects of her research address dynamic surface tension, rheology of protein laden interfaces, and the design of interfaces and bounding surfaces for biological and materials applications.


Picture of Mark Yim

Mark Yim

Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM)

Mark Yim holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. His research expertise includes robotics, mechanical systems, and mechanical design, and he is a member of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab. He was awarded the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2009.

Mark’s research interests began with modular robots that are made up of identical active components that can be arranged to form many different configurations, ranging from a snake robot to a humanoid to a 17 legged centipede. These systems can also self-reconfigure, changing the robot’s shape to suit the task. In addition to self-reconfiguring and self-assembling robots, Mark has also started work on flying robots, and task specification, working to figure out how to specify a task so that a robot configuration can optimally satisfy that task.