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Viterbi Faculty Directory

Francisco Valero-Cuevas

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Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering-Systems, Computer Science, and Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy


  • 1998, Bachelors, Other Engineering, Swarthmore College
  • 1997, PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford Univ
  • 1991, Masters, Mechanical Engineering, Queens University


I attended Swarthmore College from 1984-88 where I obtained a BS degree in Engineering. After spending a year in the Indian subcontinent as a Thomas J Watson Fellow, I joined Queen's University in Ontario and worked with Dr. Carolyn Small. The research for my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Queen's focused on developing non-invasive methods to estimate the kinematic integrity of the wrist joint.
In 1991, I joined the doctoral program in the Design Division of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. I worked with Dr. Felix Zajac developing a realistic biomechanical model of the human digits. This research, done at the Rehabilitation R & D Center in Palo Alto, focused on predicting optimal coordination patterns of finger musculature during static force production.

After completing my doctoral degree in 1997, I joined the core faculty of the Biomechanical Engineering Division at Stanford University as a Research Associate and Lecturer. In 1999, I joined the faculty of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University as Assistant Professor, and was tenured in 2005. In 2007, I joined the faculty at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California as Associate Professor; where I was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. In 2013 I was elected Senior Member of the IEEE, and in 2014 to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers.

Research Summary

Biomedical Engineering, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Neuromuscular systems, Neural Motor Control, Biomechanics, Biomechanical modeling, Robotics, EMG, fMRI, Human and Robotic Manipulation, Nonlinear sytems


  • 1984 Institute for International Education and Swarthmore College 4-year Undergraduate Engineering Scholarship
  • 1986 Swarthmore College Eugene M. Lang Foundation Independent Research Award
  • 1987 Philadelphia Club of Engineers First Prize, Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper Award
  • 1987 Swarthmore College Twice Recipient, Scott Lilly Engineering Scholarship
  • 1989 Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow
  • 1991 Canadian International Development Agency Queen's-CIDA Scholar
  • 1996 American Society of Biomechanics Finalist, ASB Pre-Doctoral Young Scientist Award
  • 1998 Rehabilitation Research and Development Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs Best Poster Post-Doctoral Award
  • 1999 17th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics Finalist, ISB Young Investigator Award
  • 1999 Ersten Preis, Tiroler Innovationspreis First Prize, Innovation Prize from the State of Tirol
  • 2002 American Society of Biomechanics. IVth World Congress of Biomechanics Finalist, Post-Doctoral Young Scientist Award
  • 2003 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program CAREER award
  • 2003 American Society of Biomechanics Post-Doctoral Young Scientist Award
  • 2005 Paul C. International Conference on Advanced Robotics, ICAR Boeing Company Best Paper Award
  • 2005 3rd Annual Bioengineering Expo, Institute for Biological Engineering, Cornell University Chapter First Place Award
  • 2005 XXth Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics and 29th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics ISB Young Investigator Award for Poster Presentation
  • 2006 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Humboldt Research Fellowship
  • 2006 30th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics Journal of Biomechanics Award
  • 2006 Wenner-Gren Foundation Wenner-Gren Fellowship
  • 2007 30th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics Program Chair
  • 2010 USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Annual Research Day Best Poster Award in Category of Neural Control & Motor Behavior
  • 2011 Viterbi Mellon Award for Undergraduate Mentoring
  • 2013 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation Outstanding Technical Achievement for the 25th HENAAC Conference
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy
  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering - Systems
  • Computer Science

  • RTH 404
  • Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering
  • 3710 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 2905

Contact Information
  • (213) 821-2084
  • valero@usc.edu


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