Thomas Wedlick
Thomas R. Wedlick, Ph.D., P.E.
Senior Engineer
Mechanical Engineering
  • Menlo Park

Dr. Wedlick specializes in solid mechanics, finite element modeling, robotics, machine design, and computer vision. He has applied his expertise to a wide variety of engineering fields, with a particular focus on biomedical applications. He has analyzed the dynamics and control of robotic systems, and human incidents involving robots. Dr. Wedlick is also a certified climbing instructor, and has analyzed climbing equipment and incidents. While at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University, Dr. Wedlick developed novel mathematical models, robotic systems, and needle designs to improve robot-assisted needle insertion.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Wedlick was an intern at the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Laboratory, where he assisted in the conduct and finite element modeling of explosive testing. He also developed a robotic system for silicon wafer transport at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Dr. Wedlick has experience using lathes, milling machines, and other shop equipment and organized five educational robotics competitions, which involved hundreds of students and attracted media attention. 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2013
  • M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The College of New Jersey, 2006, summa cum laude
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP)

    Department of Defense Graduate Research Fellow (NDSEG)

    Department of Homeland Security Graduate Research Fellow

    Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar

    Fred O. Armstrong Leadership Award

    Fred O. Armstrong Academic Excellence Award

    2nd Place, National 2005 ASME Mechanism Design Competition

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, California, #37380

Certified Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) by the Professional Climbing Instructors Association (PCIA)

Publications

Wedlick T, Lin DJ, Okamura AM. Tissue fixation by suction increases the accuracy of robotic needle insertion. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp 1686–1691, 2013.

Wedlick T. Models and techniques to enhance the accuracy of robotic needle insertion. Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, January 2013.

Wedlick T, Okamura AM. Characterization of robotic needle insertion and rotation in artificial and ex vivo tissues. IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics and Symposium on Surgical Robotics, pp. 62–68, 2012.

Majewicz A, Wedlick T, Reed KB, Okamura AM. Evaluation of needle steering in ex vivo tissue. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 2068–2073, 2010.

Wedlick T, Okamura AM. Characterizing pre-curved needles for steering in tissue. IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 1200–1203, 2009.

Conference Presentations, Posters, Published Abstracts, and Non-Reviewed Papers

Wedlick T, Levenston ME, Okamura AM. Using rotational friction models to enhance the perception of needle tip forces. Image Guided Interventions Symposium at Stanford, Stanford, CA, 2012.

Wedlick T. Characterizing and Modeling needle friction to enhance the perception of need le tip forces. Bio-Mechanical Engineering Conference at Stanford, Stanford, CA. 2012.

Wedlick T, Levenston ME, Okamura AM. Using rotational friction models to enhance the perception of needle tip forces. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Needle Steering Workshop, Minneapolis, MN, 2012.

Wedlick T, Marra SP, Okmaura AM. Evaluating deflection models for straight and curved steerable needles. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Workshop on Image Guided Medical Robotic Interventions, San Francisco, CA, 2011.

Wedlick T, Reiley CE, Ramey C. A fair game: A low-cost easily implemented robotics competition leads to diverse entrants. Session 1, Diversity, ASEE Mid-Atlantic Section Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2009.

Wedlick T, Okamura AM. Characterizing pre-curved needles for steering. Poster Session, IEEE-RAS / IFRR School of Robotics Science on Medical Robotics and Computer-Integrated Interventional Systems, Baltimore, MD, 2009.

Wedlick T, Okamura AM. Characterizing pre-curved needles for steering. International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention, Needle Steering Workshop, New York City, NY, 2008.

Wedlick T, Chang SR, Sepahpour S. A start up manual for using ANSYS in undergraduate engineering courses. ASEE Conference and Exposition, Session 1166, Chicago, IL, 2006.

Wedlick T, Post-Zwicker A. Development of a substrate handling system for ECR thin film deposition. Meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics, Session GP1, Denver, CO, 2005.

Wedlick T, Salman D, Martin J, Abruzzo B. The Cardan assisted stepping handtruck. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference, National Mechanism Design Competition, Long Beach, CA, 2005. 2nd Place winner.

Invited Lectures

Wedlick T. How robotics can enhance surgery and needle insertion. Austrian Center for Medical Innovation and Technology, June 21, 2012.

Wedlick T. How robotics can enhance surgery and needle insertion. Budapest University of Technology and Economics, June 19, 2012.

Wedlick T. Robotics will change your life. IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Activities Committee, January 20, 2012.


Prior Experience

Research Assistant, Collaborative Haptics and Robotics for Medicine, Stanford University, 2011–2013

Research Assistant, Haptics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, 2006–2013

Teaching Assistant, Dynamics and Control of Space Vehicles, Johns Hopkins University, 2011

Teaching Assistant, Design and Analysis of Dynamic Systems, Johns Hopkins University, 2008

Research Intern, Transportation Security Laboratory, Department of Homeland Security, 2007

Research Intern, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Department of Energy, 2005

Engineering Intern, Original Concepts Design, Inc., 2003–2004

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

ASME Journal of Medical Devices

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation & Measurement

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics

Mentor in IEEE peer reviewer program

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2013
  • M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The College of New Jersey, 2006, summa cum laude
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP)

    Department of Defense Graduate Research Fellow (NDSEG)

    Department of Homeland Security Graduate Research Fellow

    Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar

    Fred O. Armstrong Leadership Award

    Fred O. Armstrong Academic Excellence Award

    2nd Place, National 2005 ASME Mechanism Design Competition

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, California, #37380

Certified Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) by the Professional Climbing Instructors Association (PCIA)