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

Dr. Wedlick specializes in robotics, solid mechanics, finite element modeling, machine design, and computer vision. He has applied his expertise to a wide variety of engineering fields, with a particular focus on biomedical, consumer electronics, and safety applications. He has analyzed the dynamics and control of robotic systems, and human incidents involving robots. Dr. Wedlick serves on several national and international standards committees related to the safety of medical, industrial, mobile, and collaborative (i.e. operating near people) robotic systems. Dr. Wedlick is also a member of the climbing industry standards committee related to safe work at heights, is a certified climbing instructor, and has analyzed climbing equipment and incidents in the United States and abroad.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Wedlick attended Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University where he conducted research on robotics, tissue mechanics, biomedical device design, finite element modeling, and computer vision. Dr. Wedlick was a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fellow at the DHS’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 Mechanical Engineer, California, #M37380

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, Vance R. Background and overview of the new CWA Work-at-height standard. Climbing Wall Summit, Loveland, CO, 2017.

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.

Patents

U.S. Patent Application Number 20160259480: Calibration of Haptic Devices (P. Augenbergs, M. Piche, V. Chawda, N. Wells, S. McEuen, C. Wiederhold, J. Harley, W. Westerman, J. Bernstein, B. Degner, P. Briant, T. Wedlick).

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 Fellow, 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

Professional Affiliations

Standards Committee Participation:

U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO TC 299 (Robotics) - Voting Member

Robotics Industry Association R15 ANSI-Accredited Standards Approval Committee - Voting Member

ISO/TC 299/JWG 05 & IEC/SC 62A - 62D WG -Medical Robot Safety Standards - Committee Member

Robotics Industry Association R15.06 Industrial Robot Safety Standards Drafting Committee - Voting Member

Robotics Industry Association R15.08 Mobile Robot Safety Standards Drafting Committee - Voting Member

Climbing Wall Association Work at Height Standards Committee - Voting Member

UIAA Safety Commission for Climbing and Mountaineering Equipment – Corresponding Member

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

ASME Journal of Medical Devices

World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control

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

News & Events

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 Mechanical Engineer, California, #M37380

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