Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, 2010
  • B.S., Physics, Clarkson University, 2001

Dr. Zimmerman is a physicist with a research background in magnetohydrodynamics and turbulence in rotating fluids. He brings extensive professional experience in robotics hardware development, hydrokinetic energy R&D, and software development. This includes experience in electromechanical and electronics design, sensors and signal processing, embedded systems and firmware, mechanical and electromagnetic simulation, real-time control, and robotics motion planning. He has experience in C, C++, and Python software development, robotics software frameworks and simulation tools including Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo, and numerous engineering design and analysis tools including SOLIDWORKS and Abaqus.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Zimmerman worked for several years in robotics software design and development, including ROS 2 application development with soft-real-time requirements and algorithm selection and implementation for robotic manipulator motion planning with obstacle avoidance, singularity avoidance, and other constraints.

Dr. Zimmerman has additionally acted as the primary investigator for federal R&D contract projects funded by the Office of Naval Research and Department of Energy. He led the detailed design and performance characterization of an autonomous amphibious vehicle platform with compliant-mechanism thrusters, contributing embedded systems and control design, robot firmware and software development, actuator and mechanism design, and nonlinear dynamic finite element analysis (FEA) simulation of compliant components. He also developed software for laboratory automation, experimental and simulation data postprocessing, and automated setup and metadata management for parametric FEA studies. 

Dr. Zimmerman received his Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park. During his Ph.D., he helped to design, construct, and commission one of the largest liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic research facilities in the world, contributing to the electrical systems design, structural engineering, thermal management systems, and instrumentation design. He studied the behavior of rapidly rotating and magnetized shear flow, contributing significantly to the understanding of bi-stable coexistence of multiple dynamic states in highly turbulent flow.