Robotics History: Narratives and Networks Oral Histories: Dawn Tilbury

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Dawn Tilbury was born in Minnesota in 1966. Tilbury studied Electrical Engineering and went to University of California, Berkeley for her graduate school studies. At Berkeley, Tilbury took courses on controls and developed an interest in robotics. For her doctorate thesis, Tilbury worked on developing planning algorithms for nonholomonic systems or wheeled robots that cannot move sideways. After graduating from University of California, Berkeley, Tilbury joined the faculty of University of Michigan, where she was involved with manufacturing systems control. Then Tilbury went back to robotics, and collaborated with US Army Tank Automotive Command, working on issues of reliability and user interface. Currently, Tilbury is interested in control theory and its applications in various domains, such as manufacturing systems, network communication, reliability of ground robotics, and dynamic systems modeling of physiological systems.

In this interview, Tilbury talks about how she became involved with engineering and robotics, her research interests, challenges in the robotics field, mentoring students, her involvement with various divisions within the IEEE, and efforts in involving more women into the robotics field. In addition, Dr. Tilbury gives advice to students of various levels who are thinking of a career in robotics.

  • Published on
  • January 20, 2020

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