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The College of Engineering’s first Distinguished Lecture Series event of the spring semester is at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, as the college welcomes Francisco Valero-Cuevas for his presentation “An Integrative Engineering Approach to Neuromuscular Control.”

Francisco Valero-Cuevas, director of the Brain-Body Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Southern California. He will be a College of Engineering distinguished lecture series speaker on Jan. 27, 2016.
Francisco Valero-Cuevas

As the director of the Brain-Body Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Southern California, Valero-Cuevas has established himself as a leading national expert when it comes to applying engineering principles to biological concerns.

While he notes that the study of the nervous system and its interaction with and control of our limbs started out purely in medical fields, he says the past fifty years have seen the growth of engineering as an important resource in that area.

He is quick to point out that the “diverse goals, assumptions, and methods of each of these fields has also led to some confusion,” and he plans to address those concerns while at UT.

“The first example presents basic concepts of the emerging field of neuromechanics to help clarify how the nervous system might select valid motor commands,” said Valero-Cuevas. “The second demonstrates that neuromorphic implementations of even simple spinal reflexes produces stable and robust mechanical function.”

In addition to answering those two key questions, Valero-Cuevas said he also plans on discussing practical applications of the research.

A 1988 graduate of Swarthmore College, Valero-Cuevas earned his master’s from Queen’s University before completing his doctorate at Stanford University.

After serving for two years on the faculty at Stanford, he joined Cornell University for eight years before moving to USC in 2007.

He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a 2014 addition to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers.

His presentation will take place in Room 622 of the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building. Like other lectures in the series, it will be simulcast online.

Those viewing the live webcast will be able to pose questions to Sanders at the end of his discussion, while those who are interested in the presentation but aren’t able to attend can watch an archived video.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,