Grad Student Profile: Meet Sunyu Wang
After graduating last year, MechSE alumnus Sunyu Wang (BSME ’19) chose to pursue his master’s degree in the department so he could conduct research with new Assistant Professor João Ramos.
Ramos’s research centers around developing human-controlled robotic systems for tasks that are too sophisticated, exact, or unpredictable for current AI-controlled robots to handle. Wang works on the human aspect of the system—the communication channel enabling the human to intuitively control the machine and feel the actions and reactions that the machine feels.
Wang first heard about Ramos long before Ramos came to Illinois. As an undergraduate student, Wang conducted research on an electromagnetic spine in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department under Professor Arijit Banerjee, who received his PhD from MIT. As a former collaborator with the MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab, Banerjee recommended the MIT lab to Wang when Wang was applying for graduate schools. In his search, Wang discovered Ramos, who worked at the MIT Biomimetic Robotics Lab at the time. Wang was intrigued by HERMES, the humanoid robot Ramos was working on, as well as Ramos’s portrayal of robotics as an art form on his personal website.
Wang decided to stay at Illinois when he learned that Ramos was joining MechSE as an assistant professor. He said the opportunity felt like fate: “Professor Ramos carries my favorite project, in my favorite lab, in my favorite school. It felt like my dream was coming to me.”
Wang’s interest in his current research stems from his passion for dance. He hopes to combine his engineering skills and his passion for dance in his future research and make practical contributions to both engineering and dance fields. He hopes to finish his PhD, preferably with his current lab, and eventually start his career as a professor.