Robert Radwin

Robert Radwin


Professor Radwin is Founder and Past-Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the physiological and biomechanical aspects of work. He investigates how to better design jobs, equipment, tools, products, and environments in which people play a significant role, so that human capabilities are maximized, physical stress and fatigue are minimized, and workload is optimized.

Radwin’s research in the Living Environments Laboratory explores how to provide a more natural interface for immersive virtual reality environments. He utilizes real-time biofeedback combined with tracked body movements and natural gestures, and pseudo-haptics to simulate forceful exertions (e.g. lifting, pushing, and pulling) against projections of virtual objects. He and his collaborators in the School of Medicine and Public Health and Department of Computer Science are currently studying how people interact with visually simulated objects and perform “virtual exertions” for creating flexible prototypes of products, systems and environments for human factors research and development, and for training. They are also developing simulations of surgical and medical procedures for training and improving medical tools and devices, including a CAVE simulation of an ER trauma bay.


  • BS, Electrical Engineering, New York University Polytechnic Institute
  • MSE, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • MS, Bioengineering, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • PhD, Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor


  • Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, 1991
  • Special Emphasis Research Career Award, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1991
  • Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1997
  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 1999
  • Fellow of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, 2000
  • Engineering Alumni Society Merit Award in Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2004
  • Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, 2005
  • Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2009
  • Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2017