Rory Cooper-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Rory Cooper

Rory Cooper photo

Bioengineering; Rehabilitation Science and Technology
University of Pittsburgh
rcooper @

Rory A. Cooper, Ph.D., received his B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering with a concentration in bio­engineering from University of California at Santa Barbara in 1989. He is FISA & Paralyzed Vet­erans of America (PVA) chair, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a professor in the departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System. Professor Cooper is director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the Center for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering, a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence.
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"I have focused my entire professional work toward improving the lives of people with dis­abilities, their families, and the people who assist them. Much of my work has been focused on providing mobility, but I have also made excursions into accessibility and assistive technol­ogy policy. My first line of research was related to manual wheelchairs: their design, usage, and optimization. Over the past decade, I have focused more of my work on electric-powered mobility. This has led to notable contributions to the PAPAW, IBOT, and other robotic mobil­ity devices.

I have worked with colleagues at Carnegie Mellon from nearly my first day in Pittsburgh, as our common research interests formed natural collaborations. I am most excit­ed by the continuum of basic engineering research through translation to clinical/community integration make working on QoLT stimulating and rewarding in Pittsburgh."