Marcia O'Malley named IEEE Fellow

Rice mechanical engineering professor cited for her “contributions to rehabilitation robotics and haptic systems.”

Marcia O'Malley

Marcia O’Malley, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Mechanical Engineering (MECH) and director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab at Rice University, has been named a Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

O’Malley was cited for her “contributions to rehabilitation robotics and haptic systems.” IEEE is the largest association of technical professionals in the world, with more than 423,000 members in some 160 countries.

O’Malley earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in MECH from Vanderbilt University in 1999 and 2001, respectively, and joined the Rice faculty in 2001. She holds complementary appointments in electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Rice. She is special adviser to the provost on health-related research and educational initiatives, and serves as an adjunct associate professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

O’Malley is director of rehabilitation engineering at TIRR-Memorial Hermann Hospital, and co-founder of Houston Medical Robotics, Inc. Her research focuses on the interactions of humans and robotic systems, with emphasis on applications in motor skill training and upper limb rehabilitation. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

In 2008 and 2017, O’Malley received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice. She was a 2004 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, and the following year received an NSF CAREER Award.

She formerly chaired the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics and was on the founding editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Haptics. She served on the editorial board of the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and the ASME/IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics. She serves as a senior editor for the ACM Transactions on Human Robot Interaction.

Last year, O’Malley was named a 2018-19 ELATE Fellow as part of Drexel University’s program to advance senior women faculty in engineering and technology.

The Fellow grade is the organization’s highest level of membership and is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon researchers “with extraordinary records of accomplishment in any of the IEEE fields of interest.” Less than 0.1 percent of voting members are selected annually to become Fellows.