About Me

Hello, I am Rachel Gehlhar Humann, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota investigating control methods for powered prosthetic legs. I conducted my postdoctoral research in the Anatomics Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles under the advisement of Dr. Tyler Clites. I earned my PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2022 . There I worked in the Advanced Mechanical Bipedal Experimental Robotics Lab (AMBER Lab) under the advisement of Dr. Aaron D. Ames. My research was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

For my PhD research I focused on developing and implementing nonlinear control methods for a powered prosthetic leg. I enjoyed working on both the theoretical and experimental side of this project, establishing formal guarantees of stability for prosthesis control methods and realizing these control methods on hardware through coding, sensor integration, and experimental testing. I also love creating scientific presentations, teaching, and mentoring students. If you're interested in discussing my research with me, please contact me at gehlh007@umn.edu!


My latest result is realizing multi-contact lower-limb prosthesis walking that emulates human kinematic trends, without tuning between subjects, using real-time force feedback. These results are shown in the video below. To see more research videos and my publications, see my research page.


I am passionate about scientific communication and enjoy putting together presentations for a variety of audience types. Below is a video of my favorite presentation for a general audience where I tell the story of how I wrote my first paper through a Star Wars themed animated comic. To see my other presentations, see my presentation page.


I've had the privilege of being a part of various news stories on our lab's research.  One video from NPR of Southern California is shown below. More articles, videos, and podcasts from this media can be found on my media page.