Faculty Directory
Mitra Hartmann

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Computer Science (by courtesy)


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech B284
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-4633Email Mitra Hartmann


Center for Robotics and Biosystems

Hartmann Lab


Biomedical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering


Master of Science in Robotics Program

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Post-doc Bio-Computing, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Post-doc Computational Neurobiology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Ph.D. Integrative Neuroscience, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

B.S. Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Research Interests

Sensorimotor integration; whole body biomechanics; robots as tools for studying neuroscience; sensory acquisition behaviors; neuroethology

Significant Recognition

  • McCormick School of Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2010
  • McCormick School of Engineering Teacher of the Year, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2008
  • NAE 14th Annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2008
  • Invited Participant, NINDS Workshop on Neuroprosthetics, 2008
  • Packard Nominee, Northwestern University, 2006
  • Searle Junior Fellow, Northwestern University, 2006-07
  • Everhart Distinguished Graduate Student Lecturer Award, Caltech, 1996

Significant Professional Service

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Neurophysiology
  • NIH SMI Study Section Member
  • Programming Committee Member, Barrels Society, 2007 - Present
  • Guest Editor, Autonomous Robots, Special Issue on Biomorphic Robotics, 2001

Selected Publications

  • Luo, Yifu; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., On the intrinsic curvature of animal whiskers, PloS one (2023).
  • Heydari, Shayan; Patankar, Neelesh A.; Hartmann, Mitra J; Jaiman, Rajeev K., Fluid-structure interaction of a flexible cantilever cylinder at low Reynolds numbers, Physical Review Fluids (2022).
  • Bush, Nicholas E.; Solla, Sara A.; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., Continuous, multidimensional coding of 3D complex tactile stimuli by primary sensory neurons of the vibrissal system, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118(32) (2021).
  • Collinson, David W.; Emnett, Hannah M.; Ning, Jinqiang; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z.; Brinson, Lynda Catherine, Tapered polymer whiskers to enable three-dimensional tactile feature extraction, Soft Robotics 8(1):44-58 (2021).
  • Luo, Yifu; Bresee, Chris S.; Rudnicki, John W.; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., Constraints on the deformation of the vibrissa within the follicle, PLoS computational biology 17(4) (2021).
  • Furuta, Takahiro; Bush, Nicholas E.; Yang, Anne En Tzu; Ebara, Satomi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Hirai, Daichi; Shibata, Ken ichi; Hartmann, Mitra J.Z., The Cellular and Mechanical Basis for Response Characteristics of Identified Primary Afferents in the Rat Vibrissal System, Current Biology 30(5):815-826.e5 (2020).

In the Classroom

Profesor Hartmann teaches ME 241 and BME 270. Both classes are titled Introductory Fluid Mechanics. The flow of fluids is important in many applications ranging from blood flow in the human body to air flow over the wing of a jet aircraft. Undergraduates take this course at the end of their second year or at the beginning of their third year. The course uses integral calculus and differential equations, so these courses are prerequisites. It also helps to have taken physics and thermodynamics prior to this course.

Professor Hartmann also teaches a graduate level course, BME 462: Neural Engineering - Sensory Acquisition through Movement. This course focuses on an understanding of how animals move to acquire sensory data across multiple modalities, including vision, audition, and somatosensation. A previous introductory course in neuroscience is helpful.