Education – Bruce Schena

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DEGREE OF ENGINEER (D.Eng.), Stanford University, 1995
Stanford, California
Focus: Joint Program in Design (Product Design)
Dissertation: Design of a Global Network of Interactive, Force-Feedback Sculpture
GPA 4.0/4.0
Joint Program in Design (Product Design). This exclusive (12-15 students per year) world-renowned program emphasizes a broad, hands-on, multidisciplinary approach to design spanning the School of Engineering, Graduate School of Business, and Department of Fine Art. The Program aspires to train students to develop innovative products (where “product” spans the largest possible definition) that are sensitive to human needs while maintaining acute awareness of highly intertwined technical, business, and aesthetic concerns.

My focus in the Program included “smart” (microprocessor-based) product design, computer-integrated sculpture, industrial design, and business. Normally a Master’s Degree level program, I was the first (and possibly still only) person to graduate with the advanced Degree of Engineer in Product Design. The D.Eng. degree itself is also very unique in that it lives between Masters and PhD degrees closer to the PhD) and encourages highly customized coursework and independent investigation. Like the PhD program, the D.Eng. degree requires a written dissertation.

My dissertation was entitled Design of a Global Network of Interactive, Force-Feedback Sculpture; focusing simultaneously on the aesthetic and human interaction implications of remote-yet-intimate physical interaction (haptics) and the telecommunications architecture, bandwidths, and latencies required to make it work.

While at Stanford, I held Teaching Assistant positions with Professor Mark Cutkosky (undergraduate coursework development), Professor Rolf Faste (classroom TA for ME115A), and Professor David Beach (“Shop TA” in the Product Realization Lab (PRL) for 2˝  years). In the last 2 years I also worked full time as an independent product design consultant in order to support my own thesis work as it fell far outside “normal boundaries” for sponsored work

MASTER OF SCIENCE , Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 1987
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Focus: mechanical design, precision machine design, robotics, metrology, control theory
Thesis: Design Methodology for Large Work Volume Robotic Manipulators: Theory and Application
GPA: 5.0/5.0

As a student of Professor Alex Slocum, I gained a deep appreciation and enhanced design skills in the areas of precision machine design (micron, sub-micron tolerances), metrology, and automation. Our lab was focused on developing new ways to apply automation techniques and technologies to building construction.

Applying these “non-traditional” technologies to this challenging, dynamic environment often required us to invent and apply new solutions in areas such as large-scale metrology, mobility, lightweight/high strength actuation, advanced control, and robust mechanical design. My thesis was entitled Design Methodology for Large Work Volume Robotic Manipulators: Theory and Application.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE , Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 1986
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Focus: mechanical design, robotics/teleoperation, control theory
Thesis: Design and Construction of an Interchangeable End Effector Interface for a Space Teleoperator Manipulator Arm
GPA: 4.7/5.0, Pi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi honor societies

Through series of amazing and very fortunate events, I started working with the MIT Space Systems Lab before classes had started my freshman year at MIT. I spent 4 perfectly awesome years working under Professor David Akin (who has since moved the SSL operation to University of Maryland) building the most amazing and exciting robots and machines in all of MIT.

I also had the great fortune to be taken underwing by a graduate student Eric Shain who launched me down the path of robots, teleoperation, and design of computer-controlled electromechanical devices in general. Almost daily, I was able to apply newfound engineering theory to design problems in the lab. I worked on robotic arms, hands, cameras, cranes, thrusters, contactors, water tanks, batteries, circuit boards, computers, CAD, and everything else imaginable during my tenure there. I also had the privilege to participate in the construction of a milestone Space Shuttle experiment called EASE which flew on STS-61B in 1985, two flights before Challenger.