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Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering

Kam K. Leang

Adjunct Professor

Kam Leang

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of Washington, 2004
  • M.S., University of Utah, 1999
  • B.S., University of Utah, 1997


Dr. Leang received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington) in December 2004. In 2014, he joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Utah as an associate professor. He was faculty at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno from 2008 to 2014 and continues to be an adjunct professor in the department. Between August 2005 and May 2008, he was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA).

His research expertise includes dynamic systems, controls, mechatronics, and robotics. Specifically, his research group focuses on developing advanced feedback and feedforward control techniques for electroactive material systems. Such systems include piezoelectric actuators, shape memory alloys, and electroactive polymers. The group's interests also encompass input-output modeling of the complexity arising from hysteresis and dynamic effects in these systems. Applications of the work include high-speed, high-precision nanopositioning systems, scanning probe microscopy, and micro-autonomous systems.

Dr. Leang's research team is supported by industry and federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Dept. of Defense (ONR, ARMY), and NASA. Currently, Dr. Leang is the Associate Editor of IEEE Control Systems Magazine and the Technical Editor of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.

Research interests

  • Modeling and precision control of active material actuators and systems
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Nanopositioning
  • Mechatronics and robotics

Relevant past experience

  • Research funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, U.S. Department of Defense (ONR and ARMY), and private industry
  • Visiting Scientist, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia (July - August, 2008)
  • Assistant Prof. of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University (August 2005 to May 2008)

Awards and honors

  • 2014 Nevada Board of Regents Rising Researcher of the Year Award
  • 2013 University of Nevada, Reno College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Award
  • VCU/NSBE Professor-of-the-Year Award (2006/07, Student nominated award)
  • National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow (2001 - 2004)
  • College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Utah (1999)
  • Teaching Assistant of the Year Awards, University of Utah (1997/98, 1998/99)

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