Calder Robbins

B.S. Biomedical Engineering  |  M.S. Mechanical Engineering  


As PhD student at Northeastern University in Mechanical Engineering, I am interested in human biomechanics, biomechanical simulation, and rehabilitative device design.

A native of Western Massachusetts, I attended UMass Amherst for both my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (2023) and my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2024). Working under the guidance of Prof. Wouter Hookgamer in the UMass Kinesiology Department since 2020, I studied human biomechanics and performance running footwear. Under the joint guidance of Prof. Hookgamer and Prof. Meghan Huber, I worked on the variable stiffness footwear project and was eager to delve more into the world of wearable devices for rehabilitation and human-centered robotics. I now work in Northeastern's NeuMove Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Seungmoon Song. Outside of class and lab work, I am a passionate wildlife photographer, and love biking and hiking with my dogs!




UMass Integrative Locomotion Lab University of Massachusetts Amherst
2020 - 2024

Research Assistant
Designed and ran a study on the effects of bending stiffness on the biomechanics of inclined walking
Designed and built specialized uphill treadmill
Completed MATLAB data analysis for Asymmetrical footwear and split-belt running study of gait and balance for stroke and neuromuscular disease patient rehabilitation
Utilized Qualisys Tracking and OpenSim to analyze gait parameters

Human Robot Systems Lab
2022 - 2024
Research Assistant
Collaborative design of variable stiffness footwear for applications toward post-stroke gait and balance rehabilitation
Designed and manufactured adjustable air pocket for footwear outsole
Testing and data analysis of air pocket performance
Research And Development Intern BVI Medical, Waltham, MA
May, 2023 - August, 2023
Managed multiple DHFs and completed relevant technical documentation
Developed test methods and tested a wide catalog of devices
Designed and 3D printed various testing fixtures
Sailing Coordinator Pleasant Bay Community Boating
June 2019 - August 2022

Managed large team of sailing instructors
Oversaw multiple sailing programs including Adaptive Sailing programs
Wrote curriculum and lesson plans for respective programs


PhD - Mechanical Engineering Northeastern University
MS - Mechanical Engineering University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS - Biomedical Engineering University of Massachusetts Amherst


Biomedical Engineering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee    Member
September 2021 - 2023 

Helped organize and plan community building and outreach events for the BME department

Received  2023 Biomedical Engineering Departmental Impact Award

UMass Fencing Team  President, Captain
2020 - 2023
Organized and managed team activities, practices, and finance 
UMass Club Sports Executive Council President 
September 2021- 2022 
Oversaw and advised all club sports at UMass Amherst


Design and data analysis

Uphill Biomechanics

I helped design and build a specialized "uphill" treadmill for studies on human biomechanics at extreme inclines. The treadmill is capable of running at upwards of 30 degrees. ‚Äč Once the treadmill was complete, I ran a study on the effects of incline on walking biomechanics, as well as the effects of midsole bending stiffness on biomechanics at different inclines.

Design and manufacturing

Variable Stiffness Footwear

This project aims to develop novel, portable, robotic footwear with a controllable, compliant sole for developing new balance rehabilitation strategies and restoring weight-bearing symmetry after stroke. I am primarily responsible for the design, manufacturing, and implementation of the controllable "air pockets" and the conceptual design of the final product.