Richard Nuckols

Richard Nuckols, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Francis College of Engineering
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Dandeneau Hall, Room 247


Robotics; Human Movement Biomechanics; Sensing; Mechanics

Research Interests

Wearable Robotics; Human Movement Biomechanics; Wearable Sensing; Neurorehabilitation


  • Ph.D: Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University
  • M.S: Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S: Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Richard Nuckols, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to joining the department in January of 2024, Richard was an assistant professor in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo and a post-doctoral research associate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Richard received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State University. Richard’s research aims to bridge the gap between human biomechanics and wearable robotics with the goal of assisting and rehabilitating functional movement. An important aspect of this work is development of sensing strategies that support assistive technologies that can be tailored to the needs of the user and adapt with task demands.

Selected Publications

  • Nuckols et al., Design and Evaluation of an Independent 4-week Exosuit-Assisted Post-Stroke Community Walking Program, Ann NY Acad Sci.

  • Schmitz, D.G*., Nuckols, R.W*., Lee, S., Akbas, T., Swaminathan, K., Walsh, C.J. and Thelen, D.G., 2022. Modulation of Achilles tendon force with load carriage and exosuit assistance. Science Robotics, 7(71), p.eabq1514.

  • Nuckols, R.W., S Lee, K Swaminathan, D Orzel, R.D. Howe, and C.J. Walsh. 2021. Individualization of Exosuit Assistance Based on Measured Muscle Dynamics during Versatile Walking. Science Robotics 6 (60): eabj1362.

  • Nuckols, R.W., Takahashi, K.Z., Farris, D.J., Mizrachi, S., Riemer, R. and Sawicki, G.S., 2020. Mechanics of walking and running up and downhill: A joint-level perspective to guide design of lower-limb exoskeletons. PLoS one, 15(8), p.e0231996.

  • Gionfrida, L., Nuckols, R.W., Walsh, C.J. and Howe, R.D., 2023, September. Improved fascicle length estimates from ultrasound using a U-net-LSTM framework. In 2023 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

  • Nuckols, R.W., Swaminathan, K., Lee S., Awad L., Walsh C.J., and Howe R.D., 2020. Automated detection of soleus concentric contraction in variable gait conditions for improved exosuit control. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)