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Howard Chizeck

Professor Emeritus
Robotics and Controls, Biosystems
M446 ECE
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-221-3591


Howard Jay Chizeck received his B.S and M.S. degrees from Case Western Reserve University, and the Sc.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. He has been a faculty member and Department Chair at two major research universities – in a small department at a private university and in a large department at a public university. From 1981 until 1998 he was at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, serving as Chair of the Department of Systems, Control and Industrial Engineering from 1995 – 1998. He was the Chair of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of Washington in Seattle from August 1998- September 2003. During that time the department experienced a period of dramatic and positive change. Both the undergraduate and graduate programs grew in quality, size and national rankings. Research activity and funding rapidly increased and external recognition of the departmental improvement, in terms of the US News and World Report rankings, improved (undergraduate and graduate) from the high 20’s to the mid-teens.

Currently, he is a Professor Emeritus of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Washington. Professor Chizeck served as a research thrust leader or testbed leader for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Neurotechnology during its 10 years of NSF funding. He was also co-director of the UW BioRobotics Laboratory. His research interests are in telerobotics and neural engineering. His telerobotic research has included haptic navigation and control for robotic surgery as well as security of telerobotic systems. His current robotics research involves underwater robotics. His neural engineering work involves the design of Deep Brain Stimulation systems for motor disorders, the design and security of brain-machine interfaces, and the development of assistive devices to restore hand and locomotion capabilities.

Professor Chizeck was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1999 “for contributions to the use of control system theory in biomedical engineering” and he was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows in 2011 for “contributions to the use of control system theory in functional electrical stimulation assisted walking.” From 2008-2012 he was a member of the Science Technology Advisory Panel of The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Professor Chizeck has been involved with several start-up companies. He is a co-founder of Controlsoft Inc (Ohio) and also is a co-founder of Olis Robotics, which was established in 2013 as UW spinoff. For 10 years, he was Chair of the Board of Directors of Olis.

Awards and Honors

Media Exposure

Neural Engineering-Security

Think Internet Data Mining Goes Too Far? Then You Won't Like This (All Things Considered-NPF) 2014

How Hackers Could Get Inside Your Head With ‘Brain Malware’ (2016)

Protecting Our Neural Privacy (CBC)-May 2017

  • Interview on Quirks and Quarks
  •  Hackers could get inside your BRAIN: Experts warn of growing threat from monitoring and controlling neural signals 

Hackers could get inside your brain -Daily Mail 2016

 Deux chercheurs lancent l'alerte: les données du cerveau ne sont pas assez protégées (Slate 2016)

Brain Anonymizer (Hardisken—Danish Radio)


Neural Engineering-Deep Brain Stimulation

UW among select universities to use investigational Medtronic device, advance research into brain activity

Brain signals deliver first targeted treatment for world's most common movement disorder


Engineering improvements to Deep Brain Stimulation2019

Technology Quarterly. Grey matter, red tape: In search of serendipity. Economist 2018



The Essential Interview: Howard Chizeck, Olis Robotics

How teleoperation is taking tasks based on distance, danger, and scale.

September 2019


UW startup creates underwater robotics with a human touch

Security Experts Hack Teleoperated Surgical Robot

UW building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge

Engineers building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge

Robot Used By Dallas Police To Kill Gunman Sparks Debate


The 'outrageous' surgeon