Nicola J. Ferrier
Assistant Professor Nicola J. Ferrier joined the ME faculty in January 1996, arriving from Harvard where she had been doing post-doctoral research. Her interests are in robotics and the computer control of machinery and devices, especially computer vision and other robot sensor systems. Ferrier teaches dynamics and is setting up a laboratory to study robotics and intelligent systems.
Born in England, Ferrier grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. While attending the University of Alberta, she intended to go into medicine, but switched to mathematics at the urging of a professor and graduated in 1984 with her degree in applied mathematics and computer science. After working as a plant engineer for the City of Edmonton waste water treatment plant, she returned to graduate school to earn her MS in computer science and engineering, also from the University of Alberta. There she developed an interest in robotics. She moved on to Harvard's Division of Applied Sciences for a PhD, specializing in the design of visual-servo control systems for robot heads.
After a summer as a novice bicycle racer, Ferrier went to Oxford as a junior research fellow in the robotics lab. That was followed by the post-doctoral work at Harvard on the design of an optically-based tactile sensor.
Ferrier's past outside activities included playing water polo on teams
for Edmonton, MIT, Boston, the city of Coventry in England, and Oxford
University. Her current leisure time is spent with her son Isaac, who
is nearly two years old, and her husband Paul F. Nealey, who is an
assistant professor in the UW Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
ME Newsletter is a periodic publication of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Correspondence should be sent to the address below.
Editor: Gail Gawenda
Designer: Lynda Litzkow
FALL SEMESTER 1996 -- VOL. 1 / NO. 1 Contents