Dan Ding PhD



    Assistant Professor

    Office Location

    University of Pittsburgh
    Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL)
    6425 Penn Ave, Suite 400
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206

    Office phone


Academic Appointment

  • Assistant Professor


  • Postdoctoral Fellow in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Nov. 2001-Aug. 2004.
  • PhD, Mechanical and Automation Engineering, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2001.
  • BE, Mechanical Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China, 1995.

Research Interests

  • Assistive device instrumentation and monitoring
  • Wheelchair modeling, control, test and evaluation
  • Rehabilitation robotics
  • Virtual reality

Recent Publications

  • Ding D, Leister E, Cooper RA,Cooper RM, Kelleher AR, Fitzgerald SG, Boninger ML, (2008).Usage of Tilt-in-Space,Recline, and Elevation Seating Functions in the Natural Environment ofWheelchair Users, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, pp.973-984, Vol. 4, No. 7.
  • Ding D, Souza A, Cooper RA,Fitzgerald SG, Cooper RM, Kelleher AR, Boninger ML, (2008). Preliminary Studyon the Impact of Pushrim Activated Power Assist Wheelchairs Among Individualswith Tetraplegia, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, pp.821-829, Vol. 87, No. 10.
  • Tolerico ML, Ding D, Cooper RA, Spaeth DM, Fitzgerald SG, Cooper R, Kelleher A,Boninger ML, (2007). Assessing the Mobility Characteristics and Activity Levelsof Manual Wheelchair Users in Two Real World Environments, Journal of Rehabilitation Research andDevelopment, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 561-572. 

Courses Recently Taught 

  • HRS 3708 Integrated and Shared Control of Assistive Devices

Biographical Profile

  • Dan Ding received her PhD in Mechanical and Automation Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong in 2001. She joined the Human Engineering Research Laboratories as a research scientist in November 2001, and is now an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Dr. Ding research interests include rehabilitation and assistive device instrumentation, control systems for powered wheelchairs, and rehabilitation robotics.
  • Dr. Ding has served expert reviewers for federal grants, peer-reviewed journals and conferences in the field of robotics and rehabilitation engineering. She has published more than 30 papers in refereed professional journals and international conference proceedings. She is a senior member of the Society of Instrumentation, Systems and Automation (ISA), a member of IEEE, and a member of RESNA.

Awards and Honors

  • 2005 Phase I STTR, National Institute of Health, “Datalogger Development for Wheelchair Mobility Outcomes”.
  • 2005 Competitive Medical Research Fund (CMRF), University of Pittsburgh, “An Experimental Testbed for Optimized Wheelchair Control”.
  • 2005 Research Fellowship Award, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
  • 2004 Switzer Fellowship Award, National Institute of Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR), Department of Education
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