Profile picture

Quan Nguyen

Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science


  • 2017, Doctoral Degree, Carnegie-Mellon University


Quan Nguyen is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining USC, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Biomimetic Robotics Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2017 with the Best Dissertation Award.
His research interests span different control and optimization approaches for highly dynamic robotics including nonlinear control, trajectory optimization, real-time optimization-based control, robust and adaptive control. His work on the bipedal robot ATRIAS walking on stepping stones was featured on the IEEE Spectrum, TechCrunch, TechXplore and Digital Trends. His work on the MIT Cheetah 3 robot leaping on a desk was featured widely in many major media channels, including CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC, etc. Nguyen won the Best Presentation of the Session at the 2016 American Control Conference (ACC) and the Best System Paper Finalist at the 2017 Robotics: Science & Systems conference (RSS).

Research Summary

Highly dynamic robotics, control of legged robots, nonlinear control, real-time optimal control, trajectory optimization, reinforcement learning for robotic locomotion


  • 2020 Charles Lee Powell Foundation Faculty Research Award
  • 2017 Carnegie Mellon University Best Doctoral Dissertation Award
  • 2017 Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Best Systems Paper Award Finalist
  • 2016 American Control Conference (ACC) Best Presentation of the Session
  • 2015 Carnegie Mellon University GSA/Provost Conference Funding
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science
  • OHE 430R
  • Olin Hall of Engineering
  • 3650 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1453
Contact Information