Women in STEM: Prof. Dr. Angela Schoellig
If you’re interested in cutting edge innovation in robotics, drones, and self-driving vehicles, then you should definitely check out Prof. Dr. Angela Schoellig. She’s in charge of the Dynamic Systems Lab at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, where she’s an Assistant Professor. The lab’s vision is to establish a seamless interaction of robotic systems with the physical world. At Tynker, we’re fascinated by the possibilities for robots and autonomous technology, which makes Angela a great choice to be featured in our Women in STEM series for the month of August.
Angela was born in Germany, where she was the valedictorian at her high school. She’s always liked math and science but she also enjoys sailing, skiing, running, and doing yoga. She’s even taught the flute . . . and gymnastics. When it came time for college, however, Angela wanted to apply her passion for math and science to real-world problems.
Angela decided to become an engineer, leading her to get a Master of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Engineering Science & Mechanics. Afterward, she went back to Germany to get another Master of Science, this time in Engineering Cybernetics, and then she was off to Switzerland for a PhD in Robotics and Control. Amazing!
Angela is also the Associate Director of the Center for Aerial Robotics Research and Education, spearheading her team to improve the safety, performance, and reliability of robotic systems by developing algorithms that will let robots learn from past experiments as well as each other. “I am excited about robotics, controls, and machine learning,” says Angela, “and any novel sensing and computing technology that enables us to design robotic systems that interact with the world and with us.”
Angela’s focus is to make sure that a flying robot never crashes into a wall while navigating unknown terrain or a self-driving vehicle stays in its lane when driving in a new city, even with uncertain road and wind conditions. This type of technology is becoming more relevant and important every day. If you want to see a super cool demonstration from her lab featuring a swarm of nano-quadcopters, go to Angela’s YouTube page.
In 2017, Angela was recognized as a pioneer by the MIT Technology Review in their yearly list of Innovators Under 35. Forging new paths in emerging fields, she’s the epitome of the kind of tech leadership that Tynker loves and a true inspiration to the next generation of girls who are dreaming of a career in STEM. We can’t wait to see what Angela will come up with next!