I'm a 1979 edition, the third of four siblings, raised in a loving and supportive family in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Dallas, Texas. My parents, sister and younger brother all live in Dallas, and my older brother in Akron, Ohio. I’ve been married to my beautiful and talented wife Marianne since 2005, and we are parents to a wonderful teen daughter.
I'm a lifelong Catholic, educated in faithful Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school. These schools, variously run by the parish or by the Marianist or Dominican orders, supported my home upbringing with consistent messages to love God, seek wisdom, use right judgment, confess sins, give of my life to others, and try always to be a blessing and to present the face of Jesus to those around me. Many circumstances and events have shaped my approach to this life.
Perhaps most formatively, I have a younger brother who has significant developmental disabilities. Watching him in his struggles and his triumphs, and his underlying patience and joy, has been among the most inspiring experiences in my life. The faithful support provided by the family, especially my parents’ unwavering love and dogged, decades-long efforts to support his steady growth, has been a humbling living example of heroic dedication.
When I was twelve years old, I nearly died due to a perfect storm of asthma, allergies, bronchitis and pneumonia. A couple of days are missing from my memory: I don’t remember keeling over in the house, having my older brother provide CPR, or having my lungs pumped out by the paramedics. I do remember being back in basketball practice a week later, keenly aware of the miracle that I was still there. Twenty-eight years later I and my family survived a near-head-on car crash with only a few scratches. I carry knowledge of these incidents always, in gratitude for the life I have and as a ‘memento mori’ that reminds me to attend to my soul first and foremost.
Throughout life I have also been surrounded by people who take a service-oriented approach to life. My sister is a shining example: she earned a college scholarship based on her record of service in high school, and has continued giving her time and effort, professionally and personally, since then. She has a heart that welcomes all comers and never stops giving. And my wonderful wife Marianne is another: she spends most of her free time learning about the challenges faced by our many neighbors in need, and taking upon her own shoulders the effort to help them.
These and many other exemplary people I have met, and the marvelous examples written in the lives of the Saints, set a high bar for what a life should accomplish! How, exactly, can my own aptitude and love for math, science and engineering be put to use in half so beautiful a way? That has been my central professional challenge in life. Engineering often seems buffered from that kind of service to others. Yet, commitment to this holy and faith-driven life mission has been a major driver of my career path. Studying and then dedicating my career to rehabilitation-oriented biomechanics and technology has offered a concrete way to keep a focus on human wellbeing within a technical field. And, my choice to be a professor is motivated in part by the opportunity to nurture similar goals in my students. It is my hope that both students and colleagues can see this focus and understand its source, and be inspired to dedicate their own rich gifts to supporting every person’s God-given dignity and flourishing.
You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
Friends describe me
... as nice, goofy, competitive, welcoming, dedicated, thoughtful ... and on the other side, stubborn and absent-minded.
Fantasy dinner guests
Anyone with an interesting story to tell!
Best advice I ever received
"There's only one rule in driving: don't hit nothin'." -- ancestral axiom in the Adamczyk clan!
My undergrad alma mater
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
probably be a technology entrepreneur (again). But if I were to do something totally different, it would be linguistics and/or service-oriented ministry.
The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien); Moby Dick (Melville); The Practice of the Presence of God (Brother Lawrence)
As Good As It Gets; Star Wars (IV-VI); The Princess Bride; The Lord of the Rings (trilogy); The Devil Wears Prada; Cars; Harry Potter (series); Mother Teresa: No Greater Love
My latest accomplishment
New version of a prosthetic ankle/foot design
Real-world biomechanics with wearable sensors: studies in prosthetics, orthotics and exoskeletons, and methods to analyze the data.
Methods for tracking foot clearance using an inertial measurement unit and a 3D scan.
Semi-active foot prostheses: modeling, design and utility testing.
Rehabilitation robotics for the lower limb: systems, methods and analyses.
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