Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen, JPL, is a Senior Research
Scientist, the supervisor of the Electroactive Technologies Group (x355N), Resident NDE Expert, as well as in-charge of the Nondestructive Evaluation and Advance Actuators (NDEAA)
Lab that he established in 1991.
He received his Ph. D. in Physics (1979) and
M.Sc. in Materials Science (1973) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem,
Israel. He is a physicist
specializing in electroactive materials/mechanisms (including sample
handling technologies), biomimetics and ultrasonic Non-Destructive
Evaluation (NDE). He is listed as Subject
Matter Expert (SME) in NDE and Piezoelectric Actuators and Sensors on the
JPL’s Procurement Quality Assurance List. Under his leadership, many
innovative concepts and mechanisms were initiated, analytically modeled,
simulated, developed, and experimentally tested for planetary exploration,
commercial, medical, and other applications. He made two notable discoveries of
ultrasonic wave phenomena in composite materials: the polar backscattering
(1979) and the leaky Lamb waves (LLW) (1983). From Nov. 2009 to Sept. 2011, he served
as the Chair of the JPL’s Senior Research Scientists Council. Dr. Bar-Cohen is a Fellow of two
technical societies: The International Society for Optical Engineering
(SPIE) and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT).
His scientific, engineering and
technology accomplishments and leadership have earned him two NASA Honor
Award Medals - NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal (2001), and
NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement (2006), the JPL’s Magellan Award (2016)
for extraordinary work in advancing the field of electroactive materials
and mechanisms, two SPIE’s Lifetime Achievement Awards – NDE (2001) and
Smart Materials and Structures (2005), the ASNT’s 2002 Lester Honor Lecture
Award, the 2006 ASNT Sustained Excellence award, the 2007 SPIE President’s
Award as well as many other honors and awards. Dr. Bar-Cohen is listed on
34 Who’s Who Biographic Directories and his brief bio is listed on Wikipedia
with links to his websites at JPL.
Also, the Nov. 2001 issue of Tech Briefs featured him as a Who’s Who in NASA. His research and accomplishments with his
teams received extensive media coverage
including interviews with radio and TV stations, NASA Press Releases, JPL's
Universe, as well as articles in daily newspapers, magazines, and
technically related websites.
His prior affiliations include Principal
Specialist, McDonnell Douglas Corp., Long Beach, CA (1983-1991); Sr.
Physicist, Systems Research Lab (SRL), Dayton, Ohio, at the Air Force
Materials Lab. (AFML) (1980-1983); Post-doctorate, National Research
Council (NRC) at AFML (1979-1980); and Sr. NDE Specialist, Israel Aircraft
Industry (IAI) (1971-1979).
Currently, he is responsible for developing ultrasonic drills
and planetary samplers, sample containerization method using inductively heated brazing (for
simultaneously performing separation, seaming, sealing, and sterilization
of double-wall containers); electroactive
mechanisms, ultrasonic NDE and health monitoring methods, as well as high
power ultrasonic techniques. The
containerization method addresses the critical need for the extremely
strict planetary protection requirements of the Mars Sample Return (MSR)
mission to prevent contamination of Earth.
His professional expansion into the field of electroactive
technologies started from his initiated collaboration with MIT to apply his
elastic plate wave related expertise to develop jointly piezoelectric
motors under a NASA Telerobotic task. He followed his success with numerous
initiatives and tasks leadership funded by JPL, NASA, and reimbursable
sources including AFOSR, AGA, Army, Boston Scientific, Consolidated Edison,
DARPA, the Federal Highway Administration, NIH, Placidus and Teleflex.
He made significant contributions to NDE of composites and bonded
solids as well as aging aircraft structures. He initiated and led the development of
real time monitoring of composites curing, broadband transducers, and a
device for nondestructive determination of elastic properties of
composites. Using the expertise that he established in electroactive
technologies, he pursued innovation and R&D in biomimetics and
robotics, including the Multifunctional Automated
Crawling System (MACS), and an on-command exoskeleton. The crawler MACS was designed to serve as
a robotic platform for PC-board base instruments. As a follow-on effort, he edited and
co-authored an ASNT book on the subject of robotics for NDE (published by
ASNT in 2000). Since 1995, he has
actively pioneered technology for applications in the field of medicine,
which has recently become a strategic emphasis of the JPL’s Executive
Council. He initiated and led developments of novel devices for noninvasive
diagnostics and treatment using piezo-sensors and actuators resulting in
many NTRs and registered patents.
Dr. Bar-Cohen played a key role in establishing the field of
Electroactive Polymers (EAP), edited the defining book, and he defined the
sub-disciplines of ionic and field or electronic driven. For many years, he has been leading
instructor of annual SPIE course on EAP.
In an effort to promote rapid advances in the development of EAP, his
initiatives and proactive efforts led to the SPIE’s EAPAD annual
conference (which he has been chairing since 1999), as well as
has been publishing the semi-annual WW-EAP Newsletter,
and maintaining the WW-EAP Webhub.
In 1999, Dr. Bar-Cohen posed a challenge to the worldwide research
and engineering community to develop a robotic arm that is actuated by EAP
(also known as artificial muscles) to win an arm-wrestling match
against a human opponent. He held the first wrestling match
between EAP actuated arms and human on March 7, 2005 as part of the SPIE
Annual International EAPAD Conference. Three arms wrestled with a high school
female student and she won against all of them. This loss of the EAP actuated arms
highlighted the complexity and significance of the challenge that he posed
and it attracted enormous professional and public attention to the
field. The graphic representation,
which he created to illustrate the arm-wrestling challenge, has become the
icon of the field of EAP in technical presentations worldwide.
For his contributions to the field of EAP,
Business Week named him, under the category Gurus of Technology, as one of
“Five People Pushing
Tech's Boundaries” and “The Brain behind Plastic
Muscle”; Popular Science (mirrored by CNN)
named him the “Artificial Muscle Man”;
SPIE’s OE magazine described him as “redefining robotics”
and Scientific American described him as the “unofficial coordinator”
of the field of EAP.
teaching and mentoring activity includes his serving an Adjunct Full
Professor at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept., UCLA (1989 –
1993). At JPL, he served as a mentor of over 71
students and 9 postdocs, where four of postdocs he hired as
full-time JPL employees. In
addition, he taught many EAP courses during the annual SPIE Smart
Structures symposia and other forums.
Dr. Bar-Cohen has established and is maintaining a large
international network of peers (over 2,600 worldwide) from the academic,
NASA and industry to whom he has been disseminating his Edited Newsletters.
consist of scientists and engineers’ inputs from NASA, DoD, academia, and
industry. His first Newsletter
series were about NDE NASA-wide (13 issues), then about Materials and
Processes NASA-wide (2 issues), and his latest are about EAP and
Biomimetics worldwide (since the start in 1999, he published 42 issues).
Publication record: He (co)edited/(co)authored 10 books,
(co)authored over 450 publications of which 69 in refereed professional
journal and 89 book chapters, served as Editor of 29 conference
proceedings, made hundreds of presentations (including 46 Plenary, Keynote
and Invited papers) at national and international conferences, and he is
the Biomimetics Book Series Editor for CRC Press; and Smart Materials,
Structures and Systems Book Series Editor for Artech
House. He is a member of the
Editorial Board of 6 other journals (of robotics and biomimetics). He served as a Guest Editor for 4 special
issues of professional journals (on topics related to EAP, Smart Materials,
and Biomimetics). He has (co)Chaired 54 national and international
Conferences/Symposia, served as Symposia Track
Coordinator of 6 Conferences, co-Chaired 52 Symposia Sessions and served on
105 International Symposia organization committees. Moreover, he has made over 61
colloquia presentations at academic institutes and lectures at local
societies’ monthly chapter meetings.
He gave two lectures (on Feb. 21 and 22, 2002 and Feb. 18 and 19,
2010) at the JPL’s Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, which are held at
von Karman, JPL, and Pasadena City College (PCC).
Member of Professional Journals Editorial Boards
Board of the “Bioinspiration & Biomimetics:
learning from nature” Journal, The Institute of
Physics, England (Since Sept. 2005), currently till Feb. 28, 2021.
Board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering (JBE) since December 2009.
board of the Advances in Materials Research Journal since May 2011.
Editor of the International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials, Taylor
& Francis Group, Since May 24, 2011
Founding Advisory Board of the IOP SciNotes
(IOPSN) journal since October 2019
Editorial Board of the Biomimetics Journal
Since October 2019 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/biomimetics/editors
Editorial Board of the Actuators journal, MDPI,
Basel, Switzerland, Oct. 31, 2019
Editorial Board (EB) of the Proceedings of
the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design
and Applications (JMDA) for the period 2020-2023.
to the Google Scholar
(checked on April 11, 2020), his publications have a high number of
citations (15,105); a Hirsch's Index of 49; and i10-index of 213.
Innovation record: His innovation is
documented in 40 registered patents, 2 submitted patent disclosures, 3 Provisional
Patents, 128 New Technology Reports (NTR), 73 Class 1 NASA Tech Brief
Awards, 92 Tech Briefs
publications, and 14 NASA Board (Space Act)
Book Series Editor
1. Biomimetics Book Series Editor for CRC
Press/ Taylor &
Francis Group https://www.crcpress.com/Biomimetics-Series/book-series/crcbioser
Bar-Cohen (Book Editor and author of 5 chapters out of 20), Biomimetics: Nature-Based Innovation,
ISBN: 9781439834763, ISBN 10: 1439834768, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis
Group, Boca Raton, Florida (Sept. 2011), pp. 1-788.
Mazzoleni, “Architecture Follows Nature-Biomimetic Principles for
Innovative Design”, ISBN 9781466506077 (March 21, 2013), 264 Pages
I. A. Anderson, J. Vincent, J. Montgomery, “Ocean
Innovation: Biomimetics Beneath the Waves”, ISBN 9781439837627 (June 1,
2016), 202 pages
2. Smart Materials, Structures and
Systems Book Series Editor for Artech House:
a. N. White and S. Beeby,
“Energy Harvesting for Autonomous Systems”, ISBN-10: 1596937181; ISBN-13:
978-1596937185; Artech House, (June 30, 2010),
Ph. D. (1979),
Physics; (1975-1979), The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
M. Sc. (1973),
Materials Science; (1971-1973), The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
B. Sc. (1971),
Physics; (1967-1971), The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
1991‑Present Senior Research Scientist & Group Supervisor*,
Electroactive Technologies, 355N, NDEAA Lab, JPL, Pasadena, CA.
1983‑1991 Principal Specialist, McDonnell
Douglas Corp., Long Beach, CA.
1980‑1983 Sr. Physicist, Systems Research Lab,
Dayton, Ohio, at the Air Force Materials Lab.
National Research Council (NRC) award, at the Air Force Materials Lab.
1971‑1979 Sr. NDE Specialist, Israel Aircraft
- Group Supervisor, Electroactive
Technologies, 355N –July 14, 201*4 - Present
- Group Supervisor, Advanced
Technologies, 355N – April 4, 2005 - July 13, 2014
- Acting Group Supervisor, Advanced
Technologies, 355N – January 12, 2005– April 4, 2005
- Section Staff – April 2003 to Dec.
- JPL Senior Research Scientist –
Since June 18, 2001
* On July 14, 2014 – the Section 355 was
reorganized and 355N was name Electroactive Technologies instead of
for the A Team - MSR Dust Capture 2018-10 - A Team Payload &
Small Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering.
Aerospace Engineering Dept., UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
1989-1990 Adjunct lecturer
1990-1993 Adjunct full
Magellan Award - for extraordinary work in advancing the field of
electroactive materials and mechanisms. May 16, 2016
of The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), 2 July 2002
of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), 16 October 1996
NASA Honor Award Medal for Exceptional
Technology Achievement, June 7, 2006
NASA Honor Award Medal for Exceptional
Engineering Achievement, Aug. 2001
Smart Materials and Structures Lifetime Achievement Award - March 7, 2005
NDE Lifetime Achievement Award, March 6, 2001
President’s Award, Aug. 29, 2007
Award for Sustained Excellence, March 15, 2006
Lester Honor Lecture Award for Major contributions to the field of NDT,
Senior Research Scientist, June 18, 2001
NASA Class 1 Technical Brief Awards, between 1992-present
NASA Board (Space Act) Awards (5 awards in 2002, 2 in 2003, 2 in 2006, 1 in
2008, 1 in 2010, 2 in 2012, 1 in 2013)
Level-A Bonus Award for achievements in the field of EAP, Nov. 1999
Nova Award for Technical Innovation and Leadership, March 1998
Nova Award for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and R&D, May 1996
Research Council (NRC) Fellowship Award, June 1979
Team Award for the development of a wireline drill with compact drive
electronics that met difficult challenges & drilled 7.52 m exceeding
the objectives of the task, July 11, 2019
NASA Honor Group Achievement Award: Sample Return Break the Chain of
Contact, August 28, 2018.
NASA Honor Group Achievement Award: Pioneering a Streamlined Approach to
Delivering Mechanical Systems, Sept. 2017.
Voyager Team Award for the development of the brazing method for breaking
the chain of contact with Mars, Sept. 8, 2017.
Team Award for the novel piezoelectric actuated drill that rapidly
penetrates calcified plaques (occlusion) in human arteries, Sept. 23, 2016
Team Bonus Award for leading the highly successful AGA’s Quiet Concrete
Drill task, July 2005
the Industrial Robot Highly Commended Award for the paper entitled
"Lemur IIb: A Robotic System for Steep
Terrain Access," that was presented at the 8th International
Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR 2005), held in London, UK
on Sept. 12 - 15, 2005.
and co-developed USDC (Ultrasonic Drill) received the 2000 R&D Magazine
Award as one of the 100 most innovative instruments.
for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), since 1979
International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), since 1998 (March 9)
Ultrasonics Committee (Served as the Chair from 1995 to 2001)
Honor Award Medals