AUBE Lab Director/PI

Dr. Michael Zabala, M.S, Ph.D.

Dr. Zabala is the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Zabala’s primary research focus is on the biomechanics of human motion, performance, and injury prevention. He has extensive experience utilizing motion capture technology, EMG (muscle activation), and pressure sensors to biomechanically assess tasks such as walking, jogging, stair navigation, and run-to-cut maneuvers. His research endeavors include ACL injury prevention in female soccer players, lower-limb prostheses, lower-limb exoskeleton control, and 3D printed custom orthotics. Dr. Zabala is also the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Research Officer of XO Armor Technologies, Inc., founded out of the AUBE Lab in 2019. 

Current PhD Students

David Hollinger, M.Eng.

David is a current PhD student who received his B.Sc. in Bioengineering from George Mason University in 2017 and his M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering in 2018. His interests include using wearable sensor technology and machine learning to monitor, track, and predict human movement with the intention to reduce the risk of injury, accelerate rehabilitation, and enhance performance. He hopes to extend his understanding of biomechanics to synchronize wearable robotic devices that recognize, power, and propel human movement to super-human capabilities. 

Project:  Human Augmentation: Systematic Evaluation of Lower Extremity Motor Adaptations to Joint Actuation 


Sierra Eady 

Sierra is a current PhD student who received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University in 2021. Her interests include wearable sensors, electronics, and software development as it pertains to exoskeletons and exoskeleton control. Outside of school and research, she enjoys hiking, art, spending time with her dog, and traveling. 

Project:  Human Augmentation: Systematic Evaluation of Lower Extremity Motor Adaptations to Joint Actuation 

Sarah Bass, M.Sc.

Project:  Human Augmentation: Systematic Evaluation of Lower Extremity Motor Adaptations to Joint Actuation

Current Masters Students


Jacqueline (Jaxie) Brokamp 

Jaxie is a current graduate student from Cincinnati, Ohio  pursuing her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton with a minor in Human Movement Biomechanics and graduated Summa Cum Laude. During her undergraduate studies she worked in a Biomechanics Lab where she researched ankle-foot-orthosis for stroke patients and aided in developing toys for children with disabilities. Jaxie’s research interests include sports and military biomechanics applications, with a focus in rehabilitation, orthotics, and human performance. 

Project: XO Armor: Custom-fit Casts and Braces

David Bell

Project: Human Augmentation: Systematic Evaluation of Lower Extremity Motor Adaptations to Joint Actuation 

 Ryan Pollard

Ryan Pollard

Ryan is a current graduate student from Huntsville, AL, who is pursuing his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and B.S. in Exercise Science in 2023 from Auburn University. Ryan's interests include using artificial intelligence to discern user motion intention for assistive device control, specifically for those with neurological deficits such as para/quadraplegics and post-stroke patients. Outside of the AUBE Lab, Ryan is a peer tutor for the college of engineering and is actively involved in his local church (Auburn Community Church) and the 4th grade kids ministry program.

Project: Machine Learning to Recognize Neuromuscular Intent

Current Undergraduate Students

  • Ethan Koenig

AUBE Lab Alumni

  • Dr. Vitale "Kyle" Castellano, Ph.D. 2022 "Design, Performance, and Analysis of an Automated Tool for Neuropathy Assessment on the Plantar Surface"
  • Dr. Jacob Larson, Ph.D. 2022 "Nonlinear Measures for Biomechanical Assessment of Movement Health and Postural Complexity", XO Armor Technologies, LLC
  • Theresa Hardin, 2022, Army Soldier Center (Natick, MA)
  • Taylor Troutman, M.S. 2021, The Boeing Company (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Scot Carpenter, 2021, XO Armor Technologies LLC (Auburn, AL)
  • Dr. Taylor Oldfather, Ph.D. 2020, "Knee Valgus vs. Knee Abduction Angle: Comparative Analysis of Valgus Alignment Measurement Methods in Female Athletes", Visiting Lecturer - Auburn University
  • Michael Knotts, M.S. 2020, "Establishing Viability of a Novel Wire Induction Extrusion 3D Printing Method", Generational Systems, LLC
  • Austin Harris, M.S. 2020, IS4S, Inc.
  • Jordan Coker, M.S. 2020, "Machine Learning Based Approach Using Electromyography to Predict Joint Angles of the Knee", Aptima, Inc.
  • Scott Kennedy, M.S. 2019, "Sensing, Classifying Movements, and Actuation of Biomemetric Robots", PhD Student, NC State University
  • Raju Gupta, M.S. 2019 "Fiducial Marker-Based Motion Capture System for Biomechanics and Lower Limb Prosthesis Alignment", L3 Harris Tech
  • Sean Herrera, 2019, Biohorizons Implant Systems, Inc (Birmingham, AL)
  • Katelyn Jenkins, 2019, Exxon Mobile (Houston, TX)
  • Morgan Price, M.S. 2019, PhD student, UVA
  • Madelyn Clark, General Dynamics (Huntsville, AL)
  • Cameron Baker
  • Emily Bergman
  • Lexey Blakley
  • Ryan Brown
  • Austin Butler
  • Mark Chodaba
  • Chris Weathers
  • Kasey Cooper
  • Madeline Dueitt
  • Bailey Garrett
  • Grace Gray
  • Abby Jacobs
  • Anna Layne West
  • Jack Komlos
  • Jonthan Mallard
  • Anthony Marino
  • Chase Mathews
  • Mattie Mazade
  • Tanner Middleton
  • Jared Miller
  • Eston Miller
  • Daniel Sims III (Trey)
  • Shannon Minnich
  • Will Nearn
  • Nicholas Pasquerello
  • Nathaniel Pendergrass
  • Reed Rodich
  • Isabel Stewart
  • Will Taylor
  • Hayden Burch
  • Jacob Markham
  • Calvin Dulaney