Principal Investigator

Simon Sponberg

Simon moved to Georgia Tech in the fall of 2014. He studies how the versatile, agile locomotion of animals arises from their physiological components using the perspective of physics and comparative biology. He completed his graduate training at UC, Berkeley and postdoctoral research at the University of Washington. 

University Contact Info

Simon Sponberg
Assistant Professor
School of Physics
School of Biological Sciences
Adjunct in Biomedical Engineering
Bioengineering Graduate Program
Quantitative Biosciences Graduate Program
Georgia Institute of Technology
Howey Physics Building
837 State St.
Atlanta, GA 30332

The Sponberg Group @ Georgia Tech
Agile Systems Lab
837 State St. 
Howey Physics Building
Atlanta, GA 30332


Dr. Izaak Neveln

Ph.D. from Northwestern Univ.

Biomedical Engineering

Izaak Neveln is a post-doctoral researcher with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University where he studied the infomechanics of weakly electric knifefish using bio-inspired robotics. Infomechanics studies the flow of information between the brain, body, and environment in an attempt to study how animals interact with their world. Currently he is investigating the centralization vs. decentralization of control in running by measuring shared information in motor signals and mechanical variables in cockroaches. He is excited that his research has emerged from the seas, crawled onto land, and might soon take to the skies!

Graduate Students


Travis Tune

Ph.D. Candidate


Travis studies muscle.


Megan Matthews

Ph.D. rotation student


Megan studies fluids, moths, and their interactions.

Brittany Bayley

Ph.D. Rotation Student


Brittany is studying the structure of muscle. Her prior research experience involved studying thermal fluctuations in near critical fluid systems. 


Usama Sikandar

Masters Student

Electrical & Computer Engineering

As a Master's student from School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Usama is passionate for exploring animal locomotion from a Control Systems Engineering perspective. Currently studying moth flight, he believes that building appropriate aerodynamic models stands as the key to addressing profound questions about the latent mechanisms behind the moth's active flight control that operate effectively to compensate for the poor stability properties intrinsic to its body.

Research Technician

Steven Chandler

Physics (Emory) & Aerospace Engineering (Georgia Tech)

Steven brings with him a variety of university lab experience from a dual degree program in physics and aerospace engineering from Emory and Georgia Tech respectively. His current work involves experimental set-up, lab maintenance, becoming strangely attached to the lab's insect colonies, and investigating moth flight.


Rachel Barker


Rachel is a third year undergraduate student studying physics. She has a lot of interest in neuro-mechanics and muscle physiology. Rachel really loves to dance, and she enjoys finding connections between her work in the lab and the understanding of movement that she has developed through experience and training as a dancer.

Natalie Murray


Natalie Murray is a physics student at Georgia Tech whose research interests include the physics of living systems, comparative biomechanics, and computational modeling. Her other interests include volunteering and trying new things.

William Xia

Electrical & Computer Engineering

William is a first-year electrical engineering major with a vested interest in robotics, control, and artificial intelligence.  He has designed and built sensors and drones and enjoys applying his experience to the lab.  By working closely with insects, he believes he may gain more insight into the nature of insect biology and hopes to one day apply this knowledge to designing biologically inspired machines.

Chidinma "Chi Chi" Chukwueke

Biomedical Engineering

Chi Chi is a fifth year undergraduate pursuing her interests in biomechanics and muscle physiology in rehabilitation. She hopes to one day apply concepts of animalian biomechanics to the development and design of custom devices for disabled individuals. In the meantime Chi Chi spends her time playing rugby, doing her best not to hurt anything important, and learning the best methods of recovery in case she does.