Nikolai Dechev

Nikolai Dechev
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Ph.D (Toronto), P.Eng

Office: EOW 517

Research areas

  • Bio-medical Systems Design
  • Robotics and Automation
  • MEMS (Micro-Electromechanical Systems) Design
  • Mechanism and Machine Design

Research description

Dr. Dechev’s research program is centered on electro-mechanical system design, and its application to biomedical devices, microsystems, and machine automation. The intersection of mechanical systems, electronics and control (i.e. mechantronics) form the core of this program. His biomedical research centers on the development of (a) advanced lower arm prosthesis and sensory methods to control multi-actuator prosthesis, (b) wireless power transmission for implantable devices, and (c) automatic robotic instrumentation for the visual analysis and manipulation of biological cells in-vitro. He also has extensive experience in advanced Microsystems (MEMS) design and development.

Current research activities

The design and development of:
(i) A portable, non-invasive, ultrasound-based sensor system for the measurement of internal tendon motion within the wrist, for application towards advanced prosthesis control.
(ii) An implantable, wireless sensor system for the measurement of intra-muscular signals (electromyographic data acquisition) for application towards advanced prosthesis control.
(iii) A miniature implantable, wireless system for neural stimulation and neural sensing for laboratory mice and rats.  This work is done in collaboration with biological sciences, and specifically aimed at research into recovery from stroke, spinal cord injury and disease progression.
(iv) Advanced robotics and manipulators using machine vision for automated micromanipulation. Specifically, microassembly of 3D MEMS, and manipulation of biological cells.
(v) Advanced hand and wrist prosthesis systems. Specifically, multi-degree-of-freedom (i.e. multi-channel) output mechanisms, and novel methods of user-control of such prosthesis.

Research expertise

In conducting this research, our team members have acquired extensive expertise and advanced training in the areas of: mechatronic system design, advanced sensor development, finite element method (FEM) simulation of mechanical and electrical domains, signal acquisition and processing, microsystem (MEMS) design and fabrication, and automation techniques.
For further information, please visit our laboratory page:, or contact Dr. Dechev by email. Research opportunities for graduate study in these or related areas are available. Candidates with an undergraduate or graduate background in areas such as: Bio-medical design, mechatronics and automation, mechanical design, electronics and wireless technologies, or MEMS design and fabrication are encouraged to apply.