• 517 ISEC

Research Focus

Soft robotics, wearable devices, active and multifunctional materials, flexible electronics


Kris Dorsey is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Dr. Dorsey is also currently an MLK Visiting Associate Professor in the Media Lab at MIT, and previously was a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Dorsey graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and earned her Bachelors of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College. Dr. Dorsey’s current research interests include the design and fabrication of reconfigurable soft sensors for soft robots and wearable medical devices. In 2019, Dr. Dorsey was awarded an NSF CAREER grant.


  • PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering participant, 2023
  • Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering Emerging Leader, 2022
  • Emerging Leader Abie Award, 2022
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2019

Professional Affiliations

  • Senior Member, IEEE
  • Member, National Society of Black Engineers
  • Member, Materials Research Society

Research Overview

Soft robotics, wearable devices, active and multifunctional materials, flexible electronics

Programmable and Reconfigurable Soft Engineered Systems (PARSES)

PARSES (PI Kris Dorsey) is a multi-disciplinary group at Northeastern University in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering (College of Engineering) and Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences (PTMRS, Bouvé College of Health Sciences).

We work on challenges related to the design and engineering of soft robots and wearable devices. Some of the challenges we tackle in our work include:

  • Reconfiguring and tuning soft structure performance
  • Sensing the deformation of soft robots
  • Enhancing selectivity in soft mechanical sensors
Programmable and Reconfigurable Soft Engineered Systems (PARSES)

Research Centers and Institutes

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • K.A. Kim, F.S. Bagci, and K.L. Dorsey, “Design Considerations for Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting in Wearable Devices,” Sci. Rep., 12, 2022.
  • K.L. Dorsey, H. Huang*, and Y. Wen*, “Origami-patterned capacitor with programmed strain sensitivity,” Multifunctional Materials, vol. 5, no. 2, 2022.
  • K.L. Dorsey, “Electronics-free soft robot has a nice ring to it,” Sci. Robot. 7, eabg5812, 2022.
  • K.L. Dorsey and N. Lazarus, “Lifetime of liquid metal wires for stretchable platforms,” Adv. Mat. Technol., no. 4, vol. 6, 2021.
  • O.A. Araromi, M.A. Graule, K.L. Dorsey, S. Castellanos, J.R. Foster, W.H. Hsu, J.J. Vlassak, W.H. Hsu, A.E. Passy, J.J. Vlassak, J.C. Weaver, C.J. Walsh, R.J. Wood, “Ultra-sensitive and resilient compliant strain gauges for soft machines,” Nature, no. 587, pp. 219–224, 2020.
  • K.L. Dorsey, M. Cao*, G.A. Slipher, and N. Lazarus, “Mechanical isolation and temperature compensation in soft elastomer components,” IEEE J. Sensors, vol. 18, no. 18, 2018.
  • D.A. Rolfe, K.L. Dorsey, J.C. Cheng, and A.P. Pisano, “A surface acoustic resonator with template-patterned interdigitated fingers,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, vol. 248, 2016.
  • K.L. Dorsey and A.P. Pisano, “Stability and Control of a Metal Oxide Gas Sensor Under Air Flow,” IEEE J. Sensors, vol. 16, no. 3, 2016.
  • K.L. Dorsey, S.S. Bedair, and G.K. Fedder, “Gas chemical sensitivity of a CMOS MEMS cantilever functionalized by evaporative assembly,” J. Micromech. Microeng., vol. 24, no. 7, 2014


Aug 11, 2023

Humans Are Soft. Robots Can Be, Too.

ECE Associate Professor Kris Dorsey is designing soft robots that are safer and more user-friendly than traditional robots that could assist with delicate situations without causing harm.


Apr 27, 2023

FY24 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 12 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY24 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 11 different projects. Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Equitable Congestion Mitigation in Urban Transportation Systems Seyede Fatemeh Ghoreishi (Civil & Environmental Engineering/Computer Science), Daniel Aldrich (Political Science/SPPUA) Wind View AI Nathan Post (Roux), Enrico Bertini (Computer […]

Kristen Dorsey


Oct 27, 2022

Dorsey Named JMM Emerging Leader

Kris Dorsey, associate professor at ECE, is the winner of the 2022 Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering Emerging Leader Award, in recognition of her outstanding article “Analysis of DefeXtiles: a 3D printed textile towards garments and accessories.”


Oct 07, 2022

Announcing Fall 2022 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Several engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Fall 2022 PEAK Experiences Awards. This extraordinary group of students is taking on a range of exciting projects, from exploring axolotl limb regeneration to building a snake-inspired robot to understanding accessibility on Broadway. ASCENT AWARDS Justin Almendral COE’24, “Wearable Art” Mentor: […]

Kristen Dorsey


Aug 07, 2022

2022 Abie Award Winner Kris Dorsey

Kris Dorsey, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, jointly appointed in physical therapy, movement and rehabilitation sciences, is a 2022 Emerging Leader Abie Award winner from

Kristen Dorsey


May 25, 2022

NSF CAREER Award to Develop New Class of Soft Deformation Sensors with Origami Patterns

ECE/Bouve Associate Professor Kris Dorsey was awarded a $500K NSF CAREER award for “Rigidity tuned elastomer origami tessellations for fast, reconfigurable, and soft mechanoreceptors.”

Kristen Dorsey


Oct 14, 2021

50 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About 2021

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day (international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM), ECE/Bouve Associate Professor Kris Dorsey was featured in Robohub’s 2021 edition of “50 women in robotics you need to know about.” 

Kristen Dorsey


Aug 18, 2021

New Faculty Spotlight: Kristen Dorsey

Kristen Dorsey joins the Electrical and Computer Engineering department in August 2021 as an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences.

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