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Dr Tom Carlson
Aspire Create (Room M12)
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Dr Tom Carlson profile picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Ortho and MSK Science
  • Div of Surgery & Interventional Sci
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Dr Tom Carlson is an Associate Professor and MSc Programme Co-Director at the Aspire CREATe (Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology), University College London (UCL), UK, where he holds a joint appointment between the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering. He is also the Head of Education for the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). He obtained his MEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (2006) and PhD in Intelligent Robotics (2010), both from Imperial College London. He then pursued his postdoctoral research in shared control for brain-machine interfaces at EPFL, Switzerland, before joining UCL as a lecturer in 2013. From 2016-2018, he was also a visiting professor at LAMIH UMR CNRS 8201, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut– Cambrésis, France. Dr Carlson co-directs the INRIA associated team ISI4NAVE (2016-2021), which is developing innovative sensors and adapted interfaces for assistive navigation and pathology evaluation. 

Research Summary

Dr Carlson’s research focus is on the user-centred design of assistive robotic technologies for people with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating pathologies. He is particularly interested human-robot interaction and is developing shared control techniques for wheelchairs, robotic exoskeletons and brain-machine interfaces. Currently, he has several funded research projects around these themes including CROWDBOT (EU Horizon 2020) and ADAPT (EU Interreg VA FCE), which both focus on shared control for smart wheelchair applications and RESPONSS (Leslie Trust), where he is focussing on the role of a brain-computer interface in spasticity management.

Teaching Summary

Dr Carlson supervises PhD students in topics related to his research interests and often co-supervises students with academics from other departments due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field. 

He is Programme Co-Director of the MSc in Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technologies, which he set up together with colleagues Dr Anne Vanhoestenberghe and Dr Rui Loureiro. On the MSc programme, he leads the following modules:
  • Assistive Technology Devices and Rehabilitation Robotics (SURG0092)
  • Inclusive Design and Human-Machine Interfaces (SURG0093)
  • Group Research Projects (SURG0094)

He also lectures on the following modules:
  • Applications of Biomedical Engineering (MPHY0039)
  • Research Methodologies and Transferable Skills (SURG0002)
  • Medical Sciences and Engineering Research Project module (SURG0161)

Academic Background
2010   Doctor of Philosophy Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
2006   Master of Engineering (Honours) Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
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