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Jonathan B. Hopkins

Jonathan B. Hopkins, Ph.D.
(M.I.T., 2010)
Assistant Professor

46-147F, Eng IV
(310) 825-8091


Research Site:

Personal Site:

Areas of Interest

The aim of Hopkins’ research is to enable the design, analysis, and fabrication of sophisticated flexible structures that possess extraordinary capabilities (e.g., significant shape and size mutability, elastic energy storage and release utility, high motion path repeatability, actuation simplicity, kinematic and dynamic complexity).

His approach for designing these structures is unique in that it utilizes geometric shapes, which represent the rigorous mathematics of physics, to visually guide designers through the creative process of concept generation. These shapes enable designers to rapidly conceptualize and compare every concept that satisfies any given set of desired kinematic, elastomechanic, and dynamic design requirements before selecting the optimal concept.


  • Hopkins, J.B., 2013, “Chapter 6: Synthesis Through Freedom and Constraint Topologies,” (pp. 79-92) in Handbook of Compliant Mechanisms, Edited by Howell, L.L., Magleby, S.P., Olsen, B.M., John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford, UK.
  • Singh, G., Hopkins, J.B., 2015, “General Selection of Lattice Shape in Ductile-reinforced Brittle Structures for Increased Stiffness,” Composite Structures, 131: pp. 325-332.
  • Panas, R.M., Hopkins, J.B., 2015, “Eliminating Underconstraint in Double Parallelogram Flexure Mechanisms,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 137(9): 092301 (9 pages)
  • Hopkins, J.B., Rivera, J., Kim, C., Krishnan, G., 2015, “Synthesis and Analysis of Soft Parallel Robots Comprised of Active Constraints,” Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 7(1): 011002 (13 pages). (submitted by invitation to a special edition)
  • Hopkins, J.B., 2015 “A Visualization Approach for Analyzing and Synthesizing Serial Flexure Elements,” Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 7(3): 031011 (12 pages)
  • Hopkins, J.B., Vericella, J.J., Harvey, C.D., 2014, “Modeling and Generating Parallel Flexure Elements,” Precision Engineering, 38(3): pp. 525-537.
  • Hopkins, J.B., 2013, “Designing Hybrid Flexure Systems and Elements Using Freedom and Constraint Topologies,” Mechanical Sciences, 4: pp. 319-331.
  • Hopkins, J.B., 2013, “Synthesizing Parallel Flexures That Mimic the Kinematics of Serial Flexures Using Freedom and Constraint Topologies,” Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 5(4): 041004 (9 pages).
  • Hopkins, J.B., Lange, K.J., Spadaccini, C.M., 2013, “Designing Microstructural Architectures with Thermally Actuated Properties Using Freedom, Actuation, and Constraint Topologies,” Journal of Mechanical Design, 135(6): 061004 (10 pages).
  • Panas, R.M., Hopkins, J.B., Lustrino, M., Panas, C.W., Watral, A., 2013, “An Instrument to Characterize the Dynamic Compliance of Skin,” Measurement, 46(3): pp. 1094-1100.
  • Hopkins, J.B., Panas, R.M., 2013, “Design of Flexure-based Precision Transmission Mechanisms Using Screw Theory,” Precision Engineering, 37(2): pp. 299-307 (Posted to Advances in Engineering by invitation—
  • Hopkins, J.B., 2012, “Precision Flexure Bearing Design: On the Use of Freedom and Constraint Topologies,” Mikroniek Professional Journal on Precision Engineering, 52(5): pp. 34-39. (submitted by invitation)
  • DiBiasio, C.M., Hopkins, J.B., 2012, “Sensitivity of Freedom Spaces During Flexure Stage Design via FACT,” Precision Engineering, 36(3): pp. 494-499.
  • Vasilyev, N.V., Kawata, M., DiBiasio, C.M., Durand, K.V., Hopkins, J.B., Traina, Z., Slocum, A.H., del Nido, P.J., 2011, “A Novel Cardioport for Beating-heart, Image-guided Intracardiac Surgery,” Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 142(6): pp. 1545-1551.
  • DiBiasio, C.M., Durand, K.V., Hopkins, J.B., Traina, Z., Slocum, A.H., Vasilyev, N.V., del Nido, P.J., 2011, “Design of a Surgical Port for Minimally Invasive Beating-heart Intracardial Procedures,” Journal of Medical Devices, 5(4): pp. 045001-045005.
  • Hopkins, J.B., Culpepper, M.L., 2011, “Synthesis of Precision Serial Flexure Systems Using Freedom and Constraint Topologies (FACT),” Precision Engineering, 35(4): pp. 638-649.
  • Hopkins, J.B., Culpepper, M.L., 2010, “A Screw Theory Basis for Quantitative and Graphical Design Tools that Define Layout of Actuators to Minimize Parasitic Errors in Parallel Flexure Systems,” Precision Engineering, 34(4): pp. 767-776.
  • Hopkins, J.B., Culpepper, M.L., 2010, “Synthesis of Multi-degree of Freedom, Parallel Flexure System Concepts via Freedom and Constraint Topology (FACT)—Part I: Principles,” Precision Engineering, 34(2): pp. 259-270.
  • Hopkins, J.B., Culpepper, M.L., 2010, “Synthesis of Multi-degree of Freedom, Parallel Flexure System Concepts via Freedom and Constraint Topology (FACT)—Part II: Practice,” Precision Engineering, 34(2): pp. 271-278.


  • 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2016 Freudenstein/GM Young Investigator Award at ASME IDETC