Shapiro, Benjamin

Ben Shapiro
1226 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Bldg #225
Research Interests: 

Dr. Shapiro is primarily interested in research at the intersection of control theory and miniaturized systems in modeling, design, and control of micro- and nano-scale systems for applications in electronics, biology, and clinical practice. He and his research group focus on applications where control can dramatically improve or allow new system capabilities. His goal is to demonstrate the entire pathway from initial application choices, to system modeling, phrasing of application goals as tractable control problems, control algorithm development, and experimental validation. His projects combine theory, numerics, and experiments.

  • Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems, California Institute of Technology (June 1999)
  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (with highest honors), Georgia Institute of Technology (September 1995)


Taught in Aerospace and Bioengineering, both undergraduate and graduate courses.Have won 2 teaching awards.

Research Funding:

Have raised a total of over 6 million dollars as lead investigator, and have been involved (co-PI) in over 30 million dollars of total funding.

Research Group:

Currently 7 post-docs (2 co-advised), 3 PhD, and 2 undergraduate students. Have graduated 7 PhD students and 9 masters students, over 25 undergraduate students have done research in my lab.


Has included advancement, promotion and tenure college-level committee at UMD, faculty search and curriculum redesign committees in AE and BioE, Capstone and undergraduate advising. Outside the university have served as a journal board member, been on conference program committees both in the US and abroad, and have organized a nation-wide National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop.

Commercialization: Have consulted for both start-up and large companies.

Honors and Awards: 
  • 2009 Fulbright Scholar (to Germany) for precision control of magnetic drug delivery to focus chemotherapy to deep tissue tumors. Host: Andreas Lubbe, Director Cecilienklinik (a 750 bed hospital), Bad Lippspringe, Germany.
  • 2008 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, organized by the National Academy of Engineers and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, “that brings together 100 outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) from U.S. companies, universities, and government labs to discuss leading-edge research and technical work across a range of engineering fields”.
  • 2007-2008 Outstanding Professor AIAA award. Each year students in the Aerospace department vote for the “… professor deemed to be the best teacher in courses over the past academic year”.
  • 2007, nominated by Maryland Science Academy for Outstanding Young Engineer award.
  • 2007, plenary talk for NanoDay at University of Maryland: “On control of micro-scale systems: combining modeling, control, sensing, and actuation to achieve new capabilities”.
  • 2007, briefed JASONs Summer study on “Control in Micro-Fluidic Systems”. The JASONs are a group of 40-50 tenured faculty with high credentials, including Nobel laureates, who advise government agencies on emerging technology research areas.
  • 2006, selected for membership in Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni, Georgia Institute of Technology. Membership is reserved for alumni of the engineering college under forty years of age who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and or service to GT, the profession, or society-at-large.
  • 2005-2006 Outstanding Professor AIAA award.
  • Won best paper in session award for conference paper: M.Armani, S.Walker, B.Shapiro, “Modeling and Control of Electrically Actuated Surface Tension Driven Micro-Fluidic Systems”, Joint 2005 International Symposium on Intelligent Control & 13th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation (2005 ISIC-MED), Cyprus, Greece, 27-29 June 2005.
  • Invited by the National Science Foundation to be a part of the US delegation for US-Japan Young Researcher in Nano Program, in US March 2006, in Japan Oct 2006.
  • Patent awarded Invention of the year in 2004 at the University of Maryland within the Physical Science category. One winner was chosen in each of the six categories by the Office of Technology Commercialization and by an external review process. B.Shapiro, E.Smela, P.Abshire, D.Wirtz “Cell Sensor Based Pathogen Detection”. Provisional patent filed by OTC office Sept 2004.
  • Awarded ‘rainmaker’ status by the Vice President of Research, University of Maryland for securing major contract and grant support. Sept 2004.
  • Conference paper chosen as best presentation at conference: G.Barrett, E.Smela, B.Shapiro, S.Fanning, L.H.Oh, M.S.Furst, J.Wallace, P.Sheth, N.Thakor, A.Natarajan, “The Development of a MEMS Based System for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence”, 19th ASME Nanomechanics conference, Reno, Nevada, 18 May 2004.
  • Invention of the year finalist, one of three for invention of the year 2003 at the University of Maryland. B.Shapiro, S.Chaudhary, M.Armani, R.Probst “Arbitrary and Simultaneous Control of Multiple Particles in Micro-Fluidic Systems”. Invention of disclosure submitted to UMD Office of Commercialization on 14 Dec 2002. Patent filed 5 Sept 2004.
  • 2003 NSF CAREER Award “CAREER: Feedback Control of Micro-Fluidic Packets and the Bio-Particles Within Them”, funded by Dr. Maria Burka (CTS) and Dr. Kishan Baheti (ECS) for research on modeling and control of bio-chemical micro flows.
  • 1995-98 NSF fellowship for PhD studies.
Selected Publications: 
  • 1 edited book
  • 5 book chapters
  • 38 peer-reviewed journal papers
  • 56 peer-reviewed conference publications or presentations
  • 15 patents

Details may be seen at


Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland, College Park