Director of AMP Lab
Associate Director of CREATE,
HuskyADAPT Faculty Advisor
Albert S. Kobayashi Endowed Professor
Adjunct Associate Professor
Human Centered Design & Engineering
- (206) 685-2390
- MEB 323
- Faculty Website
- Ability & Innovation Lab
- Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE)
Dr. Steele joined the department of mechanical engineering in September
2013 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2018. Her research focuses on integrating
dynamic simulation, motion analysis, medical imaging, and device design
to improve quality of life for individuals with neurologic disorders.
She also co-directs AccessEngineering, an NSF-supported program to
encourage individuals with disabilities to pursue careers in engineering
and train all engineers in principles of universal design and
accessibility. She earned her B.S. in Engineering from the Colorado
School of Mines and M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from
Stanford University. To integrate engineering and medicine, she has
worked in multiple hospitals including the Denver Children’s Hospital,
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and the Rehabilitation Institute of
Chicago. Visit the Ability & Innovation Lab for more information about Dr. Steele’s research.
- Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2012
- M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2009
- B.S. in Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2007
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington, 2014
- Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2013
- Post-doctoral Fellow, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2012
- CL Bennett, K Cen, KM Steele, DK Rosner, (2016) “An intimate laboratory? Prostheses as a tool for experimenting with identity and normalcy.” CHI Human Factors in Computing Systems.
- MH Schwartz, A Rozumalski, KM Steele, (2016) “Dynamic motor control is associated with treatment outcomes for children with cerebral palsy,” Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.
- KM Steele, A Rozumalski, MH Schwartz, (2015) “Muscle synergies and complexity of neuromuscular control during gait in cerebral palsy.” Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 57(12), 1176-1182. PMCID: PMC4683117
- KM Steele, MC Tresch, EJ Perreault, (2015). “Consequences of biomechanically constrained tasks in the design and interpretation of synergy analyses.” Journal of Neurophysiology, 113(7), 2102-2113. PMCID: PMC4416545
- KM Steele, MC Tresch, EJ Perreault (2013) “The number and choice of muscles impact the results of muscle synergy analyses,” Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7:105. PMCID: PMC3737463
- M Yamagami, KM Steele, SA Burden (2020) "Decoding intent With control theory: comparing muscle versus manual interface performance." CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
- NL Zaino, KM Steele, JM Donelan, MH Schwartz, (2020) "Energy consumption does not change after selective dorsal rhizotomy in children with spastic cerebral palsy." Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.
- BR Shuman, M Goudriaan, K Desloovere, MH Schwartz, KM Steele, (2019) "Muscle synergies demonstrate only minimal changes after treatment in cerebral palsy." Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation.
Honors & awards
- American Society of Biomechanics Young Scientist Award, 2016
- UW College of Engineering Junior Faculty Award, 2016
- NSF CAREER Early Faculty Development Award, 2015
- OpenSim Fellow, 2014
- NIH K12 Career Development Award, 2013
- Kevin Granata Young Investigator Award, 2012
- DO-IT Trailblazer Award, 2020
Supporting mobility in cerebral palsy
Ph.D. student Alyssa Spomer is exploring how a robotic exoskeleton device paired with real-time feedback can enhance rehabilitation therapy for children with cerebral palsy.
ME faculty honored with student-nominated FACET Awards
Students recognized six ME faculty members with Faculty Appreciation for Career Education & Training Awards.
CREATE for accessibility
The new UW CREATE center is led by an interdisciplinary team whose mission is to make technology accessible and to make the world accessible through technology.