Zhenyu Gan

Zhenyu Gan

Assistant Professor

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2018
  • M.S., University of Michigan, 2014
  • B.S., Shandong University, 2012

Research interests:

  • Legged Robots
  • Gait Analysis
  • Multibody Dynamics
  • Wearable Robots

Current Research:

Dr. Gan’s research interests lie at the intersection of robotics and nonlinear dynamics. He enjoys studying systems with interesting dynamical behavior and applying the resulting knowledge to robotic systems such as legged robots and robotic exoskeletons.

In particular, he seeks to understand the underlying dynamics and the relationships among different gaits and apply the insights to legged systems to achieve more robust and agile motions. His previous work approaches these goals by exploring the passive dynamic motions of a range of unified models in which motion patterns are approximated by purely mechanical oscillations of point masses and springs. Through a numerical continuation of periodic motions, it shows that a wide range of gaits emerge from a simple bouncing-in-place motion starting with different footfall patterns.

Teaching Interests:

  • Computational Multibody Dynamics
  • Design and Control of Legged Systems


  • The First Prize in Design, Engineering Graduate Symposium Award (2013)

Recent Publications:

  1. J. Ding, T. Y. Moore, and Z. Gan. A template model explains jerboa gait transitions across a broad range of speeds. Computational Modeling and Simulation of Quadrupedal Animal Movement, 2021 (in preparation).
  2. Z. Gan, H. Tang, E. Treadway, R. B. Gillespie and C. D. Remy, “Modeling and Experimental Evaluation of a Variable Hydraulic Transmission,” in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 750-761, April 2020, doi: 10.1109/TMECH.2019.2963880.
  3. Z. Gan, Y. Yesilevskiy, P. Zaytsev, and C. D. Remy. All common bipedal gaits emerge from a single passive model. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 15(146), 2018.
  4. Z. Gan, Z. Jiao, and C. D. Remy. On the dynamic similarity between bipeds and quadrupeds: A case study on bounding. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 3(4):3614–3621, 2018.
  5. Z. Gan, H. Tang, E. Treadway, R. B. Gillespie, and C. D. Remy. Modelling of a variable hydraulic transmission for prosthetic device. Transactions on Mechatronics, 2018.
  6. Z. Gan, T. Wiestner, M. A. Weishaupt, N. M. Waldern, and C. D. Remy. Passive dynamics explain quadrupedal walking, trotting, and tölting. Journal of computational and nonlinear dynamics, 11(2):021008, 2016.
  7. Y. Yesilevskiy, Z. Gan, and C. D. Remy. Energy-optimal hopping in parallel and series elastic 1d monopeds. ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics, 2018.
  8. E. Treadway, Z. Gan, C. D. Remy, and R. B. Gillespie. Toward controllable hydraulic coupling of joints in a wearable robot. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 34(3):748–763, 2018.