Max Shepherd, Northeastern University

Max Shepherd


Assistant Professor

Physical Therapy, Human Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Research Interests

Prosthetics, exoskeletons, mechatronics, rehabilitation


Dr. Shepherd is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Prior to coming to Northeastern, Dr. Shepherd earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University while performing his research at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia Tech. He has previously worked at X (formerly Google X) and was a visiting scholar at Ossur, an Icelandic prosthetics manufacturer. Dr. Shepherd’s research seeks to improve the individualized design and control of robotic prosthetics and exoskeletons for people with mobility impairments. His research spans gait biomechanics, machine learning, robotics, mechatronic design, and human motor control and perception.

Selected Publications

M. Shepherd, T. Clites (co-first author), K. Ingraham, L. Wontorcik and E. Rouse. “Understanding preference in the design and control of lower-extremity prostheses,” Journal of Neural Engineering and Rehabilitation, 2021

M. Shepherd and E. Rouse. “Comparing Prosthetist and Patient Preferences for Foot Stiffness,” Nature Scientific Reports, 2020­­

M. Shepherd, A. Azocar, M. Major and E. Rouse. “Amputee Perception of Prosthetic Ankle Stiffness During Locomotion,” Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 2018.

M. Shepherd and E. Rouse. “The VSPA Foot: A Quasi-Passive Ankle-Foot Prosthesis with Continuously Variable Stiffness,” IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2017.

M. Shepherd and E. Rouse. “Design and Validation of a Torque-Controllable Knee Exoskeleton for Sit-to-Stand Assistance,” IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, 2017.

Selected Public Service

Mentor, Niles West High School STEM Mentorship Program

Co-teacher, Solidworks Workshops for graduate students

Volunteer, Get-a-Grip elementary school education program


Google Scholar link