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Yoseph Bar-Cohen's Picture
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Yoseph Bar-Cohen
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Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen is a Senior Research Scientist and Supervisor, Advanced Technologies Group (355N) and the NDEAA (NDE & Advanced Actuators) Lab (http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov). He is a Fellow of two technical societies: SPIE and the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). He received his Ph.D. in Physics (1979) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. He made two notable discoveries of ultrasonic wave phenomena in composite materials: the leaky Lamb waves (LLW) (1983) and the polar backscattering (1983). He (co)authored over 330 publications, made numerous presentations at national and international conferences, (co)Chaired 38 Conferences, and he has 19 registered patents. He is the (co)Editor and coauthor of 6 books and Editor of 2 Book Series. He is the initiator of the SPIE Conf. on electroactive polymers (EAP), which he has been chairing since 1999. He challenged engineers and scientists worldwide to develop a robotic arm driven by EAP to wrestle with human and win and he organized the first competition as part of the 2005 EAPAD conference. For his contributions to the field of EAP, Business Week named him in April 2003 as one of five technology gurus who are "Pushing Tech's Boundaries." His accomplishments earned him NASA Honor Award Medals for exceptional engineering (2001) and technology (2006) achievements, SPIE's Lifetime Achievement Awards for NDE (2001) and Smart Materials and Structures (2005), 2006 ASNT Sustained Excellence award, the 2007 SPIE President's Award and many other honors and awards.

Yoseph Bar-Cohen Publications


Ph. D. (1979), Physics; (1975-1979), The Hebrew University,
    Jerusalem, Israel
M. Sc. (1973), Materials Science; (1971-1973), The Hebrew University,
    Jerusalem, Israel
B. Sc. (1971), Physics; (1967-1971), The Hebrew University,
    Jerusalem, Israel

Principal Member of Technical Staff since 1999
Senior Research Scientist since 2001
Group Supervisor since 2005

Dr. Bar-Cohen is a physicist specializing in electroactive materials/mechanisms and ultrasonic NDE. He has extensive experience initiating and leading multidisciplinary tasks while partnering with experts from the academia, industry and other R&D organizations. His efforts and leadership led to the development of novel ultrasonic drill, multi-radiation ferrosource, piezoelectric motors, piezoelectric pump, ultrasonic NDE methods, real time sensing, geophysical probing techniques, haptic interfaces, electroactive polymer actuators (artificial muscles), and high power ultrasonic techniques.

His initiatives and proactive efforts in the area of Electroactive Polymers led to the SPIE's EAPAD annual conference (which he has been chairing since 1999), the WW-EAP Newsletter, and the WW-EAP Webhub. In an effort to promote rapid advances in the development of EAP, Dr. Bar-Cohen posed in 1999 a challenge to the worldwide research and engineering community to develop a robotic arm that is actuated by artificial muscles to win an armwrestling match against a human opponent. He held the first armwrestling match between EAP actuated robot and human on March 7, 2005 as part of the SPIE Annual International EAPAD Conference.

He made significant contributions to NDE of composites and bonded solids as well as aging aircraft structures. He led the development of a crawler, known as MACS (Multifunctional Automated Crawling System) that can serve as a robotic platform for PC board base instruments. As a follow-on effort, he edited and co-authored an ASNT book on the subject of robotics for NDE, which was issued in April 2000. Other contributions include real time monitoring of composites curing, broadband transducers, a LLW device for nondestructive determination of elastic properties of composites and a catheter-based acoustic microscope.


  • 2007 SPIE President's Award, Aug. 29, 2007.
  • NASA Honor Award Medal for Exceptional Technology Achievement, June 7, 2006
  • ASNT's Award for Sustained Excellence, March 15, 2006
  • Co-recipient of the Industrial Robot Highly Commended Award for the paper entitled "Lemur IIb: A Robotic System for Steep Terrain Access," presented at the 8th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR 2005), held in London, UK on Sept. 12 - 15, 2005.
  • JPL's Team Bonus Award for leading the highly successful AGA's Quiet Concrete Drill task, July '05
  • SPIE's Smart Materials and Structures Lifetime Achievement Award - March 7, 2005
  • 64 NASA Class 1 Technical Brief Awards, between 1992-present
  • 10 NASA Space Act Awards (5 awards in 2002, 2 in 2003, 2 in 2006, 1 in 2008)
  • Fellow of The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), July 2002
  • ASNT's Lester Honor Lecture Award for Major contributions to the field of NDT (November 2002)
  • 2001 NASA Honor Award: NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal (Aug. 8, 2001)
  • JPL Senior Research Scientist (June 18, 2001)
  • SPIE's NDE Lifetime Achievement Award (March 6, 2001)
  • Self-initiated and co-developed Ultrasonic Drill (USDC) received the 2000 R&D Magazine award as one of the 100 most innovative instruments.
  • JPL's Level A Bonus Award - for achievements in the field of EAP, Nov. 1999
  • Nova Award of JPL for Technical Innovation and Leadership, March 1998
  • Fellow of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), October 1996
  • Nova Award of JPL for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and R&D, May 1996
  • National Research Council (NRC) Fellowship Award, June 1979

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