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Juan Rojas headshot

Juan Rojas 

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Juan Rojas studied Electrical and Computer Engineering (EECE) at Vanderbilt University for his B.S. ‘02, M.S. ‘04, and Ph.D. ’09. He also played full-back for the Vanderbilt Commodores ‘99-02.

Dr. Rojas doctorate research was sponsored by NASA and guided by Richard Alan Peters II. It consisted in learning how to team up teams of heterogeneous robots to autonomously assemble structures that could potentially be built in space. After his Ph.D. Dr. Rojas took a temporary fellowship in China before continuing his post-doctoral fellowship at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan. He formed part of the Vision and Manipulation group under the supervision of Dr. Kensuke Harada where Dr. Rojas developed complex robot controllers and robot introspection methods.

Dr. Rojas took an Assistant Professor position with the Department of Computer Science at the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou China where he continued robot introspection research for complex and dynamic contact tasks. Dr. Rojas participated in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) as part of the Hong Kong University team led by Wyatt Newman. Dr. Rojas was in charge of programming the ATLAS humanoid to drive a car. During this time Dr. Rojas developed the first ROS courses and MOOCs in China and led the translation of two ROS textbooks ROS-By-Example by Patrick Goebel.

Dr. Rojas later took a “100 Young Scholars” Research Associate Professor at the Guangdong University of Technology where he led the Intelligent Manipulation Lab at the Biomimetics and Intelligent Robotics Group alongside Prof. Guan Yisheng and Prof. Hong Zhang. Dr. Rojas further studied sought to model humans and objects to better inform robot actions, including in failure scenarios. He was named an IEEE Senior member in 2018.

In August 2020, Dr. Rojas joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering. He is part of the CUHK T Stone Robotics Institute and a PI with the Hong Center for Logistic Robotics.

Dr. Rojas continues to study how to encode intelligence by learning to extract and represent meaningful abstractions from the world, humans, and a robot’s internal working so as to solve more challenging dexterous manipulation problems as well as more efficient learning.

Dr. Rojas has published more than 60 peer-reviewed publications in leading Journals, Conferences, and Workshops. Dr. Rojas serves as an Associate Editor of leading Journals and Conferences including the Advanced Robotics journal, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RAL), IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), the IEEE International Conference on Robots and Systems (IROS), the IEEE-RAS Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), and the IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN). Dr. Rojas also serves in the IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies Committee and previously served as a board member of the Robotics and Automation Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT).

Academic Degrees

B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Vanderbilt University (2002)
M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Vanderbilt University (2004)
Ph.D Electrical and Computer Engineering, Vanderbilt University (2009)

Academic Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering