• Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985
  • S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982
  • B.S., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1980


In 1979 Dr. Lee conducted radiation research as an undergraduate assistant at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he modeled and simulated the nongray particulate radiation in an isothermal cylindrical medium. At MIT, he designed high-performance fluidic amplifiers and fluid signal transmission systems and investigated analytically and experimentally the effects of temperature changes on fluid power control systems for flight backup control applications. Dr. Lee began at Tech in 1985 as an Assistant Professor.


  • Automation and Mechatronics; System dynamics, control, automation, optomechatronics, vision, magnteics, flexonics, and handling of biomaterials

Since 1985, Dr. Lee's interest in dexterous actuators and sensors for high-precision motion control systems and manufacturing automation has led to some of the first detailed studies on the creation of a three degrees-of-freedom ball-joint-like variable-reluctance spherical motor and a means to provide noncontact direct sensing of roll, yaw, and pitch motion in a single joint. He then developed a flexible integrated vision system for real-time, multi-degrees-of-freedom motion control systems. Sponsored by Maxtor Corporation, Lucent Technologies, the U. S. Poultry and Eggs Association, and the Georgia Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP), his vision-based motion control research has found several unique manufacturing automation applications, including high-precision servo-track-writing, robotic pickup of moving objects, automated transfer of live broilers to moving shackles, and automated de-boning process in poultry processing applications. In collaboration with colleagues in Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), Nanyang Technological University and Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM), his research team at Georgia Tech has recently developed several novel designs of cost-effective spherical motors for precision motion controlled systems and for micro-factory applications.

More recently, Dr. Lee develops several new research initiatives taking advantages of his prior research findings in machine vision, micro-magnetics and flexible structure designs to address emerging scientific and engineering problems which require pooling together interdisciplinary expertise and resources beyond a single unit. Some of his research projects include (but not limited to):

  • Alternative Technologies and Visual Prosthetics for Visually Impaired People
  • Multi-DOF Actuators and Sensors for Desktop Machining of Biomedical devices
  • Bio-Inspired Flying and Climbing Mobile Sensor Network for Structural Identification and Damage Detection

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fellow, 2005
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    • Fellow, 2005
    • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Editor-in-Chief (EiC), 2008-; EiC-Elect, 2007; Technical Editor, 1995-1999
    • IEEE/ASME Best Student Paper Award (Li, Qiang), 2005
    • Kayamori Best Paper Award, 2002 and 2000
    • Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics conference General Co-Chair, 1997
    • Manufacturing Automation Technical Committee Chairman, 1996-1998
    • Transactions on Robotics and Automation Associate Editor, 1994-1998
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fellow, 2005
  • Science Applications International Corporation
    • Ph.D. Student Paper Award (Advisor to Qiang Li) 2005
    • Ph.D. Student Paper Award (Advisor to Zhiyong Wei), 2001
    • Ph.D. Student Paper Award (Advisor to Harry Garner), 1999
    • Ph.D. Student Paper Award (Advisor to Zhi Zhou), 1994
    • M.S. Student Paper Award (Advisor to Joseph F. Scheuring), 1994
    • SME Applied Vision 1992 Best Student Paper (Advisor to Shanker Janakiraman), 1992
  • Woodruff School Faculty Fellow, 1994-1999
  • The 4th Annual Rensselaer CIMAT Conference Best Paper Award, 1994
  • Invention Club of America New Technology Award, 1992
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1989-1993
  • Best M.S. Thesis Award (Advisor to Joseph F. Scheuring), 1994
  • Junior Faculty Research Award, 1989


  • Automated Fee-Gripping System, U.S. Patent 7,134,956, November 2006.
  • Automated Transfer of Live Objects to Shackle Line Method and Apparatus, U. S. Patent No. 6,623,346, September 23, 2003.
  • Method and Apparatus for Measuring Angular displacement of an Actuator Arm Relative to a Reference Position, U. S. Patent No. 6,188,484, with Harry Douglas Garner Jr. and Rafael Victor Andino, February 13, 2001.
  • Real-Time Vision System and Control Algorithm for a Spherical Motor, U.S. Patent 5,416,392, with R. Blenis and T. L. Pao, May 16, 1995
  • Lee, K-M., Spherical Motor and Methods, US patent 5,410, 232. (April 15, 1995)
  • Lee, K-M., R. Blenis, and T.-L. Pao, System and Method for Controlling a Variable-Reluctance Spherical Motor, US Patent 5,402,049 (March 28, 1995)
  • Lee, K-M., Orientation Sensing System and Method for a Spherical Body, US Patent 5,319,577 (June 7, 1994)
  • Dickerson, S. and K-M. Lee, Image Reading and Processing Apparatus, US Patent 5,146,340 (September 8, 1992); European Patent Number 0549736, issued January 7, 1998, entitled "Image Reading System"; and Canadian Patent Number 2,088,357, issued May 19, 1998, entitled "Image Reading System".

Representative Publications

  • Son, Hungsun and K.-M. Lee. 2010. Open-loop Controller Design and Dynamic Characteristics of a Spherical Wheel Motor, IEEE Trans. on Industrial Electronics., 57, no. 10, 3475-3482.
  • Fu, X. L. Hu, K.-M. Lee and H. Y. Yang. 2010. Dry Calibration of Electromagnetic Flowmeters based on Numerical Models of Multi-physics, Journal of Applied Physics. 108, no. 8, 083908-083908.
  • Lee, K.-M. and J. Guo. 2010. Kinematic and Dynamic Analysis of Anatomically based Knee Joint, Journal of Biomechanics. 43, no. 7, 1231-1236.
  • Zhu, D., X. Yi, Y. Wang, K.-M. Lee and J. Guo. 2010. A Mobile Sensing System for Structural Health Monitoring: Design and Validation, Smart Materials and Structures, 19, no.5, 55011-55021.
  • Eason, K. and K.-M. Lee. 2009. A Numerical Investigation of Neel Wall Effects in Amorphous MI Ribbons, IEEE Trans. on Magnetic, 45 no. 5, 2059-2067.