Currently, Dr. Joel C. Huegel is tenured professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the Tecnológico de Monterrey ¿ Campus Guadalajara in Mexico. He became a member of the prestigious National System of Researchers (S.N.I. Level 1) In 2016. Also in 2016 he received the "Inspiring Professor" award at Campus Guadalajara and was a finalist in the national award. Huegel completed his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2009 at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Previous to both Rice and four years of teaching experience at the Tecnológico, Huegel obtained a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. The topic of his Ph.D. thesis was human-robot interaction for training and rehabilitation in challenging dynamic motor skill tasks. Now, as researcher at the Tec de Monterrey, Huegel develops technology for underprivileged communities and basic industrial biomechatronic applications. One project of particular interest is the design and testing of an ultra low-cost, high activity prosthetic foot. In 2014 he was granted the Pauchon Foundation annual award $6,500 USD with which he founded Tecnologias para la Comunidad, a NGO to deliver prosthesis. The organization won the 2016 Talloires Network MacJannet Award in recongnition of its student civic engagement program. For this and other projects, Huegel has obtained slightly over 2 million pesos (120,000USD) in government grants, industry funding, and university seed funding. Under his leadership, his team of undergradute and graduate students have published over 30 journal and conference publications including 7 Patents pending.
Huegel's passion for teaching engineering with excellence in the developing world has taken him to live and travel in countries across the americas, Asia United States and Mexico.