J.L. (Just) Herder J.L. (Just) Herder



Just Herder is a full professor of Interactive Mechanisms and Mechatronics, Chair of the Mechatronic System Design group and Head of Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering at Delft University of Technology. He has widely published in international peer-reviewed journals and conferences and has received several international awards. He is an ASME fellow, board member of several international conferences, associate editor of Mechanism and Machine Theory, and founding Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Sciences. Seven start-up companies have emerged from his research and he holds over a dozen international patents in different areas of mechanism design. He held visiting positions at Laval University, Canada, and at MIT, USA, as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar.


My interest is in mechatronic systems with remarkable behavior and their applications. In particular I am interested in those mechanisms that effect or are affected in a special way by interaction with their environment, called Interactive Mechanisms. A long term goal is to establish Distributed Mechatronics, where motion, actuation and sensing are distributed along a compliant structure, with a high level of function integration, trending towards small length scales. To reach this goal, we focus on the development of new technology, methods and techniques, such as static balancing, dynamic balancing, compliant mechanisms, parallel kinematics, self-adaptability, distributed actuation and sensing. Applications fields include precision engineering and mechatronics, robotics, rehabilitation engineering, high-tech industry, MEMS. 


Selected projects (valorisation grants not included)

  • Clipless MR-eye guided planning and follow-up for proton therapy of Uveal Melanoma, HPTC Varian (co-PI)
  • MetaMech: Mechatronic Metamaterials for Dynamic Mode Suppression, NWO-HTSM-17976 (co-PI)
  • FlexCraft: Switchable grasp stiffness compliant grippers with distributed sensing, part of NWO-TTW-“Perspectief” program P17-01 (co-PI) 
  • SAMOII: Stable and Adjustable Mounts for Optical Instruments, TTW-HTSM 16191 (co-PI) 
  • Shell Skeletons: part of STW-“Perspectief” program Wearable Robotics, P16-05-project3 (co-PI)
  • MӦBIUS: Additive Manufacturing of Complex Precision Flexure Systems, STW-HTSM 14665 (PI)
  • SoftPro, Synergy-based Open-source Foundations and Technologies for Prosthetics and RehabilitatiOn, Proposal no: 688857 RIA H2020 ICT-24-2015.2.a (UT) (coapplicant)
  • Compliant Watch Movement, Fully sponsored by TAG Heuer (co-PI)
  • STW 13525: Co-adaptive compliant systems, part of STW-“Perspectief” program Symbionics, co-adaptive assistive devices (coapplicant)
  • ShellMech: Shell-based mechanisms out of composite materials, STW-HTSM 12814 (PI)
  • In-Balance: Inherent dynamic balancing for fast and accurate manipulators, STW-HTSM 12848 (UT) (PI)
  • Low friction surgical forceps, part of NIMIT Development Centre, ZonMW LSH IMDI 104002007 (coapplicant)
  • Mechanical aspects of fiber-optics, STW 12702, (241/630 kE), part of STW-“Perspectief” program iMIT, Instruments for minimally invasive techniques (coapplicant)
  • Launch of open access journal Mechanical Sciences, NWO Incentive Fund Open Access Journals, NWO 036.015.017 (PI)
  • Flextension: Natural arm support that meets the growing needs of Duchenne patients, STW 11832 (coapplicant) 
  • Optimizing tele-operation systems for shared control, STW 12158 (428/683), part of Perspectief program H-Haptics: Human-centered design of haptic interfaces (coapplicant) 
  • Xarm: Upper body exoskeletons for caretaker support, Point.One PNU09B12, in collaboration with InteSpring BV.
  • SPISTA, Combination of helical springs and torsion bars, SenterNovem Knowledge Worker Program, KWR0916442, in collaboration with HCI BV.
  • ELASTICOM, Compliant mechanisms for gravity equilibration, SenterNovem Knowledge Worker Program, KWR09084, in collaboration with InteSpring BV. 
  • Statically Balanced Compliant Mechanisms (NWO/STW VIDI Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, IRIS, STW 7583 (PI) 
  • MYJOINT: Living Bioreactor – Growing a New Joint in a Human Back (EU FP6-2004-NEST-C-1, Proposal No 028861) (coapplicant).
  • FALCON: Flexible Automated Logistics Concepts, SenterNovem BSIK03021, Embedded Systems Institute (coapplicant).
  • DBM Project BESI: High performance dynamically balanced manipulator, Feasibility study by order of BESI Singulation BV (PI).  


Selected awards

  • Mechanisms and Robotics Best Paper Award, ASME IDETC/CIE, Aug 21-24, 2016, Charlotte, USA (co-authored). 
  • Compliant Mechanisms Award, ASME IDETC/CIE, Aug 21-24, 2016, Charlotte, USA (co-authored).

  • Best Application Paper Award, International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales, July 18-22, 2016, Paris, France (co-authored).
  • Duchenne Award 2016, issued by DPP-NL to the Flextension project, April 16, 2016, Delft, NL (awarded to project team).  
  • Best Application Paper Award, IFToMM World Congress, Oct 25-30, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan (co-authored).
  • Best Paper Award, World Haptics Conference, June 22-26, 2015, Chicago, USA (co-authored).
  • ASME Fellow, awarded by the ASME Committee of Past Presidents, nominated by Prof. L.L. Howell, 2014.
  • Best Paper Award, ASME IDETC Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Aug 17-20, 2014, Buffalo, USA (co-authored). 
  • Fulbright Visiting Scholarship grant (13kUSD), Compliant Instrument Design, MIT, USA, Aug 2013-Feb 2014.
  • Best Paper on Compliant Mechanism Applications Award, ASME IDETC Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Aug 12-15, 2012, Chicago, USA (co-authored).
  • Best Student Paper Award, EUCOMES 2010, Sept 14-18, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (co-authored).
  • Best Paper Award, ASME IDETC Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Aug 31 – Sep 3, 2009, San Diego (co-authored).
  • VIDI, NWO/STW Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (IRIS) for the project “Statically balanced compliant mechanisms”.
  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Cum Laude, Nov 27, 2001, Delft University of Technology.
  • ASME GM/Freudenstein Young Investigator Award, issued by the ASME Mechanisms Committee, received at the Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Sept 10-13, 2000, Baltimore, Maryland. 
  • M.Sc. Mechanical Engineering Cum Laude, Feb 24, 1992, Delft University of Technology.


International Organizations

Elected Chair Elect and Secretary, ASME Design Engineering Division, Mechanisms and Robotics Committee (2020-present).

Executive Council elected member and Treasurer of IFToMM (2012-2015). 

Elected Member, ASME DED, Mechanisms and Robotics Committee (2002-2008).


2014-present       Chair, Editorial Board, Mikroniek.

2011-2019           Associate Editor, Mechanism and Machine Theory.

2010-2019           Editor-in-Chief, co-founder, Mechanical Sciences.  

2009-2012           Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

2006-2013           Associate Editor, ASME Journal of Medical Devices.

Conferences, Board Memberships (participation in Program Committees of over 20 international conferences not shown)

General Co-Chair, Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, ASME IDETC2021, online.

General Chair, IEEE 7th International Conference on Control, Mechatronics and Automation (ICCMA2019), Delft, The Netherlands.

General Co-Chair, ASME Intl Design Engineering Technical Conf. (IDETC2018), Quebec, Canada.

General Chair, Fourth IEEE/IFToMM International Conference on Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots (ReMAR 2018), Delft.

General Co-Chair, Design of Medical Devices Conference Europe (DMD-E-2014), Delft.

General Chair, Design of Medical Devices Conference Europe (DMD-E-2013), Delft.

General Chair, ASME/IFToMM Second International Symposium on Compliant Mechanisms, CoMe2011, Delft.

Contributed Papers Chair, Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD-2010-2012), Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Initiator and Program Chair, International Workshop on Underactuated Grasping (UG2010), Aug 19, Montreal.

General Co-Chair and Scientific Program Chair, 10th IEEE ICORR2007, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.


Companies initiated based in part on my and the founders’ research results:

Est. 2016           Yumen Bionics BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Est. 2015           MiltonMedical BV, Delft, The Netherlands.  

Est. 2012           Flexous BV (, Delft, The Netherlands. 

Est. 2012           Kite Robotics BV (, Saasveld, The Netherlands. 

Est. 2008           Xpozer BV, ( Delft, The Netherlands. 

Est. 2006           Holland Container Innovations BV (, Delft, the Netherlands.  

Est. 2005           Intespring BV (, Delft, the Netherlands. 

Est. 2003           Microgravity Products BV (, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

Companies where some of my research results are being applied and where I am a permanent technical advisor (unpaid):

Est. 2010           Penta Robotics BV (, Vreeland, the Netherlands. 

Est. 1932           Anglepoise Ltd, ( Farlington, Hampshire, UK. 

Further companies in my network (as evidenced via collaborative research projects or student internship/graduation) include:

ASML, Demcon, Bosch (NL), Imotec, Lely Industries, Philips, Lacquey, Robotiq (Canada), Datacon (Austria), Besi, VanderLande Industries, MCP Tooling (Germany), Planton Biotechnology Laboratories (Germany), Heemskerk IT, TNO, Hittech-Multin, 3T, BAAT Medical, Ambroise, Focal Revalidatietechniek, Avantes, Luminostix, Penta Robotics, Lencon, Promolding, Stamhuis Lineairtechniek, Masevon Technology, Ternet, Control Techniques, Sigma Control, Alten Mechatronics.

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Research interests


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  • 2016

    Best Application Paper award

    Bracht S van, Tolou N, Semon G, Herder JL (2016) Compliant Continuous-Locking Micro Mechanism
    International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS), Paris, July 18-22

  • 2016

    Compliant Mechanisms Award

    Rommers J, Radaelli G, Herder JL, A Pseudo Rigid Body Model of a Single Vertex Compliant-Facet Origami Mechanism (SV-COFOM)
    ASME Intl Design Engineering Technical Conferences 2016, Charlotte, NC, August 21-24

  • 2016

    Mechanisms and Robotics Best Paper Award

    Weeke S, Tolou N, Smon G, Herder JL, A Fully Compliant Force Balanced Oscillator
    ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences 2016, Charlotte, NC, August 21-24

  • 2015

    Best Application Paper Award

    Darshan S, Lassche TJ, Herder JL, Ananthasuresh GK, A Compliant Two-port Bistable Mechanism with Application to Easy-Chair Design
    14th World Congress in Mechanism and Machine Science IFToMM2015, Taipei, Taiwan, 25-30 October

  • 2015

    Best Paper Award

    Lambert P, Herder JL, A Novel Parallel Haptic Device with 7 Degrees of Freedom
    World Haptics Conference 2015, Chicago

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Ancillary activities

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