Xiaobo Tan

Xiaobo  Tan
  • Richard M. Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering
  • Established through a gift from Richard M. Hong in honor of MSU Professor Emeritus Kun Mu Chen
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • MSU Foundation Professor


Xiaobo Tan, is an MSU Foundation Professor and the Richard M. Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering. He is also director of MSU’s Smart Microsystems Laboratory. His work focuses his research on electroactive polymer sensors and actuators, modeling and control of smart materials, and bio-inspired underwater robots.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in automatic control from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, then went on to pursue a PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland. At Maryland, he served as a research associate with the Institute for Systems Research.

Tan joined MSU in 2004, where his work has earned support from the NSF, ONR, USGS, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, among others. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2006, the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award in 2010, and multiple best paper awards. He has served on the organizing or program committees for a number of international conferences, including serving as the program chair for the 15th International Conference on Advanced Robotics, the finance chair for the 2015 American Control Conference, and the registration chair for the 2016 IEEE/ASME International

Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics. To integrate his research with educational and outreach activities, Tan has served as director of an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site program at MSU from 2009-2016 and was curator of  a robotic fish exhibit at the MSU Museum in 2016.