Dr. Carignan received his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, 1982, and 1987, respectively. Following graduation, he served as a task leader at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to develop and test control systems for a space robot flight experiment. He then became a full-time research associate at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory developing control systems for underwater robotic vehicles used to simulate satellite servicing tasks. In 2002, he accepted a position at Georgetown University's ISIS Center to lead a new effort in developing robots for rehabilitation applications, including a powered arm exoskeleton for shoulder rehabilitation. He returned to the University of Maryland as an associate research scientist with the Space Systems Laboratory in 2009,and he also serves as a consulting engineer with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office.
Dr. Carignan has authored over 60 publications in the field of robotics and received the AIAA Modeling & Simulation Technologies Conference Best Paper Award in 1999 for his work on robotic vehicle simulation. He has taught several courses in robotics and controls and served on over 25 dissertation committees. He has served as an academic advisor for undergraduates as well as a faculty advisor for a fraternity for which he received two outstanding faculty advisor awards. Dr. Carignan was also a panel member for three years on the NSF review committee for the Biomedical Engineering and Research to Aid Disabilities Program. He recently held a mobility assignment with the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center overseeing projects in their medical robotics, prosthetics and advanced human performance portfolios.