Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster Logo McMaster logo

Dr. Matthew Minnick

Associate Undergraduate Chair
Department of Engineering Physics

Assistant Professor
Department of Engineering Physics

MEMS; Robotics; Micromachining; Resonance; Fluid-Structure Interactions; FEM; Automation
Research Clusters:  
BSB B106
+1 905.525.9140 x 24546


Research Interests

Inspired by the success of insects at flying, the most successful attempts to make flying robots on the cm and smaller wingspan scale to date have followed biomimetics, copying the motions seen in nature.  However, insect wing motions are complicated and require complex actuators and control, which are difficult to fabricate on the extremely small scale – In fact, even fabricating an actuator with similar frequencies or stroke amplitudes to insects is an achievement.

Enter curved cantilevers.  The microrobotic flight group at McMaster combines analytical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) work to determine the resonant shape and fluidic forces of curved cantilevers, predicting that they have “fluid diode” properties: they generate an asymmetric force from a symmetric flapping cycle.  While not necessarily as efficient as insect wings, these curved cantilevers may nevertheless make attractive flying robot designs because they lend themselves to parallel microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication techniques.  Finding out whether this is indeed true requires answering two questions: 1) Do material systems and components suggest promising flying robots if the theoretical and computational work is correct? and 2) Is the theoretical and computational work correct?  The exciting answer to both questions so far is yes.

In addition to research work on microrobotic flight, I am particularly interested in engineering education.  Check out video lectures for selected courses at


Did you know…

Dr. Minnick is the Chair of the Hamilton-Burlington Chapter of PEO:


Please refer to Research Gate for all publications:



B.Eng., Ph.D. (McMaster), P.Eng.


Related Courses

Code Title Instructor Outline Info
ENGPHYS 2P04 Undergraduate Computational Mechanics: Statics  
Dr. Matthew Minnick Dr. Matthew Minnick
ENGPHYS 2E04 Undergraduate Analog and Digital Circuits  
Dr. Matthew Minnick Dr. Matthew Minnick
ENGPHYS 2CM4 Undergraduate Computational Multiphysics  
Dr. Matthew Minnick Dr. Matthew Minnick
ENGPHYS 2CD4 Undergraduate Computational Mechanics: Dynamics  
Dr. Matthew Minnick Dr. Matthew Minnick