I am currently a research scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is a personal website; for official government information, please click on the previous link or logo to the right.

To put it most generally, my work is motivated by a particular interest in how small scale definitions result in large scale features, when massively iterated. There is a deep history (and growing) of support for the idea that this is how many natural systems work (though this alone may be insufficient justification for the method - demonstrations of functional engineered systems, on the other hand...). This extends to topics like how peoples' abilities to make their own technological solutions affects social, political and economic environs.

My current laboratory work focuses on Digital Composites - three dimensional structures made from discrete fiber composite parts, which are part of our work on digital materials and fabrication in general. This refers to systems composed of discretized and fungible building blocks that provide both physical structure and various forms of functionality, as well as the information required to perform the building process. The implications of these systems, in terms of material and energy resource usage, are revolutionary, and well beyond the capabilities of conventional rapid prototyping (eg., 3d printers).

I did my PhD work at the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), in the Physics and Media (PHM) Group of the MAS Department (a.k.a. the Media Lab), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I designed and studied reversibly assembled cellular composite materials (digital composites) as continuous materials, as well as methods for assembling digital materials. Since they are unusually light-weight, strong, and stiff, we are now working on applications like structures for things that fly. My background includes work in the fields of architecture, computer science, land planning, environmental psychology, and plant biomechanics, including an m.s. from MIT and a b.arch. from Cornell University. I like to explain how these all fit together - just ask!

Selected Publications:

Please email me if you have any difficulty reaching a copy of any of these publications.

Cheung, K. C. Size and Complexity Scalability of Space Infrastructure Manufacturing. (in progress)

Cellucci, D., and Cheung, K. C. The impact of systematic repair strategies on the cost scaling of manufacturing processes. (in progress)

Trinh, G. H., Cellucci, D., Langford, W., Im, S., and Cheung, K. C. Modular Rapidly Manufactured Smallsat (MRMSS). (in progress)

Jenett, B., Cellucci, D., Cheung, K. C. SpRoUTS (Space Robot Universal Truss System): Reversible Robotic Assembly of Deployable Truss Structures of Reconfigurable Length. (in review)

Cramer, N., Swei, S. W., Cheung, K., and Teodorescu, M. Application of Transfer Matrix Approach to Modeling and Decentralized Control of Lattice-based Structures. (in review)

Cheung, K. C., Tachi, T., Calisch, S., and Miura, K. Origami Interleaved Tube Cellular Materials. Smart Materials and Structures, 23(9), 094012, 2014.

Cheung, K. C., and Gershenfeld, N. Reversibly Assembled Cellular Composite Materials Science Vol. 341 no. 6151 pp. 1219-1221. DOI: 10.1126/science.1240889 (2013).

Cheung, K. C., Digital Cellular Solids: Reconfigurable Composite Materials Ph.D. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012.

Knaian, A. N., Cheung, K. C., Lobovsky, M., Oines, A., Schmidt-Nielsen, P., and Gershenfeld, N. (2012). The Milli-Motein: A Self-Folding Chain of Programmable Matter with a One Centimeter Module Pitch. IEEE/RSJ IROS 2012

Tibbits, S. and Cheung, K. C. (2012). Programmable Materials for Architectural Assembly and Automation, Assembly Automation, vol. 32, no. 3, pp.216-225.

Cheung, K. C., Demaine, E. D., Bachrach, J. R., and Griffith, S., Programmable Assembly With Universally Foldable Strings (Moteins), IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 718-729 (2011).

Chen, Y., Chang, J., Greenlee, A.S., Cheung, K. C., Slocum, A. H., and Gupta, R. (2010). Multi-turn, Tension-stiffening Catheter Navigation System, IEEE ICRA'10, May 3-8, Anchorage, AK.

Guest writer for Make Magazine #16: Toolbox

Cheung, K. C. (2007). Understanding Behavior with Ubiquitous Computing for Architectural Design. Masters in Science Thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA

Cheung, K. C., Intille, S., & Larson, K. (2006) An Inexpensive Bluetooth-Based Indoor Positioning Hack. Ubiquitous Computing Conference UbiComp2006, Orange County, CA

Cheung, K. C. (2005) Educational Union. Using models of human behavior as computational design tools. B.Arch Thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cheung, K. C. (2004) The Natural Environment and Human Well-Being. Insights from Image Structure Analysis? Environmental Design and Research Association Conference EDRA2004, Minneapolis, MN

Cheung, K. C. (2004) Fractal Image Structure Analysis Methods. First International Conference on Fractal Foundations for 21st Century. Architecture and Environmental Design FFRACTARQ2004, Madrid, SP

Cheung, K.C., Du, F., McMurray, E., Vora-Akhom, K. & Campos, P. (2003) The Implementation of alternative transit to preserve a regionís cultural identity: a case study of Eagle County, Colorado, U.S.A. Ninth International Conference on Urban Transportation and the Environment. ICUTE2003, Crete, GR

Cheung, K., Klingmann, A. ETAL (2002) The Triphammer Mall Experience: a working alternative to the status quo. LAforum DEAD MALLS Ideas Competition, National Endowment of the Art, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Design.