William Nagel 260x300

William Nagel, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Engineering

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering (2022)
    University of Utah (UT)
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering (2015)
    University of Nevada, Reno (NV)
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering (2013)
    University of Nevada, Reno (NV)

About Me

My interest in robotic and mechatronic systems started with my introduction to control systems.  Working with complicated electromechanical systems, modeling their behavior, and finally improving their performance was a very rewarding experience that bridged theoretical and practical engineering beautifully.  Since then, I have focused on using mechanical design, advanced control, and intelligent robotics techniques for high-speed, high-precision positioning systems at the micrometer and nanometer scales.  I am using these techniques to improve bandwidth and throughput for applications such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), and additive manufacturing (3D printing) to name a few. I believe that robotics engineering is a field of study that allows for students to be exposed to a wide variety of skills and techniques that increase their overall marketability after graduation.  I am passionate about improving the education experience for students as they understand difficult concepts through the program.  I believe in incorporating kinesthetic, visual, and audio learning into  the classroom, as well as different pedegogical techniques to impact as many students and their different preferred learning styles as possible.  Engaged and excited learning can make even the most difficult subject matter enjoyable.

Research Interests

-Control systems
-Precision mechatronics
-Atomic force microscopy
-Additive manufacturing
-Smart materials and structures


  • Nagel, W., Hussain, O., Fakharian, O., Aureli, M., & Leang, K. (2022) Surface roughness effects on ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) sensitivity for compression loads. SPIE Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (XXIV)
  • Nagel, W., Andersson, S., Clayton, G., & Leang, K. (2021) Low-Coupling Hybrid Parallel-Serial-Kinematic Nanopositioner with Nonorthogonal Flexure: Nonlinear Design and Control. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (Early Access) p. 1-11
  • Mitrovic, A., Nagel, W., Leang, K., & Clayton, G. (2021) Closed-loop Range-Based Control of Dual-Stage Nanopositioning Systems. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. Vol. 26, Issue 3, pg. 1412-1421
  • Guo, D., Nagel, W., Clayton, G., * Leang, K. (2020) Spatial-temporal trajectory redesign for dual-stage nanopositioning systems with application in AFM. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pg. 558-569

Professional Affiliations & Memberships



  • Mechanical Engineering Teaching Assistant of the Year Award, University of Utah (2019 - 2020)
  • Best Session Presentation Award, American Control Conference (2016)
  • UNR GK-12 Fellow (College of Engineering E-Fellowship Program), National Science Foundation (2013)