Agilent Early Career Professor Award (AECPA)

Agilent congratulates Stefanos Nikolaidis
Winner of the 2022 Agilent Early Career Professor Award

2022 Focus: Contributions to the development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Vision technologies for intuitive Collaborative Robots (Cobots) to address demands for a flexible next-generation workforce in manufacturing applications.

Stefanos Nikolaidis

Stefanos Nikolaidis
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California

Dr. Nikolaidis completed his Ph.D. at CMU’s Robotics Institute and received a M.S. from MIT, a M.Eng. from the University of Tokyo and a B.S. from the National Technical University of Athens. He has also worked as a research associate at the University of Washington, as a research specialist at MIT and as a researcher at Square Enix in Tokyo.

Dr. Nikolaidis has made seminal contributions in the field of human-robot collaboration. His well-known work on human-robot cross-training during his graduate studies at MIT was the first work that underlined the importance of learning and accounting for human preferences in collaborative tasks, and it spawned a large line of research in preference learning for human-robot collaboration. Dr. Nikolaidis’ subsequent work at CMU on human-robot mutual adaptation provided the mathematical foundations for a new subfield in human-robot interaction, where robots actively affect the mental states and actions of their human counterparts.

Dr. Nikolaidis joined the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of the Computer Science Department. He directs the ICAROS lab, which focuses on theoretical and experimental frameworks that enhance the robustness and effectiveness of human-robot interactions. With support from the Agilent Early Career Professor Award, Dr. Nikolaidis’ team is developing algorithms that enable intuitive collaborative robots to efficiently support human workers in large-scale, real-world manufacturing tasks. This research aims towards facilitating the adoption of robots in the workplace, substantially enhancing human productivity and reducing ergonomic exposure.

Dr. Nikolaidis was recognized with an NSF CAREER award in 2022 for his work on “Enhancing the Robustness of Human-Robot Interactions via Automatic Scenario Generation." His research has also been recognized with an oral presentation at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) and best paper awards and nominations from the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, and the International Symposium on Robotics.


Purpose of award

  • Promote and encourage excellent research enabling technologies of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Establish strong collaborative relationships between Agilent researchers and leading professors early in their career
  • Build the prominence of Agilent as a sponsor of university research

Selection criteria

  • Alignment with the 2022 Focus
  • Significant original research contributions enabling technologies of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Outstanding potential for future research
  • Professor completed Ph.D. (residency in case of M.D.'s or M.D. Ph.D's) not earlier than January 2012. See FAQ

Award information

  • An unrestricted research award of $120,000 to be distributed in 2 years to university in the professor's name
    • Option to use all or part of award to obtain Agilent products at 50% discount
    • Option to accelerate payments to facilitate procurement of equipment with list price over $120,000
  • Engraved plaque commemorating award
  • Recognition on Agilent's website


Past Winners

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