IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Todd Simonds
April 27, 2023
By Sheila Evans
After college he worked in the social sciences. “I was working in a research center at the University of Pittsburgh, in the field of ‘learning psychology’ for 10 years,” he said. “The robotics institute at Carnegie Mellon University was founded while I was doing that. Pitt and Carnegie Mellon are adjacent to one another, and I knew a great many of those people. I went to the dean of the School of Engineering and said, ‘I don’t know anything about robotics, but I know about research centers, and I can help you.’ I got hired on the spot.”
It may be that being confident, and being able to look an opportunity in the eye and not blink may be other skill sets he has been bringing to the table throughout his career.
He noted that this was during the very earliest days of robotics. “It was the first time I’d heard the word,” he said. “And Carnegie Mellon is, to this day, the pre-eminent center of research and development in the field of robotics.” In the end, Todd spent 30 years in the field, helping to make it what it is today.