Melinda Malley

she / her / hers

Visiting Assistant Professor of Engineering


A headshot of Melinda Malley


MH 325


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Irvine


  • Swarm Robotics
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Soft Robotics

Melinda joined Olin after completing her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Harvard University in 2020. At Harvard she worked in the Self Organizing Systems Research group, where she built and developed a soft robotic collective for self-assembly, inspired by the dynamic structures of army ants. She also served as a teaching assistant in Multi-Robot Systems and Computer Aided Design. She completed her undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine where she specialized in Mechanical Design, and also received a B.A. in English Literature.

Melinda’s interests are varied; during her time at UC Irvine, she worked with Engineers Without Borders - USA, and dabbled in medical device design before settling in robotics. Her research interests include swarm and soft robotics, and bio-inspired mechanisms and design. She is dedicated to the idea of leaving the world better than you found it, and is an advocate for equity and sustainability, both inside and outside of engineering. Melinda is also a rock climber, dancer, and aerialist. Her connection to the arts started as a child, growing up surrounded by musical theater.