Welcome to my homepage.

I received my PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in December 2012 with an emphasis on control systems and signal processing. Also, received my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA in 2009 with an emphasis on control systems. I also received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering at UCLA in 2007. I am currently a member of the Mechatronics and Controls Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Tsu-Chin Tsao. My interests are in high-sampling rate control of dynamic and precision systems. Listed in the sections below is everything there is to know about me academically.



For my students visiting my webpage, please appropriate coursewebpage and date.

List of Courses Taught

Course NameDates TaughtDescription Coursewebpage
MAE 162D Winter 2013

"Mechanical Engineering Desing 1" - Co-Instructor responsible for mechatronics related aspects of this Senior Design Class. Gave lectures on topics on electronics, sensors, motors, motor drivers, etc.

Oversaw mechatronics labs. Created a lab where robots were used to solve a maze. Advised students on robotic design, electronic requirements, and programming concerns.

Engineering 183EW Winter 2009, Spring 2009, Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010

"Engineering & Society" - This class brings and in-depth analysis upon the history of technological advancements along and how it influences ethical/social decisions.

This webpage is meant as a template for not only my students but for future TAs as well. The website is designed around a modified schedule that I have found to work best with the student's busy schedule.

Course Webpage
Engineering 185EW Winter 2011, Spring 2011 "Art of Engineering Endeavors" - Students of Engineering 185EW can find weekly materials listed below.

Winter 2011 (Course Webpage)

Spring 2011 (Course Webpage)

MAE 495 Fall 2010

"Teaching Assistant Training Seminar" - TA Training Course for Mechanical and Aerospace Department.

Served as instructor, came up with lesson plans, and train new teaching assistants before they teach for the first time.

Fall 2010 (Course Webpage)
MAE 171A Fall 2007

"Introduction to Feedback and Control Systems": Dynamic Systems Control - TA for the classical controls course.

MAE 171B Spring 2008 "Digital Control of Physical Systems" - TA for Digital Controls Course  
MAE 107 Fall 2008 "Introductionto Modelling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems" - ran discussions, help create labs, and assist students with experiments.  


My current research focuses on highspeed fixed-point controllers. I work in the Mechatronics and Controls Laboratory (MaCLab) at UCLA. My current thesis title is "Digital Control of High-Bandwidth Precision Mechanical Motion Systems". Listed are a few topics that I can currently working on:

  • High Sampling Rate Control of Magnetic Bearings using FPGAs
  • High Sampling Rate Control of PIezoelectric Actuators using FPGAs

Magnetic Bearing

See more information under my Curriculum Vitae (CV). Alternatively, you can visit the Mechatronics and Controls Laboratory webpage.




  • Yigang Wang, Kevin C. Chu, Herrick L. Chang, and Tsu-Chin Tsao. Laguerre based adaptive
    control of piezoelectric actuator for nanopositioning. In Conference on Decision and Control,
    2010, December 2010. [pdf]
  • Herrick L. Chang and Tsu-Chin Tsao. Repetitive control of a levitated shaft - fpga implemen-
    tation based on powell-chau filters. In International Symposium on Flexible Automation, 2010,
    Best Paper Award (Theory), July 2010. [pdf]
  • Herrick L. Chang and Tsu-Chin Tsao. Efficient fixed-point realization of approximate dynamic
    inversion compensators for non-minimum phase systems. In American Control Conference,
    2010. Proceedings of the 2010, June 2010. [pdf]
  • Herrick L. Chang and Tsu-Chin Tsao. An Efficient Fixed-Point Realization of Inversion Based Repetitive Control.
    In American Control Conference, 2013. Proceedings of the 2013, June 2013. [pdf]


  • Herrick L. Chang and Tsu-Chin Tsao. High Sampling Rate Dynamic Inversion - Filter Realization and Applications in Digital Control. Accepted for Publication in Transactions on Mechatronics, 2012.


  • Herrick L. Chang, "High Sampling Rate Dynamic Inversion - Digital Signal Processing, Filter Realizations and Applications in Digital Control", Ph.D dissertation, Mechanical and Aersospace Eng., UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 2012. [pdf]



  • Best Paper Award (Theory), International Symposium on Flexible Automation, 2010
  • National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow, 2011-2012

Science and Engineering of the Environment of Los Angeles, UCLA GK-12 Program

For the 2011-2012 school year, I will be a SEE-LA GK-12 fellow. I will be working with Mr. Baker of University High School. All GK-12 related material will be posted in this section. Hopefully, everything in this section is "non-engineer" friendly.

About Me

Why Engineering?

I've always been the kid that wanted to have the newest and coolest gadget. I have always liked to take stuff apart to know how it worked (more often than not, it stayed apart then put back together). As a result, I have been building and playing with computers from a young age. When it came to college, studying Electrical Engineering was a "no-brainer" for me.


As an undergraduate, I studied Electrical Engineering at UCLA. As an electrical engineer, I learned about a wide breadth of topics from writing computer programs, knowing how lasers work, understanding wireless communications, to learning how to design circuits. So how did I get into mechatronics? During the summer of my 3rd year and throughout my 4th year, I had an opportunity to work in the Mechatronics and Controls Laboratory (MaCLab) in the Mechanical and Aerospace Department. In that lab, I used my experience as an Electrical Engineer to write programs and understand the electronics that went into controlling mechanical devices such as motors.

Graduate School

I loved working in MaCLab so much, that I decided to stay and switch from Electrical Engineering to Mechanical Engineering for my graduate studies. Our lab works on anything from robots for surgery to automotive engines. Anything that moves and can be controlled by a computer, we pretty much work on. I am currently starting the 5th year of my PhD program in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. What I work on currently is controlling the movement of micro-actuators known piezoelectric devices through the use of very simple but very fast "computers" known as (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) FPGAs. Simply put, the simpler the algorithm is, the faster the computer can run, and the faster and more precise I can move the piezoelectric device. My research involves writing "smarter" yet simple algorithms that FPGAs can understand and still make piezoelectric actuators move the way I want them to.


All throughout graduate school, I had acted as a teacher's assistant (TA) for numerous engineering classes. I have come to enjoy it so much, that I want to learn how to communicate with and teach others that are not engineering students.

What is Mechatronics?

The area of research that I work on is known as Mechatronics. Mechatronics is a blend of many disciplines such as electronics, mechanical systems, computers, control systems, etc. Everyday examples of mechatronics include automobiles, aircrafts, and robots.

An Example - Segway

A perfect example of mechatroincs is a Segway. A Mechatronics engineer should, more or less, understand what type of motor is used to move the Segway. With a motor, there involves electronics that is connected to it. The electronics is there so that a microprocessor/computer can control the movement of the motor of a Segway. Not only that, one mechatronics engineer needs to understand how to represent the Segway mathetimatically and can choose an appropriate algorithm to place on the microprocessor/computer. Furthermore, the algorithm must fast and accurate such that the Segway doesn't topple over when moving. Hopefully, this example goes to show that mechatronics is actually very multi-disciplinary and is illustrative of a job, that include many areas of physics.


Lessons and Etc.

Click Me


Curriculum Vitae



Nugget of Knowledge Youtube Channel

Past GK-12 fellows (friends) have gathered to start a science-themed youtube channel to influence/reach the public in a fun way.

Latest Video: Gigantic Marshmallows in a Vacuum

(Updated 12/5/2012)



Useful Links


Click here to sign up for Dropbox account. You get 2GB free. Signing up through my link get give me more free space.


Click here to sign up for a Sugarsync account. It's just like dropbox but with 5GB. I have both Dropbox and Sugarsync installed.


Contact Information

Office: Boelter Hall 1540, University of California, Los Angeles

Email: herrick (at) ucla (dot) edu