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Ryan J. Farris

Assistant Professor of Engineering



FREY-227 ext. 7169

Interest and areas of expertise

Areas of expertise include robotics, mechanical design, biomechanics, medical device development, entrepreneurship, and project management. Primary research goal is to develop improved solutions for individuals with mobility impairments in underserved populations and geographies.


B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Western Kentucky University)
M.S., Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering (Vanderbilt University)
Executive M.B.A., Quantic School of Business and Technology, Washington, DC, December 2021

Classes I teach

ENGR 302 - Seminar II
ENGR-421 - Robotic Systems
ENGR 431 - Biomedical Instrumentation
ENGR 432 - Design of Medical Devices


Dr. Farris joined Messiah University in the Fall of 2021 after spending 9 years as the Engineering Manager of a medical robotics division he co-founded within Parker Hannifin Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a co-inventor of the Indego® exoskeleton, a wearable robotic system which restores mobility to individuals with lower extremity paralysis. The exoskeleton was the product of his doctoral research at Vanderbilt University, and he continued development of the system at Parker Hannifin, leading the technology through to successful FDA approval and commercialization in the US and Europe.

Dr. Farris holds over 20 patents related to electromechanical medical device designs and control methods. He was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014 and is also a recipient of the R&D 100 Award (2018), Medical Design Excellence Award (2016), Health Care Heroes Award (2015), and Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Innovator Award (2013).

The mission of the university attracted Dr. Farris to Messiah, along with the unique opportunity to encourage faith and scholarship in students through the Collaboratory, where he continues his research with students in wearable medical technologies for mobility assistance and rehabilitation.

Dr. Farris and his wife Audrey live near campus with their two children, Cora and Thatcher.