June 11, 2019

Robert Van Rooyen Awarded Doctorate in Computer Science



Contact: Lisa Marston, VP Summit Scientific, Inc.
Phone: 206-395-3148
Email: lisa@summitscientificinc.com


Author, International Conference Presenter, and Creator of the MechDrumTM adds PhD to Decades of Multi‐discipline Engineering Experience

Summit Scientific CEO, Robert Van Rooyen, completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science from the University of Victoria in British Columbia Canada, in December 2018. The pursuit of a doctorate in a STEM field represents a significant personal and professional investment that brings greatly enhanced insight into the process of original research and the development of intellectual property.



“This thesis is exemplar in that it combines theoretical and practical research from the fields of music performance, motion capture and engineering (software and hardware development), including both mechanical and electronic design. Furthermore, a product was developed that has been used in a variety of actual musical performances, also leading to the filling of a US patent. This is an unusually large scope for a Ph.D. research, and the spectrum of contributions attests to the capability of the candidate to carry out high‐level research leading to the development of a finalized product. In short, this thesis presents excellent research with several contributions and will definitely be of interest to a wide community. I would rank it in the top 5 % of the thesis I had the opportunity to read because of the breadth of topics covered and the number of high‐quality contributions made, including the development of a functioning system used in real‐world performance contexts.”

Prof. Marcelo M. Wanderley, PhD
Professor, Music Technology, McGill University
International Chair, Inria Lille – Nord Europe, France

His formal training in peer reviewed research and publications on an international level speaks to Summit’s ability to go beyond typical engineering tasks by offering innovations that have been informed by the scientific method. Robert is a musician who has owned and operated a recording studio as well as performed in several bands over the years including the California State Marching Band. Robert’s experience with music and technology extends back to the mid 1980’s when he developed one of the first chromatic MIDI accordions. His most recent creation, the MechDrumTM, uses authentic striking implements, four degrees of freedom, and innovative motion control algorithms to render performances that closely match its human counterparts in terms of timing, dynamics, and timbre. There are a number of interesting use cases for the MechDrumTM that include play‐ability for musicians with disabilities, live/playback performance, and compositions.

Robert also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. He has over three decades of multi‐discipline engineering experience across a wide range
of products and industries. His background in academic peer reviewed research, international presentations and demonstrations, digital signal processing methods, data analysis, 3D modeling in the context of mechanical engineering, and real‐time motion control development added to his creative and innovative approach to problem‐solving that yields cutting edge and cost effective solutions to clients.

The company’s innovative approach to client projects, backed by scientific methodologies and coupled with deep technical knowledge, can greatly benefit projects in terms of understanding constraints and optimizing designs towards the goal of enhancing IP, while potentially lowering cost and reducing development schedules.


If you would like more information please call Lisa at 206-395-3148 or lisa@summitscientificinc.com.