Rafael Radkowski

  • Assistant Professor
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering (Courtesy)

Main Office

1620E Howe Hall
Ames, IA
Phone: 515-294-7044


  • Doctor in Engineering: product design with evolutionary algorithm, Graduate School Automatic Configuration in Open System, Heinz Nixdorf Institute, Paderborn, Germany. June 2006
  • Dipl.-Ing. (equal to BS+MS degree), Mechanical Engineering, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany. March 2003

Interest Areas

Dr. Radkowski’s research interests address two areas of augmented reality technology: object recognition and human-computer-interaction for engineering applications with focus on object identification, tracking, pattern matching, and gesture/posture detection. His work relies on computer vision and includes fundamental research to explore the capabilities of methods such as Iterative Closest Points and Texture-feature matching for engineering use cases as well as applied research. Use cases for his research are manual assembly assistance, visual inspection, and virtual design reviews. Results of his research have been applied at companies such as Volkswagen, Rockwell Collins, and Boeing.

Current areas of research are:
  • Iterative Closest Points for object identification and tracking.
  • View-dependent rendering and depth cue simulation for CAD workstations.
  • Probabilistic search methods for large-scale feature databases.
  • Natural Feature Tracking in particular binary descriptors for rigid object tracking

Brief Biography

Rafael Radkowski is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. He completed his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at the University of Paderborn (Germany) with an emphasis on digital product development; he graduated in 2003 with first class honors. He was a scholarship holder at the graduate school “Automatic Reconfiguration in Open Systems” at the Heinz Nixdorf Institute from 2003 to 2006. Computer vision-based tracking for augmented reality applications was the core of his studies. He received his doctoral degree (with honors) from the University of Paderborn in 2006. After he graduated, he became an acting leader of a research group in the research team of Prof. Gausemeier at the Heinz Nixdorf Institute. From 2012 to 2014, he worked as research fellow at the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University under the direction of Prof. James Oliver.

Selected Publications

  • Radkowski, R., Herrema, J., and Oliver, J., 2014, “Augmented reality based manual assembly support with visual annotations for different degrees-of-difficulty,” International Journal on Human-Computer Interaction [in press]
  • Garrett, T., Debernardis, S., Radkowski, R., Chang, C.K., Fiorentino, M., Uva, A., and Oliver, J., 2014, “Comparison of Natural Feature Descriptors for Rigid-Object Tracking for Real-Time Augmented Reality,” Proc. of the ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2014, August 17-20, 2014, Buffalo, NY, USA
  • Radkowski, R. and Oliver, J., 2014, “Enhanced Natural Visual Perception for Augmented Reality Workstations by Simulation of Perspective,” IEEE Journal of Display Technology, 10(5), May, pp. 333-344
  • Radkowski, R. and Oliver, J., 2014, “Monocular Depth Cues for Augmented Reality Applications to Enhance Spatial Perception Tasks,” Proc. Tenth International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering (TMCE 2014), May 19-23, Budapest, Hungary
  • Radkowski, R. and Oliver, J., 2013, “Natural Feature Tracking Augmented Reality for on-site Assembly Assistance Systems,” Proc. of Human Computer Interaction International Conference, July 22-26, Las Vegas, NV, USA