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Overview of PRIGM, SHRIMP, & AMEBA Followed by a Discussion on MEMS Related Research Interests

IEEE SF Bay Area MEMS & Sensors Chapter

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

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IEEE MEMBER 1d 7h 11m Free  
NON-IEEE MEMBER Jul 19, 2019 Free  

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IEEE SF Bay Area MEMS and Sensor Chapter 


Overview of PRIGM, SHRIMP, & AMEBA Followed by a Discussion on MEMS Related Research Interests


This presentation will provide an overview of the current research portfolio in the area of miniature inertial sensors, small scale robotics, and hand-held VLF transmitters. In addition, the presentation will provide some general thoughts on possible new research interests following two workshops that were held within the last 13 months. One topic was focused on how to improve the development cycle for new MEMS technology which is still slow, with an average time of 3-5 years, dominated by the design and fabrication development phases. The current, lengthy, MEMS design cycle, combined with restricted access to a small number of designers, limits the rate of innovation and extends the timelines for transition to system/product insertion. Two strategies to address this issue will be discussed: 1) broadening access to production-proven MEMS process flows at commercial foundries for small and medium firms and 2) developing flexible and robust additive/3-dimensional manufacturing techniques for MEMS materials. By coordinating between fabrication process owners, device designers, layout aggregators, design kit developers, and foundries, it is possible to adopt the multi project wafer (MPW) paradigm from the CMOS community and leverage its successes towards innovation in the MEMS sector. Beyond this, improvements in additive manufacturing of functional materials, such as shape memory alloys or piezoelectrics, in bulk (3D printing) or thin film (ALD) forms will vastly improve rapid prototyping capabilities and unlock novel MEMS applications through previously inaccessible device geometries. Taken together, these two strategies will help create a fruitful ecosystem for rapid technology development in the MEMS sector. Finally, another potential area of interest is in the integration of actuation, sensing, and control to aid in rapid injury response on the point-of-injury for the warfighter. The key questions are how to bring advancements in miniaturized actuation and sensing direct to the front lines and improve survivability for airway challenges and truncal hemorrhage injuries.

 Speaker’s Bio:

Ronald G. Polcawich is a Program Manager at DARPA in the Microsystems Technology Office and currently on detail to DARPA from the Micro & Nano Materials & Devices Branch of US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Adelphi, MD. He received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (1997), and M.S. degree in Materials from Penn State University (1999), and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State University (2007). While at DARPA, Dr. Polcawich will lead research projects in advanced materials processing combined with micromechanics for small scale robotics and developing new materials processes, device designs, and integration approaches required to push inertial and aiding sensor performance for enabling trusted, heterogeneous position, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems. He is currently leading the Precise on Precise Robust Inertial Guidance for Munitions (PRIGM) program, the SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms (SHRIMP) program, and A MEchanically Based Antenna (AMEBA) program. In addition, he is actively mentoring 5 Young Faculty Award recipients in the area of nonlinear mechanics for inertial sensors, self-contained actuation materials, and functional materials via additive manufacturing.

Previously, Dr. Polcawich was the team lead for PiezoMEMS Technology at ARL with a focus on developing component technologies to enable cognitive RF communication and radar systems and MEMS inertial and aiding sensors to provide position, navigation, and timing (PNT) solutions for SWAP-C constrained platforms. His research activities included materials processing of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films, MEMS fabrication, RF components, MEMS actuator technologies, mm-scale robotics, MEMS inertial sensors, and sensors for aiding inertial systems. He currently holds 16 patents, has 4 patent applications pending review, and has authored over 100 journal and proceedings articles, and authored 3 book chapters on fabrication and design of piezoelectric MEMS devices using PZT thin films. Dr. Polcawich and his colleagues were the recipients of the 2006 Department of the Army Research and Development Achievement Award for Piezoelectric RF MEMS Switch Using PZT Thin Films and the 2009 US Army Research Laboratory Engineering Award for ground-breaking work on Piezoelectric MEMS. Additionally, Dr. Polcawich received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the 2015 IEEE UFFC Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award. In the 4th Quarter of 2017, Dr. Polcawich received the Department of Defense Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter. Dr. Polcawich is a senior member of IEEE, a member of the IEEE Ferroelectrics Committee and Technical Program Committee IV Applications of Ferroelectrics, served as an elected member of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (UFFC) Administrative Committee (AdCom) for 2014-2016, and served as chair of the UFFC Membership Committee (2016 – 2018). Dr. Polcawich is on the technical advisory committee for the PiezoMEMS Workshop, co-organized the 2013 meeting in Washington, DC, co-organized the 2018 meeting in Orlando, FL. In addition, Dr. Polcawich has been an active participant at the IEEE International Symposium on Ferroelectric (ISAF) including the ISAF general chair and student photo contest chair for the 2018 meeting in Hiroshima, served on the TPC on applications for the 2016 and 2017 meetings, served as exhibit chair for the 2014 meeting, and provided plenary, invited, and contributed presentations.

6:30 – 7:00 PM  Networking & Food ($5 Donation)

7:00 – 8:00 PM  Invited Talk

8:00 – 8:30 PM  AdCom Meeting


Have questions about Overview of PRIGM, SHRIMP, & AMEBA Followed by a Discussion on MEMS Related Research Interests? Contact IEEE SF Bay Area MEMS & Sensors Chapter

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When & Where

Texas Instruments, Inc. Santa Clara Campus
2900 Semiconductor Drive
Building E Conference Center
Santa Clara, CA 95051

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

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IEEE SF Bay Area MEMS & Sensors Chapter

Chapter Goal: The “MEMS and Sensors” chapter provides a forum for networking, learning and exchanging ideas in a welcoming professional environment in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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