The increasing public reliance on large-scale built infrastructure and high operational costs associated with current inspection and maintenance strategies has led to an increasing necessity for seeking new automated methods to monitor and provide decisioning on operational and maintenance aspects. At the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, a range of technologies are being developed to underpin the automated monitoring and operational maintenance of large-scale built civil infrastructure. This talk will introduce the potential role of MEMS technology in this space and discuss the outcome and progress of related ongoing projects on the development of low-power sensors and vibration energy harvesting devices, and the integration of such devices into distributed sensing systems embedded in built infrastructure. Recent progress in bridging the gap between the energy demand for sensing and wireless telemetry on the one hand, and the chip-scale energy generation from ambient environmental sources on the other, has provided a practical pathway towards enabling this distributed autonomous sensing paradigm. This talk will discuss results and future directions related to ongoing projects at the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction that are addressing the technical development of MEMS sensors dissipating under 10 microW of continuous power per sensing axis and MEMS-scale vibration energy harvesters with peak power output of greater than 100 microW in the context of specific applications related to civil infrastructure monitoring.
Ashwin A. Seshia received the B.Tech. degree in engineering physics from IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India, in 1996; the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA, in 1999 and 2002, respectively; and the M.A. degree from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K., in 2008. During his time at the University of California at Berkeley, he was affiliated with the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center. He joined the faculty of the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, in 2002, where he is currently a Reader in Microsystems Technology and a Fellow of Queens' College. His research interests are in the domain of micro- and nano-engineered dynamical systems with applications to sensors and sensor systems. He serves as an Editor of the IEEE JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS, and an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ULTRASONICS, FERROELECTRICS, AND FREQUENCY CONTROL.