Microscale Sensors and Systems

Robert White, Mech. Eng.









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Curriculum Vitae

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Areas of interest:

Micro- and Nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) sensors and actuators, microfabrication processes and materials, and computational modeling of micro-electromechanical systems. Microelectronics and MEMS packaging. Acoustics, vibrations and transduction. Acoustic arrays, ultrasound transducers. Device development and engineering science in micro- and nano-technology, with an emphasis on acoustic sensing, wind tunnel instrumentation, dynamic systems, and robotic systems.


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News:

2021

May 3, 2021

Spencer Schmid successfully defended his Senior Honors Thesis "Design of Sonic Anemometer for the Martian Environment". Congrats!

E. S. Schmid, "Designing of Sonic Anemometer for Martian Environment", Bachelor of Science Honors Thesis, Tufts University, May 2021.

April 22, 2021

Martin Majkut successfully defended his Master's thesis "Two-Dimensional Locomotion in a Soft Foam Robot Using Weight Redistribution". Congrats!

M. Majkut, "Two-Dimensional Locomotion in a Soft Foam Robot Using Weight Redistribution", Master of Science Thesis, Tufts University, May 2021.

April 21, 2021

Peter Tsivis successfully defended his Master's thesis "Wedge Cut Design for Tendon Driven Soft Foam Arm". Congrats!

P. Tsivis, "Wedge Cut Design for Tendon Driven Soft Foam Arm", Master of Science Thesis, Tufts University, May 2021.

January 7, 2021.

A US patent application was filed on our sonic anemometer invention.

Robert White, Ian Neeson and Don Banfield, "Systems and Methods of Operation of a Sonic Anemometer", US application number 17/144,097, filed January 7, 2021. Claims the benefit of US Provisional Patent Application 62/958,030 filed January 7, 2020.

2020

December 7, 2020

Three papers were presented at the Acoustical Society of America Virtual Conference 2020, "Acoustics Virtually Everywhere"

Robert D. White, E. Spencer Schmid, Ian Neeson, Jonathan P. Merrison, Jens Jacob Iversen, and Don Banfield, "Ultrasonic Anemometry on Mars" at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, "Acoustics Virtually Everywhere", December 7-11, 2020.

Robert D. White, Zijia Zhao, Casey Owen, Mischael Anilus, Steve Chau, Amish Desai, Michael Emerling, Luisa Chiesa, and Makoto Takayasu, "Cryogenic Testing of MEMS Microphones towards their Utilization as a Quench Detection Method in Superconducting Magnets" at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, "Acoustics Virtually Everywhere", December 7-11, 2020.

Ethan Saff and Robert D. White "Spectral Analysis of Turbulent Boundary Layer Pressure Fluctuations Collected by a MEMS Microphone Array" at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, "Acoustics Virtually Everywhere", December 7-11, 2020, undergraduate research symposium poster session.

December 3, 2020.

NASA recommended our MATISSE proposal on a Martian Sonic Anemometer for funding.

This project is with Cornell, VN instruments, and NASA Ames.

October 24, 2020

Two papers were presented at the Applied Superconductivity Virtual Conference 2020.

Zijia Zhao, Casey Owen, Mischael Anilus, Peter Moore, Steve Chau, Amish Desai, Michael Emerling, Robert White, Luisa Chiesa, and Makoto Takayasu, "Characterization of various MEMS sensors in cryogenic fluids for quench detection applications in HTS Cable-In-Conduit Conductors", at the Applied Superconductivity Virtual Conference, ASC2020, Oct 24- Nov 7, 2020.

Makoto Takayasu , Zijia Zhao , Luisa Chiesa , Robert White, "Coolant pressure evaluations for a MEMS sensor array quench detection in REBCO CICC superconducting cables" at the Applied Superconductivity Virtual Conference, ASC2020, Oct 24- Nov 7, 2020

September 18, 2020

Our work on cryogenic MEMS pressure sensor arrays for superconducting magnet quench detection was recommended for Phase II STTR funding by the Department of Energy.

This work is with Prof. Luisa Chiesa at Tufts, the MIT Plasma Fusion Science Center, and Tanner Research.

April 17, 2020

Yucheng Sha successfully defended his Master's thesis "A Low Turbulence Recirculating Wind Tunnel for MEMS Sensor Characterization". Congrats!

Y. Sha, "A Low Turbulence Recirculating Wind Tunnel for MEMS Sensor Characterization", Master of Science Thesis, Tufts University, May 2020. LINK

January 5-8, 2020

Students Spencer Schmid and Yucheng Sha and Prof. White travel to AIAA SciTech Forum, Orlando.

R. D. White, I. Neeson, E. S. Schmid, J. Merrison, J. J. Iversen, and D. Banfield, "Flow Testing of a Sonic Anemometer for the Martian Environment," in AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum, Orlando, Jan 6-10 2020. AIAA2020-0712 https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2020-0712

2019

December 20, 2019

Vienna Mott successfully defended her Master's thesis:

Vienna Mott, "Microplastic Detection Using Impedance Measurements in a Microfluidic Channel", Masters of Science Thesis, Tufts University, December 2019. LINK

November 21, 2019

Our paper on miniature coaxial interconnects was accepted:

Daniela A. Torres, Anthony Kopa, Robert D. White, and Caprice Gray, "Co-fabrication of Microcoaxial Interconnects and Substrate Junctions for Multi-Chip Microelectronic Systems" in IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, accepted article, article in press, November 21, 2019.

September 10, 2019

Our paper on flow testing of the Mars sonic anemometer was accepted:

Robert D. White, E. Spencer Schmid, Ian Neeson, Jonathan P. Merrison, Jens Jacob Iversen, and Don Banfield. "Flow Testing of a Sonic Anemometer for the Martian Environment" in the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, 2020.

August 10, 2019

Prof. White travels to Aarhus Denmark to test the Tufts sonic anemometer.

After 3 years of effort, Prof. White traveled to Denmark to test the Tufts sonic anemometer in the Mars Simulation Wind Tunnel at the University of Aarhus. The instrument was developed with funds from the NASA PICASSO program in collaboration with Don Banfield from Cornell and Ian Neeson from VN Instruments, Ontario. Students Henry Shi and Spencer Schmid assisted. The instrument performed well! See this story in Tufts Engineering News

June 1, 2019

Prof. White begins his sabbatical year as a visiting consultant at Draper Labs, Cambridge, MA

May 20, 2019

Department of Energy STTR Phase I funded.

With Luisa Chiesa (Tufts), Michael Emerling and Amish Desai (Tanner Research) and Makoto Takayasu MIT: "Quench Detection Method for Large Superconducting Magnets using Robust MEMS Acoustic Sensor Arrays". Undergraduate Mischael Anilus will assist with this project.

March 3, 2019

Our paper on ALD deposition of platinum electrodes for fuel cells was accepted:

Dinesh Sabarirajan, Thomas George, James Vlahakis, Robert White, and Iryna Zenyuk, "Atomic Layer Deposition of Pt Nanoelectrode Array for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells", Journal of the Electrochemical Society, accepted article, article in press, 2019.

February 25, 2019

Our paper on soft foam robot manufacturing was accepted:

Nikolas Kastor, Ritwika Mukherjee, Eliad Cohen, Vishesh Vikas, Barry Trimmer and Robert D. White, "Design and Manufacturing of Tendon Driven Soft Foam Robots" Robotica, accepted article, article in press, 2019.

January 30, 2019

Mischael Anilus joined the group.

Mischael will do an undergraduate research project on aluminum nitride deposition, micro-scale processing, and characterization.

January 9, 2019

Our paper published:

Daniela A. Torres, Anthony Kopa, Sara C. Baron, Robert McCormick, Robert D. White, and Caprice Gray, "Characterization of Low Inductance Micro-coaxial Cables for Power Distribution", Journal of Microelectronics and Electronic Packaging, October 2018, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 171-178. https://doi.org/10.4071/imaps.729301.


Click here for older news items.


Research Videos:

Flow Testing of a Sonic Anemometer for Martian Conditions December 2020 at Acoustics Virtually Everywhere conference.

Cryogenic Testing of MEMS Microphones for Superconducting Magnet Quench Detection December 2020 at Acoustics Virtually Everywhere conference.

Effects of Switchable Friction on Simulated Soft Robot Martin Majkut and Robert White, Tufts University, 2018.

MEMS microphone array-on-a-chip for measuring small scale turbulent pressure fluctuations in wind tunnel testing. January 2013.

MEMS floating element shear stress sensor for direct dynamic skin friction measurement at high spatial resolution in wind tunnel testing. January 2013.

MEMS ultrasonic velocity sensing technology for mobile navigation systems using high frequency in-air ultrasonics. January 2013.


Teaching Videos:

Three Dimensional Passive Dynamic Walker for Soft Robotics IGERT Bootcamp August 2014. Credit to Russ Tedrake, et al, ICRA 2004 for the idea.

Model rocket launch with data acquisition and modeling for ME37: Dynamics & Vibrations, Fall 2012.

Four bar linkage dynamics design/test for ME37: Dynamics & Vibrations, Fall 2012.

Lego "Segway" balancing robot using the NXT with a Kalman filter and full state feedback. For ME80: System Dynamics and Controls, Spring 2012

Finite state machine example using Arduino, lego, and Matlab for ME80: System Dynamics and Controls, Spring 2012