Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
University of California LA
Los Angeles, CA
Presentation Title: Bio-like Soft Materials with Life-like Intelligence
Abstract: From the cellular level up to the body system level, living organisms present elegant designs to realize the desirable structures, properties, and functions. For example, tendons and muscles are tough but soft, owing to highly complex hierarchical structures rarely found in synthetic materials. Our neuromuscular system enables our motion sensing and response with built-in feedback control, presenting superior intelligence also lacking in manmade systems. Gels, as a class of liquid-laden crosslinked polymer networks, not only have tissue-like water-rich porous networks and can also change their volume and physical properties in response to environmental cues. At UCLA He lab, we exploit fundamental material processing-structure-property-function studies of hydrogels and their derivatives, to create (i) ‘bio-like’ structures and properties and (ii) ‘life-like’ intelligence in functional soft materials for applications in robotics, biomedicine, energy, and environment. This talk will present how these could be realized by mastering polymer-water interactions. Specifically, using classic chemical physical principles to modulate macromolecule assembly up to complex polymer networks, the fundamental limits in mechanical, diffusion and electrical properties could be broken can be broken to design extreme properties. The enabled soft materials featuring high mechanical toughness, ion/electron conduction, fast stimuli response, and "synthetic intelligence" make possible the next-generation energy-self-sufficient robots, personalized medical implants, as well as futuristic smart wearable electronics and battery-powered flight.
Biography: Ximin He is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Faculty of California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). Dr. He was postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Wyss Institute of Bioinspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. He received her PhD in Chemistry at Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis from University of Cambridge. Dr. He’s research focuses on bioinspired soft materials, structural polymers and their physical, mechanical, electrical and photothermal properties with broad applications in biomedicine, energy, environment, and robotics. Dr. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, AFOSR Young Investigator award, CIFAR Global Scholar, SES Young Investigator Medal, International Society of Bionic Engineering (ISBE) Outstanding Youth Award, Advanced Materials Rising Star Award, 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award, Hellman Fellows Award, and UCLA Faculty Career Development Award. Her research on bioinspired tough hydrogels, phototropic, phototaxic, homeostatic and anti-icing materials have garnered a number of regional and international awards and was featured in >100 international news outlets.
School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy
Arizona State University
Presentation Title: Adding Solid and Fluids to Liquid Metals: How to Make Multifunctional Liquid Metal Pastes, Foams, and Emulsions
Abstract: Gallium and its eutectic alloys have metallic properties (e.g. high electrical and thermal conductivity) while remaining in liquid state near room temperature. Accordingly, these liquid metals (LMs) are used to make soft and stretchable components and devices for electronics, biomedical, sensor, energy storage, and foremost for thermal management applications. However, the use of the LM is cumbersome because of its rapid oxidation, low viscosity, high surface tension, and reactivity with other metals. These issues can be resolved by adding a variety of solid additives into the LM, which also results in pastes with enhanced properties. Most recently, several routes have also been developed to incorporate secondary fluids into LMs including airto create foams [1,2] and silicone oils to create emulsions[3,4]. Both the foams and emulsions are substantially lighter and easier to apply to surfaces than original LM. In addition, the oil-in-liquid metal emulsions can prevent one of the major drawbacks of gallium and its alloys. Specifically, the emulsion form about 500 nm exterior film that prevents gallium-induced embrittlement of a contacting aluminum surfaces [3,4]. Despite these interesting properties, our understanding of how these LM-based materials form and can be improved on is just beginning to emerge.
In this presentation I will describe the highly intertwined microscale formation mechanisms of LM pastes, foams, and emulsions. First, I will discuss systematic experiments on the internalization of a several sizes and volume fractions of silica microparticles into LM, which demonstrate that some air bubble entrapment always occurs along with particles. Similarly, the experiments demonstrate that addition of solid micro-particles is required for the onset of LM foaming. In other words, there are no pure LM pastes or LM foams but multiphase LM composites with varying volume fractions of solid and air components. The particles size, volume fraction, and mixing method can be used to either promote or inhibit air entrapment leading to more paste-like or foam-like composites. Second, I will discuss formation of the oil-in-LM emulsions. When mixed with any other liquid, pure LM breaks-up into microdroplets. We discovered that this can be prevented when silicone oil is mixed with LM foam. I will discuss how the silicone oil droplets are internalized in the LM foam, and how prior addition of even a small volume fraction of silica particles into LM removes the need for foaming of the liquid before oil addition.
We acknowledge funding from National Science Foundation grant 2034015.
 Wang, X., Fan, L., Zhang, J., Sun, X., Chang, H., Yuan, B., Guo, R., Duan, M., and Liu, J., 2019, "Printed Con-formable Liquid Metal E‐Skin‐Enabled Spatiotemporally Controlled Bioelectromagnetics for Wireless Multisite Tu-mor Therapy," Adv Funct Mater, p. 1907063.
 Kong, W., Shah, N. U. H., Neumann, T. v, Vong, M. H., Kotagama, P., Dickey, M. D., Wang, R. Y., and Rykaczewski, K., 2020, "Oxide-Mediated Mechanisms of Gallium Foam Generation and Stabilization during Shear Mixing in Air," Soft Matter, 16, pp. 5801–5805.
 Shah, N. U. H., Kong, W., Casey, N., Kanetkar, S., Wang, R. Y.-S., and Rykaczewski, K., 2021, "Gallium Oxide-Stabilized Oil in Liquid Metal Emulsions," Soft Matter, 17, pp. 8269–8275.
 Shah, N. U. H., Kanetkar, S., Uppal, A., Dickey, M. D., Wang, R. Y., and Rykaczewski, K., 2022, "Mechanism of Oil-in-Liquid Metal Emulsion Formation," Langmuir, 38(43), pp. 13279–13287.
Biography: Konrad Rykaczewski is an associate professor at School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy at ASU. He received his BS (2005), MS (2007) and PhD (2009) in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to his appointment at ASU, he was a research scientist at MIT and NRC postdoctoral fellow at NIST.
Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg
Presentation Title: Magnetoactive Elastomers: Extraordinary Properties and Physics of Iron in Rubber
Abstract: The cutting-edge research in the field of magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs), which comprise soft-magnetic particles embedded into a soft polymeric matrix, will be presented. After introducing the concept, an overview of several extraordinary bulk properties and physical phenomena in these smart materials will be given. The "colossal" magnetorheological effect, the "giant" magnetodielectric effect, the "giant" magnetostriction, and the magnetic properties of MAEs will be discussed. The physical origin of these phenomena is attributed to the re-arrangement (changes in mutual positions) of magnetic particles in a mechanically soft polymer matrix in the presence of an external magnetic field. This phenomenon is usually designated as the restructuring of magnetic filler particles. I will discuss possible theoretical approaches to describe significant changes of physical properties of MAEs in external magnetic fields. I will also present multilayered heterostructures comprising a magnetoactive elastomer (MAE) slab and a commercially available piezoelectric polymer multilayer. These multiferroic structures are promising as sensitive low-frequency sensors of magnetic field. It can be expected that the restructuring of the filler should be also "visible" on MAE surface. In this context, recent results on magnetically controllable surface properties of MAEs will be presented. The control of the wettability of non-structured and microstructured magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) by magnetic field will be demonstrated. Novel approaches to control drop splashing on non-structured and microstructured MAE surfaces will be discussed.
Biography: Mikhail Shamonin studied physics at Lomonosov University in Moscow, Russia and engineering science at Oxford University in the UK. He received his PhD degree in physics from the University of Osnabrück in Germany with a thesis on magneto-optical waveguides. After a short post-doctoral position at the University of Osnabrück, he worked for more than five years as a physicist for a high-tech company (H. Rosen Engineering GmbH) in Lower Saxony in Germany, which business is mainly in research, development, production, and operation of inspection devices for pipelines and other complex technical systems. Since 2002 he has been Professor for Sensor Technology in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany. In recent years, his interest has shifted from sensor technology and metamaterials towards smart materials, particularly magnetoactive elastomers and energy harvesting.
Assistant Professor Jovana Jovanova, Ph.D
Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Presentation Title: Design of Mechanically Intelligent Structures
Abstract: The world we live in is dynamic, continuously changing due to different cyclic or disruptive occurrences. Adaptation of engineering systems to changes, as a feature, has become more valued, even expected, when new designs are developed. Whether it is adapting to operational conditions, people and/or their environment, structures and machines rely on a set of technologies to be able to function in a desired fashion. The complexity of the adaptive function requires model-based design of the interaction between the structure/machines and its operational environment, which requires new modelling approaches to capture this interaction. The advantage of adaptation can be achieved by reducing complexity if the functionality is encoded in the early design of the structures opposed to the traditional way when it is added later in the design process. Encoding functionality in structures during their early design phase is achieved by the combined effort of the geometry and the material property by capturing the flexibility of a structure in large deformation domain and the smart material behaviour. The developed models can also be used for uncovering the scaling rules and the size limits imposed by the material, the geometry and the manufacturing technology. In this talk the idea of mechanically intelligent structures will be presented and discussed, followed by examples of integrating different smart materials (SMAs, hydrogels, piezoelectric materials) in variety of applications for grabbing, soft robotics, multimodal locomotion and energy absorption.
Biography: Jovana Jovanova is assistant professor at the Transport Engineering and Logistics Section, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands working on the design of large-scale adaptive (meta)structures, mechanisms and machines able to change their properties and/or functionality over time to improve performance, reliability, and efficiency. Adaptation in this context is the ability of structures, mechanisms or machines to recognize the changes occurring in their environment and adjust internally to respond in a desired way. Her research includes analytical, numerical and data-based modelling and characterization of mechanically intelligent structures that utilize smart materials and/or large deformations for adaptation. She integrates concepts of compliant mechanisms, smart materials, metamaterials, bio-inspired design and soft robotics into adaptive machines for the applications in the maritime, offshore and transport technology.
Jovana is involved in TU Delft initiatives within the Robotics and the Bioengineering Institutes, as well as the Dutch Soft Robotics national initiative. She has been an active member of SMASIS since 2016 serving in different Bioinspired TC roles. She has also supported the organization of the Compliant Mechanisms Symposium within ASME IDETC and RoboSoft 2023 conference. She is associate editor at Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering, and Robotics Reports.
Roeland De Breuker
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering,
Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials,
Delft University of Technology
Presentation Title: Smartx: Intelligent Wings Enabling More Sustainable Aviation
Abstract: Making aviation more sustainable means we need breakthroughs in many aeronautical disciplines simultaneously. One of these disciplines is innovative wing design. Such a design can reduce drag and alleviate loads and hence reduce mass. Reduced drag and reduced mass lead to lower energy consumption during flight which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and enables the use of sustainable but lower energy-density energy carriers.
We will present the intelligent wing of the future concept that was developed at the Delft University of Technology within the SmartX project. This wing can sense its own structural and flow state and take autonomous decisions by using nonlinear AI control algorithms to actively change its static and dynamic shape by using distributed morphing control surfaces to reduce drag and alleviate loads.
The SmartX project philosophy and the past, ongoing, and future research activities regarding design and bench, wind tunnel and flight testing will be introduced. Important results that have already been obtained will be presented and discussed, as well as the roadmap for future activities.
Biography: Roeland De Breuker is an associate professor at the Delft University of Technology. He is also Director of Research at the Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials. He specialises in the field of smart and aeroelastic structures. He focuses on developing analysis tools, optimisation and design of structures and related bench and wind tunnel experiments for code validation and proofs of concept. His research activities range from technology readiness levels 1-4. While employed at the Delft University of Technology, he had former experiences with three-month visits to the DLR in Göttingen, Germany and Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. He was also a visiting professor at Airbus Group Innovations in Munich, Germany, for half a year.
Roeland De Breuker is involved in multiple European and Dutch government-funded projects, as well as industry-funded projects, in the research fields of smart and aeroelastic structures. He is (co-)advising 20 PhD students, he graduated 12 PhD students as (co-) promotor and is advising/has advised over 70 MSc students. He currently holds 58 refereed journal papers and three patents.
Dr. Francis Phillips
Research Qerospace Engineer
US Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory
Presentation Title: Development of an Integrated Baseless Small Unmanned Aerial System
Abstract: The use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) has expanded dramatically over the last decade. These systems can be used for many applications ranging from communications to bridge inspections, agriculture, payload transport, firefighting, meteorology, and beyond. A current major limitation to the use of these systems is the available energy in these systems, whether through batteries or some other fuel source. Considering specifically sUAS weighing below 50 lbs., most of these sUAS are electrically powered and have nominal flight times of up to 60 minutes for long distance or duration applications where the primary purpose is information gathering and/or establishment of communications, it would be beneficial to find methods to conserve energy and potentially recharge the batteries. This talk will focus on development of an integrated sUAS capable of tracking, landing on, recharging, and releasing from existing powerlines, thereby enabling continuous operation of a sUAS without the need to return to a base station for recharging. The development of such an integrated system starts with the ability to track and fly along powerlines. Once the battery life reaches some minimum threshold, the integrated sUAS would grasp onto the powerline and an auxiliary electromagnetic system would be used to harvest the magnetic field emitted by the powerline, thereby recharging the sUAS batteries.
This talk is separated into three portions, each focusing on a separate portion of the proposed integrated system. First, efforts to develop a control scheme and morphing wings to track powerlines and subsequently match the natural curvature of powerlines through careful tuning of the long period oscillation for a fixed wing sUAS. This effort both includes the use of a time-of-flight sensor to locate powerlines, as well as the development of control laws and wing morphing mechanisms to follow the powerlines. Control laws were developed capable of considering a morphing parameter representative of changing the airfoil shape from a NACA 2410 to a NACA 2414, which is useful in tuning the phugoid mode. Simple prototypes have been developed capable of performing matching a commanded airfoil shape based on the control laws. The second portion considers efforts to develop an active gripper system to grasp, perch, and eventually release from an object such as a powerline or tree branch, thereby eliminating the motor power usage. Several different configurations of an active gripper system were developed and analyzed. These systems are designed to be bistable such that they can maintain an open configuration during flight as well as the closed configuration when perched. Furthermore, due to the bistable design, no energy is required to maintain either the open or grasped states but rather energy is only required when switching between states. The energy to grasp is provided via an impulse when the gripper strikes the object on which it will perch, enabling a rapid grasping motion without requiring additional energy input from the sUAS. Opening of the active grasper is enabled via the use of active materials (shape memory alloys or active polymers). Some of the developed systems are also prototyped and flight tested on a custom sUAS. The third portion of this talk will briefly discuss mechanisms to recharge the sUAS from the powerlines. All powerlines that carry a current will emit a magnetic field. Therefore, this integrated system will include an electromagnetic system to harvest such magnetic fields and use them to recharge the sUAS.
Biography: Dr. Francis Phillips currently works as a research aerospace engineer for the US Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, where he leads a program focused on development of reconfigurable aerial vehicles including exploring the application and control of active materials to enable reconfiguration as well as aeroelastic analysis coupled to design for reconfigurable vehicles. Prior to joining the Army Research Laboratory, he earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University studying the fatigue of shape memory alloys. Dr. Phillips’ areas of interest include smart materials, reconfigurable structures, and aeroelasticity.
The University of Texas at Austin
Presentation Title: Smart Materials and Devices for Sensing and Degradation of Toxic Gases
Abstract: Indoor and outdoor air quality is extremely important for health. Detection and measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is of great importance for many applications including air quality, industrial monitoring, and medical diagnostics.
Commercially available low-cost sensor technologies are either only capable of measuring a single gas, or only provide a total VOC concentration without ability to differentiate between them. We present a new approach for improving selectivity based on temporally resolved thermal desorption of VOCs from a nanoporous material, which can be combined with any existing VOC detector. An example of a detection system using a commercial total VOC photoionization detector and a nanoporous silica preconcentrator demonstrates several different VOCs and shows potential for discrimination between them.
In the second part of the talk, I will discuss materials for photocatalytic degradation of volatile organics. Most photocatalytic methods use ultraviolet light, however catalyst materials that perform under visible light could be used as an effective approach for improving indoor and outdoor air quality and reducing the health risks associated with exposure to VOCs. Our study investigates the use of visible light and plasmonic gold nano island-enhanced anatase TiO2 as a photocatalyst, and the efficiency of the photocatalysis is evaluated as a function of various fabrication parameters.
Biography: Dr. Tanya Hutter is an Assistant Professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (Ben-Gurion University), M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering (Tel-Aviv University) and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry (University of Cambridge). Since completing her Ph.D., she worked as a Research Fellow in Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and received several prestigious fellowships to develop her independent research. In 2016, she was awarded L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship UK & Ireland for her scientific achievements.
Her research interests lie in the fields of emerging molecular sensing technologies, nanomaterials, microfabrication and nanophotonics with applications in environmental and industrial sensing, homeland security and medical diagnostics. Dr. Hutter published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor on six patents. Dr. Hutter also has a strong interest in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. Alongside her academic career she co- foundered two startups in the fields of nanophotonic sensing and MedTech.
Tim and Amy Leach Professor
Texas A&M University
Presentation Title: Digital Medicine for Cardiovascular Health
Abstract: The bold vision of pervasive physiological monitoring, through proliferation of off-the-shelf wearables that began a decade ago, has created immense opportunities for precision medicine outside clinics and in ambulatory settings. Although significant progress has been made, several unmet needs remain; Limited availability of advanced wearable sensing paradigms, noise and missingness in wearable data and labels in ambulatory settings, the unknown circumstances surrounding data capture in wearable paradigms, heterogeneity of the users both in terms of physiological and behavioral states, and often limited view into the user's physiological state prevent extraction of actionable information.
This seminar presents several topics that coherently articulate on the vision and the opportunities of digital medicine for cardiovascular health. The seminar covers three pillars of digital medicine, i) sensing, ii) signal processing and iii) context aware and personalized AI as it pertains to cardiovascular health. We will introduce several novel sensing paradigms using bio-impedance that leverage various types of electrodes and electronic tattoos enabling blood pressure measurement with clinical grade accuracy. We will discuss the notion of particle filters that provide a generalizable and robust paradigm for reducing the impact of noise. Finally, we will discuss the concept of digital twin for cardiovascular health, that will enhance the ability to extract actionable information in the context of several real-world applications.
Digital medicine and wearables will play a significant role in the future of medicine outside clinics. The future directions present opportunities both in short-term translational research efforts with direct influence on clinical practice as well as long-term foundational development of theories and computational frameworks combining human physiology, physics, computer science, engineering, and medicine, all aimed at impacting the health and wellbeing of our communities.
Biography: Roozbeh Jafari is the Tim and Amy Leach Professor at Texas A&M university with appointments in School of Engineering Medicine in Houston TX and College of Engineering in College Station, TX. His appointments span over Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering departments. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UC-Berkeley. His research interest lies in the area of wearable computer design and signal processing. He has raised more than $86M for research with $23M directed towards his lab. His research has been funded by the NSF, NIH, DoD (TATRC), DTRA, DIU, AFRL, AFOSR, DARPA, SRC and industry (Texas Instruments, Tektronix, Samsung & Telecom Italia). He has published over 200 papers in refereed journals and conferences. He has served as the general chair and technical program committee chair for several flagship conferences in the areas of wearable computers. Dr. Jafari is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2012), IEEE Real-Time & Embedded Technology & Applications Symposium best paper award (2011), Andrew P. Sage best transactions paper award (2014), ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems best paper award (2019), William O. and Montine P. Head Memorial research award for outstanding engineering contribution award from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M (2019), dean of engineering excellence award at Texas of A&M University (2021) and TEES research impact award at Texas A&M University (2021). He has been named Texas A&M Presidential Fellow (2019). He serves on the editorial board for the Nature Digital Medicine, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Sensors Journal, IEEE Internet of Things Journal, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology and ACM Transactions on Computing for Healthcare. He is currently the chair of the IEEE Wearable Biomedical Sensors and Systems Technical Committee (elected) as well the IEEE Applied Signal Processing Technical Committee (elected). He serves on scientific panels for funding agencies frequently, served as a standing member of the NIH Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics (BCHI) study section (2017-2021), and was the inaugural chair of the NIH Clinical Informatics and Digital Health (CIDH) study section (2020-2022). He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
University of Texas at Austin
Presentation Title: Harvesting Energy from Aeroelastic Instabilities
Abstract: Aeroelastic Instabilities lead to large amplitude oscillatory motion or deformation in a structure, eventually resulting in failure. These instabilities can occur in atmospheric flight vehicles, vehicles that operate in water, and civil engineering structures such as buildings, lamp posts and bridges. Therefore, the conditions at which these instabilities occur are generally to be avoided. However, large amplitude oscillations also present an opportunity for energy harvesting. Aeroelastic instabilities arise when the net effective damping of the coupled fluidstructure system becomes negative, that is, the incident fluid continually adds energy to the structural motion. At the same time, energy harvesting serves to extract energy from the structure, effectively adding damping to it. Combining these two concepts, harvesting energy from a structure in an incident fluid stream that is prone to aeroelastic instability has the added benefit of stabilizing the structure by increasing the net damping of the system. This lecture will present the basic physical phenomena responsible for several well-known aeroelastic instabilities such as galloping and flutter. The fundamental concepts of harvesting energy from a structure using active materials such as piezoceramics will also be explained. These two seemingly disparate fields will then be brought together, illustrating methods to harness the aeroelastic instability and extract energy. Prototype devices along with a few possible applications will be presented. The role of structural nonlinearities in enhancing the energy extracted will be discussed.
Biography: Jayant Sirohi is a Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. He got his PhD in Aerospace Engineering in 2002 and was an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2002-2007. During this time, he worked on numerous projects related to Smart Structures and Rotary-wing Micro-Aerial Vehicles. During 2007-2008, Dr. Sirohi worked at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, where he was a Staff Engineer in the Advanced Concepts group. At Sikorsky, he was the Technical Lead on analytical and numerical tools for conceptual design. Dr. Sirohi joined UT Austin in 2008 and has been working on Rotary-wing experimental aeromechanics, Smart Structures, plasma flow control and aeroelasticity. His research group specializes in experimental techniques for structural dynamics and aerodynamics, such as Digital Image Correlation and Particle Image Velocimetry, as well as the aeromechanics of rotary-wing aircraft. The contributions of his research group have been acknowledged by several best paper awards, including the ASME/Boeing award (2011) and in conferences by the VFS (2017, 2018), AIAA (2019) and SEM (2019). He is a member of ASME, SEM and VFS, an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a Technical Fellow of the Vertical Flight Society. In 2017, he was the Technical Chair of the AHS 73rd Annual Forum. In 2019, he was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel award by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation.