Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are miniaturized devices that can sense the environment, process and analyze information, and respond with a variety of mechanical and electrical actuators. Although a few very successful applications have been demonstrated, these have been in very large markets such as accelerometers for the deployment of airbags and assemblies of micro-lenses for televisions and light projectors. Many more applications are needed to fulfill the expectations of futurists and MEMS promoters. Future applications in traditional industrial and consumer products will evolve as MEMS demonstrate that they can reduce cost and improve performance when compared to discrete traditional components. A new kind of system engineer will integrate the various sensing, computing and actuating elements into single chips by re-using existing designs for components. The designs will be available in a catalog of intellectual property available for license. Because of the standard designs, the chips will be produced cost-effectively by commercial foundries in smaller quantities than is possible today. This article describes the MEMS Applications Engineer position and the body of knowledge required for the position. It also describes the tools needed to design the MEMS of the future.
Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Castro-Cedeno, M.H. (2005)The MEMS Applications Engineer. Paper at the 2005 ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Conference, Binghamton University, April 8-9, 2005.
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