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Robert D. White
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research

Micro- and Nano- electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), sensors, dynamic system modeling, acoustics, and vibrations

> Microscale Sensors and Systems
> Tufts Micro & Nano Fabrication Facility (TMNF)


SEM image of a hair-like MEMS surface shear sensor


Scanning Laser Vibrometry measurement of vibrating cMUT


Conceptual drawing of a coiled MEMS cochlear-like sensor

MEMS Aeroacoustic Sensing:
This project aims to develop arrays of MEMS microphones and shear stress sensors that can measure fluctuating pressures and shear stresses beneath the turbulent boundary layer (TBL) in a ndtunnel or near the surface of an aircraft in flight. The goal is to characterize the properties of the TBL in order to improve noise control strategies for the aircraft. Project is being conducted with an industry partner. The current array design has 64 elements (8x8 array), arrayed with 1.26 mm center-to-center spacing. Each element is 600 microns in diameter, and expected to achieve a 100 Hz-40 kHz bandwidth with 85-150 dB SPL dynamic range. Students: Joshua Krause, ME PhD student, Zhengxin Zhao, ME PhD student, Shuangqin Liu, ME PhD student.

MEMS Based Ultrasound Elements:
We are working with collaborators to manufacture, model and test arrays of capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer elements (cMUTs). Projects include the application of cMUTs to biomedical ultrasound, and to Doppler velocity sensing for robotics and personal navigation. This project involves micromanufacturing, design, computational and experimental aspects, as well as close collaboration with industrial and academic partners. Student: Christopher Doody, ME Masters of Science student, Minchul Shin, ME PhD student.

Computational and Experimental Models of Cochlear Mechanics:
Computational and experimental modeling of the active and passive mechanisms present in the mammalian auditory system. This project is evolving, and may take different paths as it progresses. Currently, we are looking at computational models of basilar membrane static load tests, experimental models of cochlear coiling, and mechanical models of the middle ear. Students: Shuangqin Liu, ME PhD, Douglas Gauthier, ME MS, Ethan Mandelup, ME Undergraduate, Bonita Tam, ME Undergraduate, Arielle Fakhraee, ME Undergraduate, Raymond Leung, ME Undergraduate.