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School of Engineering

Robert White

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Headshot, Robert White

Robert White

Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Phone 617-627-2210
Robinson Hall, Room 154
200 College Avenue, Medford, MA
micro- and nano- electromechanical systems, MEMS, NEMS, sensors, material science, dynamic system modeling, acoustics, and vibrations

Robert White’s core expertise is in acoustic microsystems, microfabrication/MEMS, biomimetic sensing, modeling and design of sensors, and vibro-acoustic experimental techniques. He has been working on microfabricated devices since 1996, when he first joined an inertial MEMS group at Draper Labs while an undergraduate at MIT. His work at MIT/Draper led to an M.S. thesis in the area of vibrations and MEMS inertial sensors. Following this, he conducted Ph.D. work on MEMS acoustic sensors and cochlear models at the University of Michigan, including learning the ins and out of microfabrication at the Michigan Solid State Electronics Lab (SSEL), which is now known as the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. This work was published in a series of articles between 2005 and 2008. 

Since 2005, White has been in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, where he received tenure in 2011. He directs the Tufts Micro- and Nano-Fabrication Facility, which he first opened to the Tufts community in 2007. He also runs a research group working at the intersection of micro- and nano-scale devices, acoustics, and sensors. His core expertise is in microscale manufacturing, acoustics and acoustic sensing, biomimetic design, and dynamic modeling of acoustic/mechanical/fluidic systems. In 2013, he spent a six-month sabbatical in the aerophysics branch at NASA Ames, working at the fluid mechanics lab, testing MEMS sensors in aerodynamic wind tunnels. After returning to Tufts in 2013, White took on the role of graduate program chair for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. White has 20 years of hands-on experience tackling the problems of modeling, building, and testing microfabricated devices. He also has over 10 years of experience managing research projects and budgets, as well as teaching and advising both graduate and undergraduate students. His key contributions to engineering science have been in acoustic microsystems, aerodynamic measurement technologies, and physical cochlear models.

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2005
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 1999
B.S., Mechanical Engineering), MIT, 1999
Professional Experience: 

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

  • 2011-present: Associate Professor
  • 2005-2011: Assistant Professor

Ames Associate, NASA Ames Research Center


NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Rackham Fellow, University of Michigan


MEMS Test Engineer, C.S. Draper Labs


Draper Fellow, C.S. Draper Labs

Research Interests: 

Robert White's research interests focus on micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), sensors, and actuators; microfabrication processes and materials; and computational modeling of micro-electromechanical systems. These interests are directed towards device development and engineering science in micro- and nano-technology, with an emphasis on acoustic sensing, wind tunnel instrumentation, dynamic systems, and robotic systems.