Invited Speaker Seminar: Intelligent mechanical metamaterials that can sense, actuate, compute, and communicate

Friday, February 24, 2023

Join this presentation on Zoom

Speaker: Amir H. Alavi, PhD

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Abstract: There is an unceasing quest to create novel forms of intelligent active matter that exhibits sensing, actuating, computing, and communication functionalities. Realizing such capabilities can provide new road maps to autonomous and electronic materials with numerous applications in robotics, human-machine interfacing, micro/nano-electromechanical systems, and flexible electronics. In this talk, I will introduce the striking concept of “mechanical metamaterial electronics (meta-mechanotronics)” as a platform for designing intelligent matter that can sense external stimuli, self-power and process the information to create an integrated closed-loop control system. I will explain how we can achieve these advanced functionalities by fusing the mechanical metamaterials, digital electronics and nano energy harvesting technologies. I will discuss the mechanisms, fabrication processes and computational frameworks required to create novel classes of active and multifunctional electronic mechanical metamaterials under the meta-mechanotronics concept. The envisioned electronic mechanical metamaterials use only their constituent components and the integrated contact-electrification mechanisms for sensing and information processing operations. Thus, they establish a direct interaction mechanism between the external environment and electronics. Incorporating all of these functionalities into the fabric of materials could in theory lay the foundation for autonomous materials and structures that

Speaker Bio: Dr. Amir H. Alavi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His multidisciplinary scientific studies are organized around three research thrusts: 1) mechanics and electronics of multifunctional materials and structures, 2) embedded self-powered sensing systems, and 3) data-driven characterization, design and discovery of engineering systems. Dr. Alavi is passionate about advancing the science of systems engineering to create integrative approaches for the design, additive manufacturing and computational modelling of complex engineered materials and structures. In addition, Dr. Alavi’s original and seminal contributions to developing and deploying advanced machine learning and bio-inspired computational techniques have established a road map for their broad applications in various engineering domains. Dr. Alavi has authored 8 books and near 200 publications in archival journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He is among the Web of Science ESI’s World Top 1% Scientific Minds in 2018, and Stanford University list of Top 1% Scientists in the World in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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