Impediment or Opportunity? Examining the Role of Complexity and Nonlinearity in Resonant Micro- and Nanosystems

ECE Seminar: Impediment or Opportunity? Examining the Role of Complexity and Nonlinearity in Resonant Micro- and Nanosystems

Starts at: September 12, 2013 4:30 PM

Ends at: 5:30 PM

Speaker: Jeffrey F. Rhoads

Affiliation: Associate Professor School of Mechanical Engineering, Birck Nanotechnology Center, and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories Purdue University

Refreshments provided: Yes

Link to Abstract



Despite the fact that the vast majority of engineering systems are complex, nonlinear entities, engineers are commonly taught to isolate and simplify technical problems, and then solve these problems using linear techniques.  While this problem solving approach has proven utility, it can artificially constrain engineering decision making and design.  This presentation seeks to challenge the traditional paradigm by exploring the practical benefits of actively exploiting complexity and nonlinearity in engineering research and development.  The presentation will include specific examples related to resonant micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) which actively exploit complex and/or nonlinear dynamics to realize improved performance.  Particular emphasis will be placed on coupled and/or nonlinear micro- and nanosystems with applications in chemical and biological sensing and electromechanical signal processing. 

Jeffrey F. (Jeff) Rhoads is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with both the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at the same institution. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, each in mechanical engineering, from Michigan State University in 2002, 2004, and 2007, respectively. Dr. Rhoads’ current research interests include the predictive design, analysis, and implementation of resonant micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) for use in chemical and biological sensing, electromechanical signal processing, and computing; the dynamics of parametrically-excited systems and coupled oscillators; and the behavior of electromechanical and thermomechanical systems operating in rich, multi-physics environments. Dr. Rhoads is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where he serves on the Student Design Committee and the Design Engineering Division’s Technical Committees on Micro/Nanosystems and Vibration and Sound.  Dr. Rhoads is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering’s Harry L. Solberg Best Teacher Award (twice), and the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award.