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Assistant Professor Miao Yu (ME/ISR) is the recipient of a 2007 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for "Biology-Inspired Miniature Optical Directional Microphones: Bridging Biological Systems and Sensor Technology."

Dr. Yu's research will transfer biology-inspired ideas into smart, small-scale sensors. A new class of miniature directional microphones will be developed, inspired by the micro-scale ears of the fly Ormia, which show remarkable sound localization ability. This is a new approach for sensor development via the integration of biology-inspired solutions, mechanics modeling, micro-fabrication techniques, and optical detection strategies. The mechanics model will help unravel the underlying science of the fly's hearing mechanism and develop sensor design guidelines. The low coherence interferometer-based optical system will overcome the limit of state-of-the-art detection techniques. This new bio-inspired sensing paradigm for sound localization is expected to have a significant impact in areas such as health care, safety, and defense.

The NSF CAREER program fosters the career development of outstanding junior faculty, combining the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense.

March 14, 2007


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