Get Involved

Speakers and Presentation Topics
Past Speakers Call for Speakers

Speakers and Presentation Topics

Speakers and abstracts will be posted soon.

Past Speakers

Many thanks to our speakers from the 2019 event.

People Tracking, Vital Signs Monitoring, and Gesture Recognition Using Radar
Veronique Baudon
Strategic Partnership Manager

Wherever there are humans, there is movement. RF sensing technology detects human activity via movements as tiny as the micro-skin effects related to a heartbeat. Core applications include indoor people tracking, health and driver monitoring, and human-machine interaction through a gesture interface. There are several advantages to using radar technology in these applications. For indoor people tracking, radar sensors are better suited than cameras for privacy and spaces with low or no light. Radars are also a game changer as they can measure vital signs without contact or use of a wearable device. Complementary to voice control technology, gesture technologies based on radar near THz has a smaller footprint and can have a better field of view. On the other hand, a radar needs to overcome its limited angular resolution through advanced machine learning techniques. In this talk, we will present core applications use cases and a first-of-a-kind radar chip operating in the 145GHz band. It uses 10 GHz bandwidth, which results in an ultra-fine range resolution of 1.5cm, in combination with an unprecedented doppler resolution. We will also provide an overview of other companies and research groups working radar technologies for these types of applications.

Biography: Veronique Baudon has an Engineering Master’s degree in Computer Sciences and Mathematics in National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble. She also has an MBA from ESA business school in Grenoble. Veronique has a broad experience in the semiconductor and technology industries. She has over 20 years of expertise working with partners, cross functionally, and in multi-cultural global team environment. She has been managing partnerships from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Veronique worked for numerous years in CTO, product marketing, strategic business development, and partnerships positions. She is a strategic thinker and business leader, and is passionate about innovation and technology for good causes. She has proven success in partnership management and with analysing competition, market dynamics, and customer insights to envision trends and build solutions.

Resonant MEMS and NEMS Devices for Quantum Engineering
Philip Feng, PhD
University of Florida, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

A century ago, the quantum revolution began to profoundly change the world and our lives. Today we already rely on the marvelous consequences of the quantum science, which is so ubiquitous that we often take it for granted. An essential theme of the ongoing “second quantum revolution” is to realize human-made structures and devices, where “quantum phenomena” can be sustained and harnessed to enable radically new approaches to information processing. These require exquisite creation and scalable fabrication of atom-like devices, design and engineering of new information carriers, and new transduction schemes. Only recently have quantum phenomena been incorporated into technologies toward next-generation computers, sensors, and detectors that demonstrate performance characteristics rivaling those of their conventional counterparts, thus promising enormous potential for future quantum technologies. This short tutorial-style courseaims to capture the state-of-the-art knowledge of quantum materials, devices, and technology platforms. It will particularly focus on resonant MEMS and NEMS devices in quantum regime, the enablingmicro/nanofabrication techniques, manufacturing and integration processes, device fundamentals, engineering principles, and their roles and applications in quantum signal transduction, sensors, metrology, and the development of hybrid quantum systems and networks.

Biography: Dr. Philip Feng is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. His research is focused on emerging solid-state devices and integrated micro/nanosystems, especially those in advanced semiconductors, 2D materials and heterostructures, and their heterogeneous integration with mainstream technologies. He received his PhD in EE from California Institute of Technology. Philip was an invited participantat the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2013 U.S. Frontier of Engineering (USFOE) Symposiumand, subsequently, a recipient of the NAE Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering (FOE) Award in 2014. His recent awards includethe NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and several Best Paper Awards (with his students). Philipis an associate editor forIEEEUltrasonics, Ferroelectricsand Frequency Control (UFFC), and served on Technical Program Committees (TPC) and as Track/Session Chairs for IEEE IEDM, IEEE MEMS, Transducers, IEEE IFCS, IEEE SENSORS, IEEE NANO, and as the MEMS/NEMS Chair for AVS’ 61st to 63rd International Symposia.

Paper and Plastic Sensors: Emerging Technologies and Applications
Alissa Fitzgerald, PhD
Founder and CEO
A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates

In the electronics industry, market forces have always motivated a migration from higher cost to lower cost substrate materials. LEDs went from sapphire to silicon, interposers from silicon to glass, and microfluidics from glass to plastic. Many anticipated applications for the Internet of Things, particularly smart packaging and single-use items, can only be realized with very low-cost sensors at less than a penny per unit. The relatively high price of silicon, however, prevents silicon MEMS sensors from meeting that price target, even at tiny chip sizes. Only sensors made from a less expensive substrate, such as paper or plastic, would be economical for high volume, disposable applications. Fortunately, creative researchers have been working for years on designing and developing very low-cost sensors, such as biodegradable polymer pressure sensors and paper-based food freshness gas sensors, using methods which do not require a cleanroom fab. This talk will highlight several emerging low-cost sensor technologies, and discuss how and when they might enter the marketplace.

Biography: Dr. Alissa Fitzgerald founded A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC, a MEMS and sensors solutions company, in 2003. She has over 20 years of engineering experience in MEMS design, fabrication, and product development, and has personally developed more than a dozen MEMS devices. She now advises clients on the entire MEMS product development cycle, from business and IP strategy, to engineering, operations, foundry transfer, and supply chain management. Prior to founding A.M. Fitzgerald, Dr. Fitzgerald worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Sigpro, and Sensant Corporation, now part of Siemens. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from MIT and her doctorate from Stanford University, in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Fitzgerald has numerous journal publications and holds seven patents. She served on the Governing Council of the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) from 2008-2014 and was inducted into the MIG Hall of Fame in 2013.

MEMS-Based Sixth Sense: Technology Development Process and Potential Applications
Marcellino Gemelli
Director of Global Business Development
Bosch Sensortec

Which technologies are needed to extend our physical senses, enabling machines that intuitively improve our health and well-being? How do we fundamentally design machines that seamlessly integrate into our lives? This presentation will share and analyze real-life examples about how, starting from the use case, the design process works its way back to the choice of the sensor subsystem, the sensor type, and finally the underlying sensor technology. Circuit designers, software developers, user experience specialists, and system architects have a balancing act to choose between power consumption, sensor size, sensor accuracy, software integration, and embedded intelligence. Often, these design requirements conflict with each other. We will see how it’s not efficient for a single entity to have the flexibility to embrace all these steps: the product designers need to take the initiative to understand, shape, and build upon the complete ecosystem revolving around the technology, including the use of sensors that increase their intelligence by learning about their environments over the course of their lifetime.

Biography: Marcellino Gemelli received the “Laurea” degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Pavia, Italy while in the Italian Army and an MBA from MIP, the Milano Polytechnic (Italy) business school. Marcellino is currently based in Sunnyvale, California, where he is responsible for the business development of Bosch Sensortec's MEMS product portfolio and Bosch’s IoT wireless sensor network initiative. From 1995 to 2011, Marcellino held various positions in engineering and in product management at STMicroelectronics in the fields of MEMS, electronic design automation, and data storage. He was also a contract professor for the Microelectronics course at the Milano Polytechnic(Italy) from 2000 to 2002.

MEMS Mirrors: Reliability and Recent Applications
Jan Grahmann, PhD
Head of Active Micro-Optical Components and Systems
Fraunhofer IPMS

Recent research has been focused on applying micro-scanning mirrors in mobile applications includingautomotive LIDAR sensors, head-mounted displays, or portable micro beamers. Even under normal conditions, microscanners are exposed to considerable environmental influences --in particular, disturbances such as shock, vibration, and temperature fluctuations are relevant for miniaturized scan systems using micro scanners. In this presentation, we will discuss the critical environmental parameters for quasi-static micro mirrors with a staggered vertical comb drive intended for high-precision trajectory tracking control and resonant scanning mirrors. Both scanner types are controlled based on a piezo-resistive position sensor feedback. This talk will also include experimental shock and vibration results by exposure to sinusoidal and wide-band random vibration excitation, typically used for automotive specifications. These are the most demanding requirements compared with other application fields of MEMS mirrors. The on-chip piezo-resistive sensor enables evaluation of the vibrational load on the microscanner without any optical measurement setup. MEMS mirrors are mounted on a shaker device for characterization and are put into a car to evaluate a real application scenario. Furthermore, the performance in open-loop and closed-loop control mode is analyzed and shows the potential applicability of micro scanners even in an automotive environment.

Biography: Dr. Jan Grahmann received his diplomadegree in micro system technology from the University of Applied Science in Berlin 2002. He was then a PhD student at Siemens CT Berlin and worked on “Highly sensitive resonant gas sensors based on single crystal plate-oscillators”. He defended his dissertation at the University of Chemnitz in 2008 and joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in 2007. Janhas been working in the field of micro mechanical scanning mirrors and managed international public and industrial projects. Janheaded the group Micro Scanner Device Development with its focal points in spectral analytics and laser projection from 2010 until 2013. Since then he is in charge of the business unit AMS within Fraunhofer (Active Micro-Optical Systems).

Ultrasound Fingerprint Sensors: Technology Developments and Comparisons
Joy (Xiaoyue) Jiang, PhD
UC Berkeley

A variety of physical mechanisms have been exploited to capture electronic images of a human fingerprint, including optical, capacitive, pressure, and acoustic. Compared to other technologies, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors have two major advantages: (1) they are insensitive to contamination and moisture on the finger, and (2) they have the ability to measure images at multiple depths, hundreds of microns from the sensor surface. With the maturity of thin film piezoelectric materials technology and MEMS-CMOS eutectic wafer-bonding processes, piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducer (PMUT) arrays with electrical addressing to individual pixels have been proposed and developed for ultrasonic fingerprint sensors. This presentation will cover the design and testing of a 110 x 56 rectangular PMUT array with a customized CMOS design to demonstrate fingerprint features reconstructed at different imaging depths. We will also provide an overview of the established PMUT fabrication processes. The presentation will include a summary of the current ultrasonic fingerprint sensor research and commercial products on the market.

Biography: Dr. Joy (Xiaoyue) Jiang received her BS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York in 2013, her MS degree in electrical engineering, and PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Her research interests include piezoMEMS, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, ultrasonic imaging, and MEMS sensors. Currently, Dr. Jiang is doing ultrasonic research and development with TDK InvenSense.

Emerging and Future Applications Enabled by Sensors Technologies
Andrew Maywah
Investment Director
TDK Ventures

As an investor in innovative early-stage startups, we are actively engaged in exploring the diversity of emerging applications leveraging the almost endless variety of sensing technologies.Sensors are bridging the gap between the human experience and the digital world, bringing a wide array of new capabilities and experiences. The advancements abound. Sensors are now driving emerging and future applications in the realms of augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, health and wellness, autonomous vehicles, as well as other domains. Sensors are often at the very core of interfacing between people, our physical world, and the digital information that we constantly rely on. What are some of the future applications that we see on the horizon? This presentation will explore some of the exciting possibilities and showcase how sensors will drive a whole new set of vibrant, natural, and inspiring experiences. The talk will also include an overview of some of interesting recently funded MEMS and sensors startups.

Biography: Andrew Maywah is an Investment Director at TDK Ventures, and is based in Silicon Valley where he makes venture capital investments in innovative early-stage technology companies. Previously, he was with Silver Tiger Capital, a boutique private equity firm based in Beijing, China, where he oversaw the firm’s cross-border investments. He has several years’experience investing across a variety of sectors including TMT, healthcare, and education. Prior to joining Silver Tiger Capital, Andrew was an investment manager at GO Scale Capital, which is a $500 million cross-border late-stage private equity fund that invests in global companies with proven technology and high-growth potential that can scale in China. Additionally, he has multiple years’ experience in the U.S. and China as a technology startup co-founder. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in computer science and computer engineering from MIT, and an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Opportunities for MEMS and Sensors: Need Driven Innovation and Partnership Frameworks in Medical Devices
Nicholas Mourlas, PhD
Senior Director of New Ventures and Transactions
Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Industry analysts estimate the annual medical MEMS and sensor market to be currently $3.2 billion and growing to a $50+ billion market by 2025. The demand for better technology to improve clinical outcomes by delivering the right treatment at the right time continues to drive opportunities for entrepreneurs to disrupt the current standards. This talk will start by looking at the funding trends in the medical device industry, and then go into more depth on how start-ups may want to think about a clinical need-driven framework for patient impact and value creation. This talk will also give insight into how healthcare strategy leaders like J&Jare blending incubators, R&D collaborations, equity investments, and partnerships to accelerate moving solutions from concept to the clinic. If you are leading a sensors-based technology company, this talk will help provide a better understanding of a strategic investor’s mindset for evaluating opportunities.

Biography: Dr. Nicholas Mourlas serves as Senior Director of New Ventures and Transactions at J&J Innovation and is the Global Transaction Leader for Global Surgery and CSS within Global External Innovation. Nick focuses on medical device innovation in support of the general surgery, orthopedics, and cardiology businesses. His charge is to identify licensing, collaboration, and investment opportunities highly aligned with J&J business strategies by building relationships with entrepreneurs, venture investors, and key opinion leaders. Nick’s experience includes founding companies in orthopedics, cardiology, and radiation oncology. He was the CEO of Tarsus Medical, which was acquired by Integra LifeSciences (IART), as well as Acumen Medical which was acquired by Medtronic (MDT). Nick holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he was the John B. Simpson Innovation Fellow in the inaugural year of Stanford's Biodesign Fellowship Program. He also received his AB in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College, and a BE from Dartmouth’s Thayer School.

Artificial Intelligence and Image Sensors
Harshita Sahu
Technical Lead
Sony Electronics

Advancements in artificial intelligence are profoundly affecting consumer applications, industrial landscape, and social environment. Growth in AI will lead to better ways to analyze and process data, as well as derive information that is beyond human perceived sensing. This AI-powered sensing will enhance consumer products’ capabilities to superior predictions and decisions and will open up new possibilities in future. In the world of IoT and smart devices, sensors are undergoing great expansion and development, and the combination of both AI and sensor networks are now realities that are going to change our lives. Optical or image sensors, which are one of the most widely used sensors in smartphones and IoT applications,are showing a great amount of innovation with one groundbreaking field being the combination of image sensors with artificial intelligence. Computing, decision making, and “smartness” on the image sensor side is not only an inevitable trend but will also provide intelligent upgrades to the traditional sensing market. This new trendwill also give hardware directionto improve, to provide much higher processing speeds, and system efficiencies when backed up by AI. This talk will provide an overview of the recent technology trends in this field, including existing challenges and upcoming development milestones. The talk will also highlight some of the most interesting startups in this technology area.

Biography: Ms. Harshita Sahuis a Technical Lead for image sensor chip design and verification at Sony Electronics. After finishing herMaster’s degree in technology from IIT Delhi, India in VLSI, Harshita was recruited by Sony Japan through campus placement. Shehad an opportunity to work with Sony Corporation’s headquartersin Japan, and demonstrated Sony’s cutting edge technology in poster presentations and trade exhibitions. Before moving to the United States, Harshita worked in Belgium for almost a year ata depth-sensing based startup (which was acquired by Sony) to create semiconductor designs for depth-sensing image sensors.

VC Perspective on Deeptech Inflections and MEMS Investment Opportunities
Rajesh Swaminathan
Senior Investment Director
Applied Ventures

Over the past few years, VC investments have significantly increased in “deep” technologies (“deeptech”) such as MEMS, sensors, silicon photonics, quantum computing, and other advanced technologies. The increase in investments has been largely due to the number of new inflections being addressed by deeptech. Historically, the growth areas in deeptech investments were related to innovations in PCs and mobile phones. However, in the past couple of years, more inflections such as AI, AR/ VR, medical devices, autonomous vehicles, 5G, imaging, robotics, and many others, have been driven by fundamental innovations in deeptech, MEMS and sensors in particular. New materials and process innovations are key enablers to this resurgence in the areas of MEMS, sensors, and microtechnologies. Ourcorporate venture capital (CVC) arm has already invested in 85 deeptech companies for more than a decade and is looking to deploy $300 million more over the next 5-6 years. We look forward to sharing our perspectives on deeptechand MEMS innovations.

Biography: Rajesh Swaminathan joined Applied Materials in 2009 and brings with him two decades worth of experience assisting and investing in disruptive startups. At Applied Ventures, Rajesh is responsible for general fund operations and his investment focus areas include AI, AR/ VR, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, energy storage, and healthcare. He serves as a Board Observer in many of the investments in these sectors. Prior to joining Applied Materials, Rajesh worked at Third Point LLC developing the firm’s venture and public investment strategy in cleantech and semiconductors. Rajesh previously worked at Deutsche Bank’s investment banking group in the renewable energy team. At Bell Labs, he held senior positions, driving the due diligence process and successful partnerships in several nanotechnology, optical, and III-V startups. He also led the DFR program for Lucent’s 10Gb/s and 40Gb/s telecommunication systems. Rajesh holds an MBA from Harvard, an MS (in MEMS and nanotech) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, where he was awarded President Shankar Dayal Sharma Medal for overall excellence.

Industrial Photonic Sensing Systems: Emerging Trends and Future Directions
Loucas Tsakalakos, PhD
Director of Photonics, Horizontal Technologies
General Electric, Global Research Center

This presentation will describe our view on the state of the art in the field of sensing systems, particularly as it relates to photonic-based sensing, and the future directions of the field. This talk will also tie our work to the broader view of industrial sensing in the context of industrial IoT, as well as provide an overview of what other companies are doing in this field. We will provide an overview of our history in photonics technologies, and present our current research activities in the space. We will discuss our philosophy on sensing systems and their impact on key performance parameters at the system level. We will also provide examples of developments at the component level, followed by application examples. Finally, we will discuss specific applications including the development of drone-based sensing systems and the development of distributed optical sensing systems that leverage silicon photonics technologies for improved SWaP and cost along with the ability to integrate multiple parameters in a compact system.

Biography: Dr. Loucas Tsakalakos is the Director of the Photonics Technology Platform at the General Electric’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, USA, and is also the Business Program Manager in the Energy Sector for O&G. He received his BS degree (1995) from Rutgers University, and his MS (1998) and PhD (2000) degrees in Materials Science & Engineering (with minors in Solid State Physics and Microelectromechanical Systems) from the University of California, Berkeley. Loucas joined GE in 2000, where he has led programs in advanced sensor systems, nanotechnology, next generation solar technologies, and worked within GE Energy to develop solar energy products, leading a product engineering team. Prior to his current role, Loucas was the Manager of the Photonics Lab (2012–2017), where he led a team of 20 PhD and MS level scientists and engineers developing advanced photonics technologies for data communications, sensing, and novel photonics applications. In his current role as Business Program Manager, Loucas oversees the R&D portfolio at GE Research for the Energy-O&G sector. He also oversees technology strategy and development in advanced photonics and optics for GE applications, and also co-leads an internal Sensor Synergy Council. From 2017-2018, Loucas was the CTO of an internal Sensor Solutions startup business, which commercialized chemical sensing technologies. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (The National Engineering Honor Society) and holds 15 U.S. patents.

Energy Harvesting and Industrial IoT: Emerging Technologies and Applications
Brian Zahnstecher

The ability to scavenge energy from the ambient environment and use to power devices is not only a great way to mitigate battery usage (particularly in wireless devices), but is also a critical enabler for the billions or even trillions of connected “things” projected to be in operation in our very near future. In fact, EH is one of the most underappreciated enabling technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the deployment of the next-generation networks, typically known as 5G. Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications are projected to be one of the main demand drivers for the majority of all of those (eventually) trillions of devices. In this brief workshop, we will discuss what EH is and the current status of EH technologies. We will also explore the full supporting EH ecosystem, including the necessary components from various parts of the supply chain and the production resources currently available to quickly progress from feasibility to product development and deployment. We will also provide analysis about how EH can extend the life, and eventually eliminate non-rechargeable batteries, which has major technical and financial implications on product sustainability. Finally, we will provide an overview of EH successes and case studies in IIoT deployments and explore how they can be further applied to many new applications such as Smart Cities to Industry 4.0 enablement.

Biography: Brian Zahnstecher is a Senior Member of the IEEE, Chair (Emeritus) of the IEEE SFBAC Power Electronics Society (PELS), sits on the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Board of Directors, is Co-founder and Co-chair of the PSMA Reliability Committee, Co-chair of the PSMA Energy Harvesting Committee, and is the Principal of PowerRox, where he focuses on power design, integration, system applications, OEM market penetration, market research/analysis, and private seminars for power electronics. He co-chairs the IEEE Future Directions (formerly 5G) Initiative webinar series and leads Power for the 5G Roadmap, authored the Group’s position paper, and has lectured on this topic at major industry conferences. He previously held positions in power electronics with industry leaders Emerson Network Power (now Artesyn), Cisco, and Hewlett-Packard, where he advised on best practices, oversaw product development, managed international teams, and designed and optimized voltage regulators. He has been a regular contributor to the industry as an invited keynote speaker, author, roundtable moderator, and volunteer. He has over 15 years of industry experience and holds Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Call for Speakers

If you’d like to participate as a speaker, please call Jessica Ingram at 360-929-0114 or send a brief email with your proposed presentation topic to

  • Emerging fabrication techniques for MtM, sensors, microtech, and MEMS devices
  • Impacts of enabling process technologies on new and emerging applications
  • Business trends, market projections, M&A developments, and startup activity
  • Supply chain trends and challenges, ecosystem perspectives, government regulations, and international trade dynamics
  • Advanced packaging, assembly, and test technologies
  • Emerging materials for MtM, sensors, microtech, and MEMS devices
  • Platform-based design vs. “pure play” foundries approaches, IDM vs. fabless approaches
  • Cost management and reduction for MtM, sensors, microtech, and MEMS devices
  • Scaling, yield improvement, rapid prototyping, and high volume production
  • Innovation and emerging trends with EDA software and simulation tools
  • Emerging process technologies such as TSVs, 3D stacking, wafer level packaging, CMOS MEMS integration, NEMS and nanotech, polymer and glass microfabrication, novel materials and coatings, lamination techniques, FHE, biochips, microfluidics, MOEMS and silicon photonics, as well as ultra-thin and flexible substrates