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Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems Engineering Research Center

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An Engineering Research Center In Wireless Integrated Microsystems  (University of Michigan Ann Arbor)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Wirless Integrated MicroSystems, WIMS, is focused on miniature low-cost integrated microsystems capable of measuring (or controlling) a variety of physical parameters, interpreting the data, and communicating with a host system over a bi-directional wireless link.  As such, the Center addresses the intersection of microelectronics, wireless communications, and microelectronics, wireless communications, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).  The resulting devices are expected to become pervasive in society during the next two decades, extending the electronic connectivity now represented by personal communications and the worldwide web to information provided directly by (or supplied to) the environment.  Such systems will provide button-sized information-gathering nodes for applications ranging from environmental monitoring (weather, global change, air and water quality) to improved helath care (wearable and implantable biomedical systems).  they will consist of a power source, software, an embedded micro-controller, a hardwired or wireless interface to the external world, and front-end microinstruments selected for the intended application.  Operating at less than 100uw, they will occupy volumes as small as 1cc and communicate over distances from a few inches to a few miles.

Education & Outreach

The multidisciplinary nature of this research is an ideal basis for making a significant impact on engineering education. At the high-school level, the Center is developing a set of teaching aids using MEMS to illustrate basic principles in physics and chemistry along with their applications in health care and environmental monitoring. Working with science coordinators, summer training programs for teachers are facilitating delivery to the students, with the goal of significantly increasing the number of young people pursuing careers in science and engineering. These outreach activities include special efforts with underrepresented minority students, selected in part through a partnership with DAPCEP (the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program). At the undergraduate and graduate university levels, the ability to mix students with different backgrounds in team-oriented research is absolutely critical in training future engineers. A series of courses, facilitating an M.Eng. degree in integrated microsystems, is being developed jointly by all three partnering universities. These courses involve extensive multimedia use and shared virtual laboratory experiences facilitated via distance learning technology. The courses will be fine-tuned across Michigan and then offered nationally. On-going seminars are being shared across campuses and industrial sites that highlight the pervasive societal implications of these microsystems along with technical advances.

WIMS Web Site 

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  • Image from a National Science Foundation-funded ERC.
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