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Sensing & Measurement

Alison Flatau: Nature inspires improved sensor and actuator designs

Researchers can create sensor arrays that mimic or enhance those of animals or insects.
27 November 2012, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201211.02

Alison Flatau joined the Univeristy of Maryland (UMD) in 2002 after serving as a National Science Foundation Program Manager (1998-2002) and as a Professor at Iowa State University (2000-2008). She was the Director of Undergraduate Programs for Aerospace Engineering at UMD (2004-2009) prior to becoming the first Associate Dean of Research for the Clark School of Engineering at Maryland, a position in which she continues to grow and learn, while also serving in the inaugural class of Maryland ADVANCE Professors (2011-2012), a program offering individual mentoring and support, and providing information and strategic opportunities for women faculty in all areas of academia.

Through her research and collaborations, Flatau studies sensor design and placement in nature in order to generate approaches to sensor development. She also heads an internationally recognized research program in the development of magnetostrictive actuators for use in active vibration control applications.

She received her MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah.