Dr. Fedder arrived at the university in 1994 with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and The Robotics Institute. He currently is the Howard M. Wilkoff Professor in ECE, professor in Robotics and has courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He previously served in administrative roles as Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (2006-2013, now known as the Engineering Research Accelerator), as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering (2013-2015) and as Vice Provost for Research (2015-2017). As of April 2017, he has temporarily stepped down as VPR to serve as interim Chief Executive Officer for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute.
Dr. Fedder earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in EECS(6.1) from MIT in 1982 and 1984, respectively. From 1984 to 1989, he worked at the Hewlett-Packard Company on circuit design and printed-circuit modeling.
In 1994, he obtained the Ph.D. degree in EECS from the University of California at Berkeley, where his research resulted in the first demonstration of multimode control of an underdamped surface-micromachined inertial device.
His research interests include design and modeling of microsensors and microactuators, fabrication of integrated MEMS with electronic circuits using conventional CMOS processing, and implantable microsystems.
In 2007, he was elevated to IEEE Fellow for contributions to integrated micro-electro-mechanical-system processes and design methodologies.
His awards include the 1993 AIME Electronic Materials Society Ross Tucker Award, the 1996 Carnegie Institute of Technology George Tallman Ladd Research Award, and a 1996 NSF CAREER Award.
From 2011 to 2012, Dr. Fedder served as a technical co-lead in the U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Partnership where he worked with industry, academia and government to generate recommendations that motivated the launch of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). He co-led the proposal that landed the $70M pilot institute for the NNMI,
America Makes ,
and currently serves on its Executive Committee.
My research interests are in the multidisciplinary area of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and focus primarily on design, fabrication, and control aspects of microsensor- and microactuator-based systems.
In MEMS, micron- to millimeter-size systems with sophisticated abilities to interact with their environment are manufactured through the use of VLSI-based photolithographic batch fabrication methods.
Benefits of this approach include much lower manufacturing cost, greater miniaturization, greater integration, and in many cases higher performance than can be achieved with conventional methods used to build systems requiring sensors and actuators.
The diverse set of research projects in my group links to a long-term trend toward low-cost intelligent systems that benefit from embedded MEMS, often merged with other emerging technologies, for example, nanomaterials, 3D printing and soft robotics.
Active projects include MEMS system modeling and design methodologies, accelerometers and gyroscopes for motion sensing, an electrothermal microcooler system, ultra-compliant neural probes, piezoelectric energy scavenging for implantable pressure sensors, nonlinear parametric microresonators, and self-healing RF microresonator oscillators and filters. Challenges include system design, process integration, and physical modeling including environmental effects.
Two legacy foundational themes in my group are 1) monolithic integration of MEMS in conventional foundry CMOS processes and 2) a system-level design methodology and corresponding simulation tools.
Continuing research along these themes involves emergent behavior of large and/or complex systems of microsensors and actuators, and a broadening of manufacturing capabilities for integrated MEMS.