Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Evgueni Filipov has been selected for the 2018 DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA).
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an organization within the United States Department of Defense that makes investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The DARPA YFA program aims to identify and engage talented junior faculty at U.S. academic institutions and introduce them to Department of Defense needs as well as DARPA’s program development process. The YFA program provides funding, mentoring and contact opportunities to help develop the next generation of academic scientists in key research disciplines related to national security.
Filipov’s YFA project, Functional Small Scale Actuation with Origami Inspired Assemblages, will explore origami-inspired geometries that reconfigure and reconnect into micro-scale systems.
Using the award funds, he will investigate techniques for the micro-fabrication of piezoelectric actuators on thermally active polymers. The polymers would enable the initially flat sheets to fold into three-dimensional interlocked origami assemblages. These assemblages will amplify the mechanical output from the actuators, resulting in a system that maximizes motion and force using less power. Such systems could potentially be applied in surgical instruments, flying reconnaissance robots and other micro-electro-mechanical devices. The principles could also enable the development of materials with adjustable mechanical and physical properties.
Kenn Oldham, University of Michigan associate professor of mechanical engineering, will serve as a subcontracted investigator on the project. He has extensive expertise with thin-film piezoelectric materials and will assist in supervising the micro-system fabrication.