Virginia Tech Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Shashank Priya will host a two-day conference Aug.7 and 8 on campus, bringing together a group of international experts on energy harvesting and its applications.

Priya directs Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems, part of the National Science Foundation’s Industry University Collaborative Research Center. He is organizer of the upcoming 7th Annual Energy Harvesting Workshop and 2nd Annual Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems Conference.

“This workshop brings together academic and industrial researchers on one platform to review past developments, current challenges, and future goals in the field of energy harvesting,” said Priya. “The focus of the workshop is on energy harvesting applications in various fields, including structural and industrial health monitoring, wireless sensor networks, and building efficiency. With the right mix of academia and industry, the workshop provides an effective opportunity for discussing the transition of laboratory research into the commercial domain. The presence of the leading industries, national labs, and defense agencies at one location makes this a landmark event.”

Energy harvesting workshop will address topics such as piezoelectric, inductive, photovoltaic, and thermoelectric, super-capacitors and batteries, fuel cells, and emerging technologies such as artificial photosynthesis, artificial cells, nuclear batteries, thermal-solar conversion, and nanostructured devices. Example applications include structural and industrial health monitoring, human body network, and distributed wireless sensor nodes.

The Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems has two partner sites at University of Texas at Dallas and Germany’s Leibniz University, all involved in industry–university collaborative research. Further, the center is planning to open a new site at Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science campus being planned in India.

Major international companies such as ITT Corp., United Technologies Research Center, Science Applications International Corp., Texas Micropower Inc., Radiant Technologies Inc., Romny Scientific Inc., and OptiXtal Inc., as well as the U.S. Army and Office of Naval Research, are among the industry representatives.

Member companies and agencies support the conference with additional funding coming from the independent federal agency National Science Foundation and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.

As part of the conference, the second Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems Inventor Award symposia will honor Dan Inman, head of the aerospace engineering department at University of Michigan, and former director of Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures at Virginia Tech. The award honors Inman’s “excellent contributions to the field of energy harvesting and smart structures,” said Priya. The award citation says “For pioneering contributions to the field of energy harvesting and smart material structures.”

Abstracts for the planned symposia will cover such topics as structural dynamics, vibrations, unmanned aerial vehicle, piezoelectric damping, aeroelasticity, smart material structures and systems, structural health monitoring, and energy harvesting.

The deadline for abstract submission is May 31, 2012. Submit your abstract by fax: 540-231-2903 or as an email attachment to Ai Fukushima.

Priya, spearheading both the Annual Energy Harvesting Workshop, and the 2nd Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems Conference, joined Virginia Tech in 2007. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 2003 in materials engineering, a master’s degree from Indian Institute of Science in 2000, and his bachelor’s degree from Allahabad University in 1995.

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