ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
ECE News

ECEs design MEMS to detect hazardous air pollutants

NEMS to reduce low-power power consumption

ECE faculty members are also using nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) to reduce low-power power consumption.

ECE associate professors Masoud Agah and Leyla Nazhandali have been awarded a $417,550 grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to design microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that can detect hazardous air pollutants.

Standard methods of measuring these toxins require a sample to be collected, transported to a lab, then analyzed with gas chromatography. According to Agah, “this limitation makes it very difficult to prioritize exposures that should be targeted for mitigation strategies.” Agah and Nazhandali’s new system will monitor for pollutants continuously and in real-time.

Working with Linsey Marr, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, they will develop a miniaturized gas chromatography device to analyze hazardous air pollutants. “The system integrates sampling and laboratory analytical functions on a portable printed circuit board platform,” Agah explains. When complete, these devices will be able to alert workers to dangerous conditions.