David Torres-Reyes, an ECE doctoral student, has received the SMART Scholarship from the Department of Defense (DoD SMART Scholarship: https://smart.asee.org/). This prestigious scholarship is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated excellent performance in STEM fields. As part of the scholarship, they are provided the opportunity to participate in summer internships and a job in their STEM field after completion of their degree at located DoD facilities. Mr. Torres-Reyes will be working with the Sensors Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratories, located in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH.
David’s Ph.D. research is related to the integration of vanadium dioxide thin films in rather complex 3-D MEMS mirror structures. These devices are essentially miniaturized mirrors that are moved or tilted through mechanical actuators and using electric signals. Due to their small size, multiple MEMS mirror elements can be embedded in an array that allows beam steering, which has been used for imaging, confocal microscopy, and endoscopy.
Typical actuation methods for MEMS mirrors include electrostatic and thermal mechanisms; but David’s work has demonstrated a third actuation mechanism using phase-change materials.