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MEAM Seminar: “Electrets, Magnetics and Deformation in Soft Materials”
October 5, 2021 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Soft robotics, energy harvesting, large-deformation sensing and actuation, are just some of the applications that can be enabled by soft dielectrics that demonstrate substantive electromechanical coupling. Imagine now also a material that will produce electricity and deform substantively via a contactless, wireless magnetic signal. Unfortunately, truly soft, naturally occurring piezoelectric or magnetoelectric materials essentially do not exist. In this presentation, I will illustrate how mechanics and the concept of electrets i.e. materials with immobile embedded charges and dipoles, may be used for the design of soft piezoelectric, magnetoelectric, and electrocaloric materials. I will also briefly discuss the ramifications our results to explain biophysical phenomena such as the infrared vision of snakes or the ability of some animals to detect magnetic fields.
M.D. Anderson Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston
Pradeep Sharma is the M.D. Anderson Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering. He also has a joint appointment in the Department of Physics. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park in the year 2000. Subsequent to his doctoral degree, he was employed at General Electric R & D for more than three years as a research scientist. There he worked in two simultaneous programs on Nanotechnology and Photonics apart from basic research in problems of theoretical and computational materials science. He joined the department of mechanical engineering at University of Houston in January 2004. His honors and awards include the Young Investigators Award from Office of Naval Research, Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award from the ASME, Texas Space Grants Consortium New Investigators Program Award, the Fulbright fellowship, the Melville medal, the James R. Rice medal from the Society of Engineering Science, ASME Charles R. Russ medal, the Guggenheim, and the University of Houston Research Excellence Award. He is a fellow of the ASME, the associate editor of the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids and serves on the editorial board of several other journals.