ECE graduate student Eric Konitzer is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) scholarship. Eric works with Prof. Joey Talghader in his optical MEMS group, investigating the next generation of infrared detectors for long wavelength infrared light. These sensors could eventually be used for very high precision thermal imaging. Specifically, Eric is examining how micro scale devices are prone to vibrations due to thermal energy. Although this effect is typically considered undesirable noise in MEMS systems, the optical MEMs group uses it to to their advantage as part of the design. Eric has been fabricating MEMS structures, and evaluating fabrication and measurement capabilities to learn what to expect for thermomechanical noise in some typical systems. Going forward, Eric will work on creating more complex structures that exploit materials’ properties in ways that can maximize an infrared detection signal. After graduation, he plans on working in related industry in research and development.
DEPS is the leading organization that facilitates and promotes communication on the development and application of directed energy (DE) (high energy lasers, and high power microwave systems and technologies). The Society supports research and development of directed energy technology for both defense and civil applications. Academic disciplines engaged in DE research include physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials sciences, optical sciences, optical engineering, and aerospace engineering.