UON researcher collects prestigious medal
25 August 2014
In an Australian-first, University of Newcastle nanotechnology researcher Professor Reza Moheimani has been awarded the prestigious Nichols Medal in Cape Town.
Professor Moheimani collected his award at the opening of the IFAC World Congress on Sunday 24 August.
The Nathaniel B. Nichols Medal recognises outstanding contributions by an individual to 'design methods, software tools and instrumentation' or to 'significant projects that advance control education'.
Professor Moheimani, from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is at the cutting edge of the world's progress in the field of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), and his latest breakthrough could revolutionise how doctors deal with patients with body implants, such as pacemakers.
These devices are made from silicone and driven by electricity, and Professor Moheimani had discovered a way to uses MEMs to charge pacemakers and other battery-powered body implants through the skin.
Currently, patients require repetitive surgeries to replace expired batteries, but this new technology allows the transfer of electrical energy from mechanical energy – recharging the batteries without the need for surgery.
Professor Moheimani has received many accolades for his research into cutting edge technology, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Control System Technology Award for his collaboration with IBM Zurich.
He created what was at the time a world record for data storage – 840 gigabits of information on one square-inch computer chip, using MEMS.
Professor Moheimani and his team at the University of Newcastle's Laboratory for Dynamics and Control of Nanosystems (LDCN) also developed a ground-breaking atomic force microscope (that currently cost around $250,000) that will be available on smartphones for only a few hundred dollars.
"Because of the expense, hardly any high schools can boast atomic force microscopes," Professor Moheimani said.
"As an engineer, I want this technology to be available at a price that is reasonable for schools and universities, as well as the wider community."
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