Engineering professor's NSF-funded work could have use in robotics, smart devices
MANHATTAN — The National Science Foundation has awarded Raj Kumar Pal, assistant professor in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Kansas State University, more than $300,000 for his work, "Toward mechanical resonators with zero leakage using elastic meta-structures."
The three-year grant will support research to generate new knowledge related to mechanical resonators — structures that vibrate at specific frequencies and find widespread application across multiple-length scales. Examples include communication devices, vibration isolators and energy harvesting.
"Existing resonators suffer from intrinsic limitations due to leakage of energy into the surrounding structure, thus offering limited or no means to release energy at will," Pal said. "This research will introduce and investigate a class of artificially engineered structures or meta-structures to overcome these limitations."
Results of Pal's work will open avenues for elastic wave-based signal processing with potential applications in robotics and Internet of Things devices.
"It will also allow us to train graduate students at K-State on cutting-edge research in meta-structures," Pal said. "The accompanying summer research and outreach activities for undergraduates will increase awareness of this emerging area of study among both current and prospective K-State students."