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Professor Alison Flatau has been named a 2018 Distinguished Lecturer by the IEEE Magnetics Society. She was recognized for her insights and teaching on the topic of “Structural Magnetostrictive Alloys: From Flexible Sensors to Energy Harvesters and Magnetically Controlled Auxetics.”

According to Flatau, novel sensors and energy harvesting transducers take advantage of the significantly expanded design space made possible by recent advances in structural magnetostrictive alloys. These alloys can be machined and welded, have high fracture toughness, and can actuate, sense, and carry load while subjected to tension, compression, and bending. Her talk on this topic includes an introduction to magnetostrictive materials and transduction, and a discussion on the use of low-cost rolling and annealing methods in lieu of more costly crystal growth methods for making bulk iron-gallium (Galfenol) and iron-aluminum (Alfenol) alloys.

Employing sensors and energy harvesting devices as examples, Flatau explains and demonstrates the process of using magnetostrictive materials to convert mechanical energy into magnetic energy and then into electrical energy. Examples of magnetostrictive devices include prototypes ranging in size from nanowire-based pressure sensors to huge structures floating in the ocean that convert wave energy into electrical power for “community-scale” energy needs.

 



July 10, 2018


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