Professor Albert P. Pisano

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Personal CV

A self-described technology polymath, Albert P. Pisano’s research is driven by a passion for developing, mastering and advancing technologies to solve problems. Recent research includes 1) micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) wireless sensors for harsh environments (600°C) such as gas turbines and geothermal wells (download a PDF presentation on some of Pisano's harsh environment sensor research), and 2) new, additive, MEMS manufacturing techniques such as low-temperature, low-pressure nano-printing of nanoparticle inks and polymer solutions. Other research interests and activities include MEMS for a wide variety of applications, including RF components, power generation, drug delivery, strain sensors, biosensors, micro inertial instruments, disk-drive actuators and nanowire sensors. He is a co-inventor listed on more than 20 patents in MEMS and has co-authored more than 300 archival publications.

Pisano is also developing larger sensors that can be manufactured at extremely low cost and made from sustainably sourced polymers for use in health, environmental monitoring, food safety and other applications.

Pisano is a co-founder of ten start-up companies in the areas of transdermal drug delivery, transvascular drug delivery, sensorized catheters, MEMS manufacturing equipment, MEMS RF devices and MEMS motion sensors. In 2008, he was named one of the 100 Notable People by Medical Devices and Diagnostic Industry (MD&DI) Magazine.

Since 1983, Pisano has graduated over 40 Ph.D. and 75 MS students. He has hosted four visiting industrial fellows in his lab since 2005. 

Capsule Bio:

In his role as Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, Albert P. Pisano is responsible for strategic planning and programmatic development. His responsibilities include School-wide research initiatives, space plans, academic affairs, strategic planning and operations, and UC San Diego-wide cooperative initiatives.

As Dean of the Jacobs School, Pisano holds the Walter J. Zable Chair in Engineering. He is an active researcher who serves on the faculty of the departments of mechanical and aerospace engineering and electrical and computer engineering.

Prior to September 2013, Pisano served on the UC Berkeley faculty. The FANUC Endowed Chair of Mechanical Systems, he held faculty appointments in mechanical engineering and in electrical engineering and computer sciences. Pisano served as senior co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center), Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory (UC Berkeley’s largest organized research unit), and Faculty Head of the Program Office for Operational Excellence, among other leadership positions.

In 2001, Pisano was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to the design, fabrication, commercialization, and educational aspects of MEMS. From 1997 to 1999, Pisano served as a program manager for the MEMS Program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an awardee of the Thomas Egleston Medal forDistinguished Engineering Achievement by notable alumni of Columbia University.

Pisano earned his undergraduate (’76) and graduate degrees (’77, ’80, ’81) in mechanical engineering at Columbia University. Prior to joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, he held research positions with Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Singer Sewing Machines Corporate R&D Center and General Motors Research Labs.

Assistant Scientist

Ayden Maralani

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Ayden Maralani received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University in 2009. His research interest includes Analog/Mixed Signal IC design and design of circuits and systems for MEMS, harsh environment, and power management applications. Prior to joining BSAC, he has held design engineer positions with I/O Center of Excellence group of Cypress Semiconductor and Semisouth Laboratories designing Silicon Carbide (SiC) JFET based analog/digital blocks for high temperature and power management applications.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Mitsutoshi Makihata

Mitsutoshi Makihata received his B.E. in Electronics and Informatics and from Hosei University, Japan in 2006 and M.E. in Electronics and Applied Physics from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan in 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Nanomechanics from Tohoku University, Japan. After working at Tohoku university as a Postdoctoral researcher, he joined the PRIME lab as a postdoctoral researcher in 2013. His research interest are integration and packaging technology of MEMS and CMOS, sensors for a robots, and sensor systems design and implementation. 

Graduate Students

   Levent Beker

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Levent Beker received his B.Sc and M.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Eng. from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He is currently a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, working under supervision of Prof. Al Pisano. His research interests include harsh environment MEMS, modeling and design of transducers, and microfabrication.

Gordon Hoople

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Gordon is a graduate student researcher focused on designing microfluidic chips for biological applications. He joined Pisano Lab after working for 3 years in industry as an aerospace dynamics consultant. Prior to this he earned his BS in general engineering  from Harvey Mudd College.

Kirti Mansukhani

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Born and raised in Nigeria, Kirti received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Bayero University, Kano. She came to the United States in 2001 and received the M.S. in mechanical engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 2004. During this time her research focused on real-time detection of geometric interference for the design of a 3D haptic stencil for manufacturing applications. This provided a novel approach to rapid autonomous manufacturing by using force feedback and collision avoidance for real-time machine control. From 2004 to July 2010, she was a mechanical design engineer at Schlumberger Technology Corporation working on various projects developing tools for down-hole applications such as wire-line reservoir logging and interface subs for wired drill pipe projects. During this time she was exposed to testing and design for difficult environments – differential pressures of up to 30,000psi, temperatures of up to 430°F, high shock and bending specifications and extremely corrosive environments. She is currently a graduate researcher in the BMAD lab pursuing a PhD in Applied Science & Technology. Her research interests include the development and testing of sensor systems for harsh environments.

Maria Pace

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Maria is conducting her PhD research on Silicon Nanowires for Chemical Sensors, True pH Measurement and Species Identification under the supervision of Dean Albert P. Pisano and Professor Tarek I. Zohdi. Some of her research interests include design, modeling and characterization of MEMS nanowire electrochemical sensors, resonators, harsh environment MEMS, modeling and design of transducers and investigation of mechanical and electrical properties of 2D materials. She received her B.Sc in Physics and Minor in Mathematics from Southern Polytechnic State University and M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering in thermofluids from Santa Clara University. Maria was the recipient of the National Science Foundation Fellowship in 2010.  

  Shiqian Shao

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Shiqian Shao received her B.S. and M.S. in Optoelectronics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics. She is currently a graduate student researcher in Prof. Pisano`s Lab at University of California at Berkeley. Her research interests include SiC electrical diodes and JFETs for high temperature application, optoelectronic MEMS and micro/nano technology.

Anju Toor

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Anju Toor received her B.E. in Manufacturing Processes and Automation Engineering in 2010 from University of Delhi, India. During undergraduate study, she worked on material handling systems and autonomous driving system. She has also worked at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), India in the HVAC and Fire Protection division from 2010 to 2011. Anju is Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at University of California at Berkeley since fall 2011. Her research interests include MEMS and Nanotechnology applications like nanoparticle inks and super-capacitors. She is currently working on Nano-Composite Capacitor for High Performance energy storage.

Recent Alumni

Yegân Erdem
Chris D. McCoy
Ting-Ta (Ernest) Yen
Chih-Ming (Gimmy) Lin
Matthew W. Chan
Fabian Goericke
Joanne Lo
Matilda Yun-Ju Lai
Wei-Cheng Lien
Nuo Zhang
Hongyun So
Jie Zou
David Rolf
Xiayoue (Joy) Jiang
John Herr
Ben Eovino
Lilla Smith
Kristen Dorsey