Dr Whiting is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the Principal Investigator for the Boulder Experimental Electronics and Manufacturing (BEEM) Laboratory. His research is focused at the intersection of additive manufacturing, novel materials, and functional devices. The BEEM Lab uses printing as a method to fabricate unconventional electronic components and systems including those that are that can be readily customized, mechanically flexible/conformable, large area, widely distributed, biocompatible, and controllably transient. These devices can find application in a wide range of areas with a current focus on developing sensing devices designed for integration into the environment (for example in soil and plants), to optimize agricultural inputs, enhance soil carbon and nitrogen stocks, and reduce energy consumption.
|High spatial density monitoring of the environment is essential for improving the understanding and management of natural systems. This is of particular importance for soils, where sensing can enable optimization of agricultural inputs, reduction of energy use, increased carbon storage, and enhanced soil health. Print-based manufacturing of electronic systems enables the fabrication of large numbers of unconventional devices that utilize a wide range of materials enabling improved compatibility with natural environments. This proposal will describe recent progress in the development of printed electronic devices and systems formed from biodegradable and biocompatible materials for real-time monitoring of soil and plant conditions including moisture and nutrient concentrations, and microbial activity.