ECE and CS Team Up for NSF-BSF Grant

Professors Matthew Grayson and Josiah Hester will work to create a flexible and easy-to-manufacture pressure sensor that functions as an artificial skin for people and objects

Northwestern Engineering’s Josiah Hester, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, and Matthew Grayson, AT&T Research Professor and professor of electrical and computer engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation - Binational Science Foundation (NSF-BSF) for their research, “Resistance Tomography with 2D Sensor Membranes.”

NSF-BSF grants are collaborative between researchers in the US and Israel. This research is a joint project between Northwestern and Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with Noa Lachman-Senesh, assistant professor in materials science at Tel Aviv University.

The three-year, $490,751 award will work to create a flexible and easy-to-manufacture pressure sensor that functions as an artificial skin for people and objects, which could lead to inexpensive and convenient solutions for wearable computer interfaces, touch-enabled spaces, and biomedical movement diagnostics.

By utilizing an unconventional sensor mapping method called resistive tomography, it is possible to create such a platform using only a single piece of easy-to-manufacture pressure-sensitive material to map pressures.