A professor of engineering at the University of Pittsburgh has been working to engineer a new class of intelligent materials that can create the foundation for mechanical computing systems. As a result, the National Science Foundation awarded Amir Alavi the Faculty Early Career Development Award to fund his project, “Mechanical Metamaterial Electronics: Theory, Design and Applications.”

This project builds on Alavi’s years of mechanical metamaterial and energy harvesting research. Previous research has introduced self-powered, self-sensing concrete and smart implants that can monitor healing. This work will introduce the field of mechanical metamaterial electronics, which can serve as a platform for creating intelligent matter that can also process and communicate information in a closed-loop system.