Director: Professor Jennifer Zirnheld
Web site: http://www.esi.buffalo.edu/
The Energy Systems Institute (ESI) at the University at Buffalo (UB) is a unique, one-of-a-kind research facility. In terms of the breadth of instrumentation assembled in the ESI's laboratories, the world-renowned expertise of its director, and the wealth of graduate and undergraduate research talent available, the ESI has the capability to perform research of interest to both the public and private sectors; to both industry and government.
The research focus of the ESI is the development of mechanisms to predict failure in electronic systems. The Institute works with other basic research institutions, with Original Equipment Manufacturers that make custom electronics to their customer's specifications, and with government laboratories and departments that need to be sure that the equipment they require will work when essential. Defense weapons must function in order to protect the military personnel and the citizenry. Aircraft control systems must function properly when the lives of hundreds of thousands of people are depending on them. These are complicated problems, not recommended for the well-known "quick fix." In order to work most effectively with government and industry, ESI should be involved in research early in the development process. How soon will an insulation material in or around a substrate to be used in electronics break down? How do we predict or determine the kind or nature of the breakdown? Certain variables tend to cause breakdowns. Has a bad batch of material been used? Has the material been damaged in shipping? At what voltage will the material break down?
ESI’s strategy has been to test and develop systems diagnostics, stage by stage. We take materials developed by companies, test them for electrical stress— not mechanical stress— and tell the company if it works. Such materials go not only into defense systems like tanks or weapons, but they may be useful for your personal TV or stereo as well. We have the ability to test armaments for the Army, navigational systems for surface ships and submarines for the Navy and satellites for NASA. With the current technological emphasis on electronics size reduction, ( i.e., more power, high frequency, small size) for missiles and radar on aircraft, ESI has the facilities, staff, know-how and interest in working with the military/industrial complex to make the electronics components of a broad spectrum of systems fail-safe for the public at large.
Executive Director: Professor Paras N. Prasad
Director, Lasers and Photonics: Professor Alexander N. Cartwirght
Web site: http://www.photonics..buffalo.edu/
In 1999, the Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Engineering met to establish The Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics. The Institute incorporates the very successful and internationally recognized program at the Photonics research Laboratory and was extended to bring together active multidisciplinary faculty from Medicine, Dental Biology, Engineering, Physics and Chemistry.
The Institute’s focus is Photonics — the science and technology based on light. Photonics has been projected to play a dominant role in this century — impacting communication, information technology and health care, as well as consumer commodities.
The Institute’s vision is much broader than that of a typical academic/research program. In addition to education and training of students, and conducting research, the Institute has a major objective: to contribute to the economic development of the region. Thus, the mission of the Institute includes:
Providing education and training at undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels in these areas of critical need and with potential for tremendous growth.
Enhancing the capability of UB to substantially increase external support.
Producing leading-edge technologies that will enable UB to stimulate the creation of regional business.
Developing strong University-Industry partnerships.
IIn a collaboration between an EE group and several other departments, an EE graduate student has demonstrated the ability to trap 2.5um diameter polysterene microspheres in a matrix using a single scanning laser beam.>>
EE Faculty are developing a deep sea internet that could lead to improvements in tsunami detection, offshore oil and natural gas exploration, surveillance, pollution monitoring and other activities. >>