Sensors Expo 2019: Who’s Who In Sensor Tech

Sensors Insights by Mat Dirjish

I’m sure the title and deck of this article has most of you saying, “here we go again, another top xx of whatever” article. Yes, sad to say, the old ‘top 10/20/30/40/50/100’ format refuses to die, even in the digital age. But so what, readers in every walk of life love these type articles, particularly if there’s a chance their company and/or name may appear on the list. Even more enticing to said reader is what position they might occupy on the list, should their company and/or name actually appear. Are they numero uno? Number two, in the middle, the top ten, or in the last slot? It’s all so exciting, would you not agree?

After attending countless tradeshows, Sensors Expo in particular, I have developed a somewhat different view of the tech market, based on observation, which beats the hell out of philosophical meandering. I see a very cooperative environment where competitors are now collaborators working towards interconnecting as opposed to polarizing goals. And it stands to reason that the tech community needs to progress that way because of how we are all connected now. Okay, what the hell has that got to do with the “Top 50 Persons In Sensor Tech”? Quite a bit.

Most lists of the aforementioned nature tend to quantify and qualify the achievements of a person and/or company, which is fine if you are dealing with a singular and focused event, for example, how many corn muffins a company sold compared to all the other corn-muffin makers.

In the sensors domain, sensors are used in every tech application and non-sensor companies provide the tools and systems that the sensors are used in. Embedded systems companies provide the networking and connectivity hardware for the massive sensor networks that are being deployed as we speak. Software writers are developing the code that will make things operate or be more (or less) secure. In brief, it’s a classic paradigm where one hand washes the other and both hands wash the face (or take the profits to the bank).

Based on that concept, my list of sensor tech notables consists of names and companies you may or may not know. Some may appear to have nothing to do with sensors but have at the very least a deep participation in sensor-based applications. But most importantly, each person on the list was nominated by his or her peers. After being nominated, some research ensued to corroborate the nomination.

The list that follows is divided into three sections: Sensor Technology & Development for those hands-on folks working in the development of devices and systems; Education & Research to celebrate those working in the universities and research labs, and Promotion, and Business & Media for all those hard-working marketing and promotional folks who help bring knowledge of new developments, trends, and markets to our attention.

One last and very important point, one to keep in mind throughout, position in the list has absolutely no significance. I could’ve went in alphabetical order, but that would’ve made things too easy for the few folks who want to see if and where their name appears – sorry! On that note, the list awaits your perusal. ~MD


Sensor Technology & Development

1. Kurt Petersen

Since 1982, Dr. Petersen has co-founded six successful companies in MEMS technology" Transensory Devices Inc. in 1982, NovaSensor in 1985 (now owned by GE), Cepheid in 1996 (now a public company on NASDAQ: CPHD), SiTime in 2004 (bought by MegaChips in 2014), and Profusa in 2008 (still private), and Verreon in 2009 (acquired by Qualcomm). In 2002, Red Herring ranked him as a Top Ten Innovator. In 2011, Petersen joined the Band of Angels in Silicon Valley, an angel investment group which mentors and invests in early stage, high-tech, start-up companies.


2. Joe Mallon

Having worked at Kulite, NovaSensor, Measurement Specialties, and TE Connectivity, Joe Mallon co-founded NovaSensor in 1985 where he served as Co-President and a Director until its acquisition by Lucas Industries, Inc. in January 1990. Later he came aboard in the early days of Measurement Specialties as its CEO. Joe became the company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board on April 1, 1995. Mr. Mallon has 35 years of experience in electronic sensor and MEMS technology and is a recognized pioneer in micromachining (the three-dimensional sculpting of silicon), having published 50 technical papers, and been awarded 40 patents.


3. Simon Segars

Joining Arm as one of its first employees, Simon Segars is the Arm’s CEO. Simon has driven technical and business innovations to help transform the company into the leading architect of the most pervasive compute technology the world has ever seen. He led the development of early ground-breaking Arm processors – the Arm7 and Arm9 – powering the world’s first digital mobile phones. He played a key role in developing industry standards, and his engineering work led to him being granted several embedded-systems patents.


4. Janusz Bryzek

Dubbed the Trillion Sensor Man, Dr. Janusz Bryzek serves as Executive Chairman and Chief Visionary Officer at eXo Imaging, Inc. and serves as its Director. He also serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Transparent Networks and has served as Chief Technology Officer and Chairman at LV Sensors Inc. Dr. Janusz Bryzek received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Warsaw Technical University in 1970 and 1978 respectively. He started development of MEMS pressure sensors in Poland in early 1970, cooperating with Honeywell. In 1979 he joined Foxboro ICT, the first Silicon Valley MEMS sensor spinout from Fairchild Semiconductor.

Dr. Bryzek has published over 200 papers, chaired many international conferences and co-authored 30 patents. Additionally, he was actively involved in the MEMS standardization effort, including Disposable Blood Pressure Transducers released by AAMI in 1984 and Smart Transducer Interface IEEE-1451 released as several sub-standards in 1990s.


5. Jim Knutti

Jim Knutti, Ph.D. is the President & CEO, Acuity Incorporated Dr. Jim Knutti is co-founder and President/CEO of Acuity Incorporated, a fabless supplier of MEMS based precision low-pressure sensors. Dr. Knutti received BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.


6. Dr. Mary Ann Maher

Dr. Mary Ann Maher is the Founder & CEO of SoftMEMS. Ms. Maher received her PhD from Caltech in 1989 in semiconductor device modeling, developing a new charge-based transistor model. At Caltech, she conducted research in neuromorphic systems, analog circuits and transistor modeling. She pursued post-doctoral studies at the CSEM in Neuchatel, Switzerland, where she studied analog memories and low power analog ICs with on-chip sensors for artificial vision applications.

At Tanner Research she began the simulation and modeling group and launched Tanner’s T-Spice analog circuit simulator product. She then became the Software Architect responsible for specifications for layout, routing, simulation, analysis, schematic and viewing design tools. As Director of Advanced Products, she brought to market Tanner’s MEMS Pro microsystem and MCM Pro multi-chip module and packaging design tool suites.

Moving to MEMSCAP, she became the company’s CTO and the General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Design Automation Business Unit. In 2004, she started SoftMEMS, LLC, the maker of the microsystems design tools MEMS Pro and MEMS Xplorer.


7. Louay Eldada

Quanergy CEO and Founder Louay Eldada is a pioneer in the development of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors for driverless vehicles. A leader in the development of the driverless revolution, Eldada's involvement with designing and engineering optical sensors dates to his research work on LiDAR for the US Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as part of his PhD thesis in optical engineering at Columbia University in 1990.

After completing this doctorate work at Columbia, Eldada served as a lead engineer or holding CTO at mostly photonics-related companies. These included tenures as CTO, vice president of engineering, and founder of DuPont's Photonics division; CTO, vice president of engineering, and vice president of operations for HelioVolt; chief science officer and vice president of global R&D at SunEdison; and vice president of technology at Amprius.

In 2012, Eldada went it alone to start up Quanergy in the garage of his Sunnyvale, California home. After some struggles, his company valuation reached $1.6 billion in 2016. The robust solid-state LiDARs Quanergy makes is in high demand due to falling prices and their ability to stand up to the punishment that automotive components must withstand.


8. Elina Vitol 

A 2015 Rising Star Engineer Award recipient, Dr. Elina Vitol is a Staff Scientist at Ecolab with expertise in optical engineering, materials science, and biomedical engineering.  Dr. Vitol is the technical lead for open innovation and technology transfer in microbial control and monitoring for the global Ecolab organization. She also serves as subject matter expert in optics-based analytical and diagnostic instrumentation, materials science and nanotechnology. Dr. Vitol has served on multiple committees for the Optical Society of America (OSA). Recently, she was elected to serve as Chair of the Therapeutic Laser Applications Technical Group at OSA. 


9. Boyd Fowler         

Boyd Fowler, CTO, OmniVision Technologies, developed the first digital-pixel CMOS image sensor (ISSCC 1994). His other notable achievements include development of the first scientific linear CMOS image sensor with single-electron RMS read noise (IISW 2003); the first multi-megapixel scientific area CMOS image sensor with simultaneous high dynamic range (86dB), fast readout (100 frames/second) and ultra-low read noise (1.2e- RMS) (sCMOS) (SPIE 2010); and development of the first CMOS image sensor for inter-oral dental X-rays with clipped corners for better patient comfort (US7655918B2)


10. Dr. Richie Payne

Dr. Richard S. Payne serves as Senior Vice President of Development of Pixtronix, Inc. He is recognized as one the leading worldwide experts in MEMS commercialization. He has over 20 years of direct experience and has served as Strategic Advisor of Akustica, Inc. He is a Co-founder of Applied Microstructures Inc. prior to joining Polychromix, Dr. Payne was Chief Scientist and General Manager of East Coast operations of OMM Inc. In this role, he was instrumental in developing and qualifying the first MEMS optical switch device that passed stringent Telcordia standards. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the IEEE and holds over 20 patents in a variety of fields of device and process technology.


11. Dr. Ken Gabriel

Dr. Ken Gabriel is president and CEO of The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., an independent not-for-profit research institution that develops solutions to some of the nation’s most critical problems in national security, space, biomedical systems, and energy. Recently, Dr. Gabriel was the deputy director of the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group at Google, which he helped establish when he joined the organization in 2012 as corporate vice president at Google/Motorola Mobility.

Dr. Gabriel has been a tenured professor in both the Robotics Institute and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He also served as a program manager and office director at DARPA, where he conceived and led projects that took MEMS out of the laboratory into practical applications. His honors include being named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum at Davos, named to the Senior Executive Service, and awarded the Carlton Tucker Prize for Excellence in Teaching from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


12. Benedetto Vigna

Benedetto Vigna is the President of the Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group at STMicroelectronics’ President. He has held this position since January 2016 and has been a member of ST’s Executive Committee since May 31st, 2018.

Vigna launched the company’s efforts in MEMS in 1995. Under his guidance, ST’s MEMS sensors established the Company’s leadership with large OEMs in motion-activated user interfaces. Vigna has piloted ST’s successful moves into microphones, e-compasses, and touch-screen controllers, as well as environmental sensors, micro-actuators, industrial and automotive sensors, and low-power radios for IoT. Vigna’s mandate was further expanded with analog ICs and RF products (2011) and smart-power devices for OEMs and mass market (2016). ST’s Imaging division moved under his management in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Mr. Vigna has more than 200 patents on micromachining, authored numerous publications, and sits on the boards of several EU-funded programs. Vigna’s contributions to the industry have been recognized with the MEMS Industry Group’s Executive of the Year Award (2013), the European SEMI Award (2013), the IEEE Frederik Philips Award (2015), and Manager of the Year 2017 by German magazine Markt & Technik.


13. Mike Horton

Formerly, founder and CEO of Crossbow Technologies, Mike Horton is the CTO of ACEINNA. He is credited with developing the first open-source inertial measurement platform, dubbed OpenIMU300. Mr. Horton was the lead architect in developing a high integrity, MEMS-based IMU platform for autonomous systems.


14. John Cole

John Cole is the president of Silicon Designs. The sensor technologies that John has developed over the years have received critical industry acclaim for their innovation and versatility, as evidenced by their numerous SBIR grant awards, prestigious Tibbetts Award recognition, Best of Sensors Expo Award nominations and wins, and their induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.


15. Stephen Younger

As the Labs Director for Sandia National Laboratories, Stephen Younger provides leadership and management direction for the safe, secure execution of all Sandia missions. Prior to joining Sandia, Steve contributed 34 years of distinguished service at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). He was Vice President and Chief Technologist for Northrop Grumman Technology Services and served on the Board of Managers for National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec), the M&O contractor for NNSS.


16. Darius Adamczyk

Darius Adamczyk is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell. Before being elected Chairman in 2018 and named President and CEO in 2017, Darius served as President and Chief Operating Officer. His focus in these roles has been on accelerating Honeywell’s organic growth, expanding margins, creating a premier technology company, deploying capital effectively and building a high-performance culture. Before joining Honeywell, Darius held several leadership positions with Ingersoll Rand and Booz Allen Hamilton. He began his career as an electrical engineer at General Electric in 1988.


17. Liam Bates

Liam Bates is the co-founder of Kaiterra, a global startup that develops cutting-edge smart devices designed to improve the environment and help people build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Powered by a passion for people, technology, progress, and the planet, Liam is pioneering new and different ways via sensor technology to help society demand more from the air they breathe and those who have the power to fix it. Recently, Liam and his team launched the Sensedge, the first commercial IAQ monitor engineered for the globally recognized RESET Air Standard for Commercial Interiors.


18. Keith McMillen  

Keith McMillen is the Founder and CEO of BeBop Sensors, a leader in smart fabric sensor wearable technology. McMillen has started and sold two companies in his 30+ years innovating in the sensor and audio market. Zeta Music revolutionized stringed instruments and was sold to Gibson Guitars in 1992. Octiv, started in 2000, received funding from 3i and Intel Capital and was sold to Plantronics in 2005. McMillen is the inventor on numerous patents. He has released hundreds of profitable products and published dozens of scholarly papers. Additionally, Keith was winner of a Guthman Award in 2010.


19. Dr. Steven Chunxi Qiu

Dr. Steven Chunxi Qiu is the Founder & CEO of RoboSense. Dr. Qiu is focused on LiDAR technology research, combining artificial intelligent perception algorithms with LiDAR sensor hardware to provide the safest, most reliable intelligent perception capabilities for autonomous vehicles, accelerating the widespread acceptance of autonomous driving. In 2014, Dr. Steven Chunxi Qiu founded RoboSense, serving as the company’s CEO and developing high-end LiDAR environment-perception systems for autonomous driving. Under his leadership, RoboSense has achieved great breakthroughs and awards for their LiDAR sensor hardware, AI point cloud algorithms, and chips.

In just five years, RoboSense has grown to nearly 500 employees, with offices in six regions, including Silicon Valley in the U.S.; Stuttgart, Germany; and Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Suzhou in China. During the same time period, Dr. Qiu has led RoboSense to become Asia’s market leader with an over 50% market share of all LiDAR sold; has released 18 more efficient, lower cost, and higher resolution LiDAR products and solutions; applied for more than 400 patents; raised China’s largest-ever single round of financing for a LiDAR company at over $45 million; and signed numerous partners, including China’s  ecommerce giant, Alibaba.

In 2018, Dr. Qiu was awarded MIT Technology Review’s 2017 “35 Innovators Under 35” in China. He is a frequent expert speaker on autonomous driving technology at industry trade shows and has written numerous technical papers on the subject.


20. Karmjit S. Sidhu

Karmjit S. Sidhu founded American Sensor Technologies, Inc., in 1997 and is now Senior Director, Business Development, Sensor Solutions, TE Connectivity. He focuses his efforts on the conceptual design of new products. Prior to co-founding American Sensors Technologies (AST), Karmjit was Chief Transducer Engineer for Measurement Specialties, responsible for the growth of their pressure sensor business.


21. Greg Gindele

Greg Gindele, Program Manager for Rosemount Wireless Products, has over 20 years of experience in mechanical and electrical design. Greg is considered one of the most versatile technologists in the sensor development field.  From understanding customer requirements to project management and sensor performance testing, Greg has played the lead role in releasing Rosemount’s first ever fixed-point gas detectors and sensors.  Drawing from a deep knowledge of engineered polymers in addition to the latest sensor technology, the Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor and 628 Universal gas sensor now set a standard for ergonomic design and ultra-high performance.


22. Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson is Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proteus Digital Health. His vision for Digital Medicines is focused on expanding global access to care, dramatically increasing the value delivered by drugs, and creating a more sustainable model for innovation in pharmaceuticals that leverages the power of silicon, software and mobile devices. Thompson is a World Economic Forum Advisor, and a member of the selection committee for the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers. He also serves on the California Governor’s Health IT Security Advisory Board.

Passionate about bringing digital innovation to education, he is Co-Founder and Board Member of Summit Schools, a leading Charter School organization with an acclaimed track record and unique digital platform, featured in the Davis Guggenheim movie “Waiting for Superman”. He works in digital humanities innovation as a Member of the Stanford University Libraries Board and with Cambridge University. He is a Co-Founder of Parker Library Online – a leading destination for digital medieval studies.


23. Olivier Filliol

Olivier Filliol is the CEO of Mettler Toledo. Olivier Filliol joined the company in June 1998 as General Manager of the company’s North American check weighing operations. He served as Head of Process Analytics from June 1999 to December 2007 and was named Head of Global Sales, Service and Marketing in April 2004. He was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in January 2008 and is a director since January 2009. He is located at the company’s headquarters in Greifensee, Switzerland.


24. Andrew Wallace 

As CEO for Pyreos, Andrew Wallace is internationally known, particularly in the areas of disruptive launches and change management. He has been pro-actively shaping the market for sensor systems with a series of notable wins. Under Andrew's leadership, Pyreos has brought to market the world's first digital surface mount pyroelectric sensor range for gas, flame and food analysis. This ground-breaking technology has enabled hundreds of customers to create smaller, higher-performance IR sensors, sensor modules and analyzers that are easy to develop and need less calibration.

They have also played a pivotal role in the development of low-cost spectrometers on a chip for applications in food safety, oil analysis and in medical where a recent collaboration has developed a low-cost, clinical-grade, mid-infrared spectrometer to accurately detect lung cancer and other major lung diseases by analyzing patient's sputum. Over the past couple of years, Andrew has also overseen the successful growth in the company's distribution strategy, making sensors far more accessible to companies developing detection systems in a wide variety of markets. 


25. Omer David Keilaf

Omer David Keilaf is the CEO and Co-Founder, Innoviz Technologies. Before founding Innoviz, Omer led the system and product definition efforts at Consumer Physics, building the world’s first handheld molecular sensor for mobile devices. Previous roles include leading the system architecture and engineering teams at bTendo (acquired by ST Micro) and Anobit (acquired by Apple).


26. Sohei Manabe     

Sohei Manabe is a Pixel Fellow at OmniVision Technologies. He was a pioneer of CMOS image sensors during his time at Toshiba. He is also a key contributor to OmniVision’s back-side-illumination (BSI) success and the development of OmniVision’s first BSI image sensor in 2008.


27. Romuald Gallorini                     

Romuald Gallorini is the Sr. Principal R&D, IoT Lead at TE Sensors Solutions. He has lead product development for a wider adoption of automatic defogging sensors in the automotive industry (including sensors, mounting and windscreen cover design rules). Romuald has also been instrumental in the development of innovative humidity sensor products.


28. Reed Brandvold

Reed Brandvold is the Principal Design Engineer at Rosemount Flame and Gas Detection. Drawing from over 17 years of experience developing industrial smoke and gas detectors, Reed is leading a team to develop the next generation of Fixed Point Gas Detectors for Emerson.  In addition to specifying and integrating the latest combustible and toxic gas sensing technologies, Reed’s design expertise is creating a new level of usability for customers with the latest transmitter and sensor interfaces.  Smart, universal sensors provide more diagnostic information than in the past, which seamlessly ties in to local operator interfaces.


29. Sam Zhang         

Analog Devices Fellow, Director of MEMS Design, Sam Zhang has been the principal designer of ADI’s high-performance and high-precision inertial MEMS products, including the company’s first 3-axis accelerometer and first MEMS microphone products. Sam has been awarded 25 U.S. patents, with another eight pending. These include “MEMS sensor with dynamically variable reference capacitance” (U.S. Pat 9,410,981), which enables high stability and ultra-low power accelerometers used in critical medical devices like pacemakers or hearing aids, and “Tilt mode accelerometer with improved offset and noise performance” (U.S. Pat 9,297,825), which enables high stability and ultra-low noise accelerometers used in condition based monitoring, industrial, defense and navigation applications, including inertial guidance for autonomous driving.

Sam’s latest groundbreaking contributions have been in the areas of ultra-power and ultra-low noise accelerometers and condition-based monitoring sensors. Specifically, Sam has been instrumental in developing high frequency, high bandwidth and ultralow noise MEMS accelerometers with advanced signal processing that are much smaller yet more powerful than contemporary PZT-based condition monitoring sensors.


30. Mark de Clercq

Mark de Clercq is the Director of the Bluetooth Low Energy group at Dialog Semiconductor. Under Mark de Clercq’s leadership, the Bluetooth low energy (BLE) team made several innovative additions to its product lineup over the course of the past year. After enhancing the SmartBond product family with Bluetooth Mesh support to enable extended range applications both within the home and in industrial applications, Mark and his team announced an entire new family of products underneath the SmartBond umbrella. The DA1469x family is the most advanced, feature rich range of multi-core microcontroller units for wireless connectivity that the industry has yet to see.


31. Tyson Tuttle

Tyson Tuttle serves as CEO at Silicon Labs. Under Tyson’s leadership, Silicon Labs has received recognition for its strong company culture and vision to successfully develop technologies which improve lives and transform industries. He spearheaded the company’s focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), leveraging its wireless and integration expertise to become one of the industry’s most respected IoT market leaders.


32. Ted Schnaare

Director of Engineering at Rosemount, Ted Schnaare was instrumental in the development of the IEC62591 (WirelessHART) protocol and the development of the Wireless portfolio of products at Emerson.   He has contributed to the design of over 16 products and worked on reviews and the development of eight additional products.  Additionally, he spent time reviewing designs for WirelessHART products from outside companies as well.  His expertise and input spanned from software to electronics to housings to approvals to all the data analytics for software.  Ted has contributed at all levels for the sensor technology.


Education & Research

33. Randy Frank

Focusing today on technical writing and editing, Randy Frank has a diversified technical background. He has established departments to address new technologies and effective communications in technology business for over 30 years. At Chrysler Corporation, he was involved in cold room (-20F) engine testing and alternator development. At American Motors, now part of the Chrysler Group, he was responsible for their first electronic engine control systems. At Motorola, he was involved with production, marketing and applications aspects of semiconductors including the introduction of several new power transistors, smart power ICs and sensors. At ON Semiconductor, he developed all the communication material for establishing a $2 billion start-up and launching the company on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. At International Rectifier, he identified and launched dozens of new leadership products.

Randy is an SAE Fellow, 2001, and former Chairman of Sensor Standards Committee in the Society of Automotive Engineers as well as an IEEE Fellow, 2005, and former Chairman of the Automotive Electronics Technical Committee and Awards Committee of the IEEE Power Electronics Society. Randy has three patents issued in the semiconductor packaging area and has written more than 300 papers, several book chapters and the book Understanding Smart Sensors, 1995, 2000, 2013.


34. Albert P. Pisano 

Albert P. Pisano is the Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. A self-described technology polymath, his research is driven by a passion for developing, mastering and advancing technologies to solve problems. Recent research includes 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 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.

Dean 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. He is a co-founder of ten start-up companies in the areas of transdermal drug delivery, trans-vascular 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.


35. Roger Howe

Roger Howe is the William E. Ayer Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, as well as the Faculty Director of the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. He was elected an IEEE Fellow in 1996 for seminal contributions to microfabrication technologies, devices, and micro-electromechanical systems. He was co-recipient, with Richard S. Muller, of the 1998 IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award. In 2005, Mr. Howe was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering: "for contributions to the development of microelectromechanical systems in processes, devices and systems." In 2015, he and Yu-Chong Tai were co-recipients of the IEEE Electron Devices Society’s Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems Award. In 2015, he was also the recipient of the IEEE Electron Devices Society Education Award, “for contributions to mentoring and education in the fields of microelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology.” Additionally, Roger co-authored the electronics textbook Microelectronics: an Integrated Approach with Charles G. Sodini of MIT.


36. Steve D. Senturia

Steve joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science immediately after completing his education (Harvard, B.A. in Physics, summa cum laude, 1961, and MIT, Ph.D. in Physics, 1966), initially as Research Scientist, then as Assistant Professor in 1967, with subsequent promotions up the ranks. From 1992 to 2002, he held the Barton L. Weller Chair in Electrical Engineering. He has been involved in microsensor and MEMS research since the early 1970’s.

For several years, Steve’s research focused on developing material-property measurement methods and CAD tools for MEMS. He was a co-founding Editor, and later Senior Editor, of the ASME/IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, and he has been active in the leadership of the IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators, serving as Technical Program Chair in 1997 and as Local Arrangements Chair for the2003 meeting in Boston.


37. Joe Giachino

Joe Giachino is a Visiting Scholar at University of Michigan. His expertise lies in business strategies, technology transfer, product development and sensor technology. Expertise includes sensor transduction element, packaging and testing. He is well noted his engagement in research for harsh environment sensors, consulting in MEMS business strategy, university/industrial collaborations, and consulting on technology transfer both within an industrial company and from academia to industry. Joe was also director of External Programs/Industrial Liaison-WIMS and a Ford Motor Company Program manager-Senor Business Resource Center from 1976 to2001.


38. Kensall D. Wise

Kensall D. Wise is the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science - Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering - Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at University of Michigan.  Wise is recognized as one of the world's foremost experts in sensor technology as well as being a MEMS pioneer and entrepreneur. Professor Wise was instrumental in launching the WIMS ERC in 2000. Wise, who will retire from the College of Engineering in May of 2011, is considered one of the world’s preeminent researchers in microsensor technology.


39. Khalil Najafi

A professor at University of Michigan, Khalil Najafi received a BS, MS, and the PhD degree in 1980, 1981, and 1986 respectively, all in electrical engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan. From 1986 to 1988, he was a research fellow; from 1988 to 1990, an assistant research scientist; from 1990 to 1993, an assistant professor; from 1993 to 1998, an associate professor; and since September 1998, as a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan.  He served as the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division, Department of EECS from 2008 to 2018.

He also served as the director of the Solid-State Electronics Laboratory from 1998 to 2005, the director of the NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) at Michigan from 2004 to 2015, and deputy director of the WIMS ERC from 2000 to 2010. In 1998, he was named the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and his research interests include micromachining technologies, micromachined sensors, actuators, and MEMS, analog integrated circuits, implantable biomedical microsystems, micropackaging, and low-power wireless sensing/actuating systems.


Promotion, Business & Media

40. Roger Grace

One of the most prominent figures in the sensors and overall tech industry, Roger Grace is president of Roger Grace Associates (RGA), a marketing consulting firm specializing in high technology, which he founded in 1982 in San Francisco, California. In addition to marketing expertise, Roger’s background includes over 40 years in analog circuit design engineering, manufacturing engineering, application engineering, project management, product marketing, and technology consulting. Mr. Grace has 15 years of experience as a microwave/R.F. design and project engineer at Avco Missile Systems, Wilmington Massachusetts; Raytheon Company in Sudbury Massachusetts and Goleta California and Ford Aerospace and Communications in Palo Alto, California.

Mr. Grace has specialized in sensors for over 30 years with a focus on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology and is widely acknowledged internationally as one of the leaders and pioneers of this industry. He has authored over 60 technical papers; organized, chaired and spoken at numerous international technical sessions; and authored the automotive section of the Battelle Frankfurt (Germany) market research report on Micromechanics. He is the co-author of the chapter “Commercialization of Microsystems” which appeared in the MANCEF International Microsystems Roadmap as well as the chapter “MEMS, Microsystems, Micromachines: Commercializing an Emergent Disruptive Technology” which appears in the SPIE publication MEMS and MOEMS: Technology and Applications.


41. Will Tu

A regular expert speaker at Sensors Expo and other tech conferences, Will Tu is the Senior Director, Automotive Business Unit for Xilinx.  He is responsible for the global business development, product planning, marketing strategies for the automotive business unit. Willard has spent his career at the axis of semiconductors, automotive, and computing industries for over two decades. He brings considerable automotive experience from various past employers. At ARM, he evangelized CPU IP and developed ecosystems to supports ARM’s market share growth in the automotive.

At NEC Electronics, he led the sales and marketing teams for the North American Automotive Business Unit (now Renesas). During his tenure, Willard grew sales to over $150 million.  He gained strategic microcontrollers wins in Audio, Instrument Cluster, Airbags and Body with innovative application specific peripherals and system IP. Mr. Tu has also worked for Motorola Semiconductor Product Sector (now NXP), and National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments), as well as a start-up, DSP Concepts, selling and marketing into the automotive market as well as the IoT, and embedded markets.


42. Jeremy Carlson

Jeremy Carlson is the Principal Analyst on Autonomous Driving, Automotive at noted research firm IHS Markit. Mr. Carlson is a principal analyst and manager who leads autonomous driving for the automotive industry team at IHS Markit. He specializes in the areas of autonomous driving, mobility and automotive technology and is a key contributor to mobility services topics.

Jeremy has worked in automotive electronics market research and analysis with a focus on driver assistance, sensors, autonomous vehicles and mobility for nine years in the analyst role where he gained experience in advanced driver assist systems, technologies and sensors. Complementary research includes technical topics, regulation and legislation and the deployment of new and emerging technologies that are becoming more broadly available across the market.


43. Alexander Everke          

Alexander Everke is the CEO of ams. He is the mastermind behind ams’ successful long-term strategy to become the global leader in sensor solutions for optical, image and audio sensing.


44. Ian Chen

Ian Chen works in Industrial and IoT Sensors Business Management at Maxim Integrated. He is considered an experienced leader with a successful track record in guiding startups to achieving their first revenue and in managing a $200M+ product portfolio. Successful at early identification of emerging market inflections, Ian is a hands-on and results oriented leader able to understand new markets and new technology quickly due to a broad background that includes sensors, smart mobile devices, mixed-signal ICs, microprocessors, SoCs, and serial interface devices. Recognized as an inventor in over ten patents, Mr. Chen was recently identified as one of the 40 key technologists to watch in the coming years.


45. Dr. John M. Chong, PhD

Dr. John M. Chong, PhD is Vice President of Product and Business Development at Kionix. He is responsible for productizing and supporting Kionix's growing portfolio of sensors, and for developing new business opportunities. Previously he was Director of Product Engineering and was also responsible for developing the manufacturing test capabilities for Kionix's accelerometer products.

Before joining Kionix in 2006, Dr. Chong worked for Calient Networks, a company focused on using Optical MEMS to support increased bandwidth through the automated management of fiber optic networks. He completed his B.S. and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University, where he worked on novel techniques for the design and manufacturing of Microfludic MEMS. John holds several patents, has spoken at numerous conferences about sensors and their role in the Internet of Things and currently serves on the Governing Council of the MEMS Industry Group.


46. Livio Lattanzio

In 2014 joined Sensirion as product manager, and until 2016 he has been managing several products for the mobile and consumer electronics market, including humidity, gas and pressure sensors. Since 2016 he oversees the new Sensirion business unit of Particulate Matter sensors. Mr. Lattanzio received his Ph.D. in microsystems and microelectronics from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, in 2013. From 2013 to 2014 he worked at the EPFL as senior researcher in the Nanoelectronic Device Laboratory (Nanolab).


47. Molly Bakewell Chamberlin

Molly Chamberlin is the president of Embassy Global LLC, a 100% woman-owned integrated strategic technical marketing, PR, business development, and management consulting firm. She and her firm remain exclusively focused in science, energy and technology disciplines, including and especially, sensing, photonics and optoelectronics. Ms. Chamberlin has 20 years of worldwide industry experience as a strategic marketing and growth expert in sensors, photonics and electronic components.


48. Dr. Verena Vescoli         

Verena Vescoli is the Senior Vice President Research & Development at ams AG. She began her career at ams in 2000 as Device Development Manager. Her investment decisions have enabled ams' extraordinary growth in recent years and are also the foundation of its extensive future product and design pipeline. Verena’s strong focus and commitment to R&D efforts in optical technologies has been instrumental in shaping ams’ leadership role in the market for 3D sensing and emerging optical technologies. Verena and her team are responsible for the development of ams’ flagship products in the automotive, medical, consumer and IoT industries.


49. Joerg Wedermann         

Joerg Wedermann is Vice President of Product Marketing for Vishay’s Optoelectronics Division and his accomplishments include having led the growth of the Optical Sensor Product Group from a rank of 5th to its present position as #2 over the last 10 years. Joerg was also instrumental in the acquisition and development of light-to-digital sensor technology, which has put Vishay on the leading edge of sensors used in consumer electronics.


50. Jennifer Gilburg                        

As Sr. Director of Strategy, Sensors Solutions, Jennifer Gilburg leads an industry-wide initiative around securely onboarding IoT devices including sensors. She leads the industry in her focus on ensuring integrity of IoT data by focusing on quality and security of sensors (ground zero for IoT data capture!)


Parting Note

One last bit of information, you can meet a number of the people mentioned above in person at Sensors Expo & Conference 2019 next week in San Jose, CA. All you need to do is register and attend. Check the schedule for the greatest opportunities for expanding your knowledge of sensors and all related technologies.


About the author

Mat Dirjish is the Executive Editor of Sensors magazine. Before coming on board, he covered the test and measurement and embedded systems market for Electronic Products Magazine, after which he spent thirteen years covering the electronic components market for EE Product News and Electronic Design magazines. He also has an extensive background in high-end audio/video design, modification, servicing, and ins