Huijuan “Jane” Zhao, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is a co-principal investigator on a team that has won a three year, $1.4 million grant from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, a division of the Department of Energy (DOE).
The research team also includes principal investigator Hai Xiao, Samuel Lewis Bell Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering; and co-principal investigator Marek Urban, J.E. Sirrine Textile Foundation Endowed Chair in Advanced Polymer Fiber-Based Materials and a professor of materials science and engineering.
The project’s objective is to develop, demonstrate and pre-commercialize a novel, plug & play, battery-free, low-cost, multi-parameter, wireless sensor technology for indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity measurement for energy efficient building controls and operations. The proposed technology is based on the novel concept of all-digital sensing and its seamless integration with the passive RFID technology. This project will focus on the design, 3D printing based sensor fabrication, material optimization, interrogation electronics, validation and demonstration of the novel sensor nodes for building applications.
Project work will be done at Clemson University, Harvard University, Phase IV Engineering, and at the Energy Resource Station of the Iowa Energy Center. Dr. Zhao will lead the efforts in thermal, hygroscopic, and mechanical modeling and design of the proposed sensor node for optimal performance.