smart-MEMPHIS Advisory Board

The smart-MEMPHIS External Expert Advisory Boards spans from Europe to Asia and America and across the value chain of the project from piezo-materials to packaging and structural health monitoring. The advisory board currently consists of 6 experts in their fields, who offer the project insight into market opportunities and further applications for the project's results. On this page, we would like to introduce the experts.

Veronica AugustynEnergy storage

North Carolina State University, United States

Veronica Augustyn is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at North Carolina State University. From 2013 - 2015, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Texas Materials Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.  She received her Ph.D. in 2013 in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her research group is focused on the development and characterization of materials for electrochemical energy technologies including batteries, electrochemical capacitors, electrolyzers, and fuel cells.  In particular, she is interested in the relationships between material structure and morphology and the resulting redox behavior and electrochemical mechanisms.  She also advises the SciBridge project at NC State, which develops renewable energy research collaborations between scientists in Africa and the U.S.


Steffen Kröhnert Packaging

NANIUM S.A., Portugal

Dipl.-Ing. Steffen Kröhnert received his master degree in Electrical Engineering and Microsystem Technology at Technical University of Chemnitz, Germany, in 1997. In the same year he started his professional career as Development Engineer in the Corporate Package Assembly, Interconnect and Test Development Center for Semiconductors of Siemens AG in Regensburg, Germany. After carve out of the Semiconductors Business Unit to Infineon Technologies AG in 1999, he worked as Project Manager and moved to Infineon Dresden GmbH & Co. OHG in 2002 to support local setup of Package Development Department for Memory Products. He became R&D Area Manager Component Development and took over Technology Platform ownership for FBGA products. From 2006 he was working as Senior Manager in Qimonda Dresden GmbH & Co. OHG, the carve out of the Memory Products Business Unit of Infineon Technologies. Begin 2007 he was assigned to Qimonda Portugal S.A. to setup and lead Package Development team at volume production site. Since 2009 he is Director of Technology at NANIUM S.A. in Vila do Conde, Portugal. Steffen is author and co-author of 23 patent filings in the area of Packaging Technology. He is member of IEEE CPMT, IMAPS, MEPTEC, SMTA, VDI, VDE and GPM. He actively contributes as Co-Chair to SEMI Europe’s Advanced Packaging Conference (APC), as Technical Committee member to IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), IEEE Electronics System-Integration Technology Conference (ESTC) and IMAPS European Microelectronics Packaging Conference (EMPC), and as Assistant Technical Co-Chair (Europe) to IMAPS Device Packaging Conference and International Symposium on Microelectronics.


Paul Muralt Piezo-MEMS, ceramics

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Paul Muralt is adjunct Professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL at Lausanne, Switzerland. He leads a group in piezoelectric thin film, MEMS, and nanotechnology activities at the Ceramics Laboratory of the Materials Science Institute. Having a background (PhD) in solid state physics, he moved more and more into thin films, surface, and materials science for micro and nanotechnology. In his professional career he was working at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, the Free University of Berlin, and in a thin film coating industry (Balzers) before joining EPFL in 1993. He is particularly known for his works in processing, characterization and applications of piezoelectric and pyroelectric thin films such as PbZrTiO3 and AlN. He teaches thin film deposition, micro and nano structuration, surface analysis and introduction to ceramics. He authored or co-authored over 200 scientific articles (> 7’000 citations). He is IEEE Fellow, received the outstand achievement award of the ISIF committee in 2005, was co-chair of the MRS spring meeting 2008, co-organized three MRS or E-MRS symposia, and was also member of program committees of meetings on ferroelectric technology (ISAF 2007, ISIF 2008).


Mike Pinelis MEMS, microtechnologies, sensors

MEMS Journal, Inc., United States

Dr. Mike Pinelis is the President and CEO of MEMS Journal, Inc., an independent publication based in Southfield, Michigan that he founded in 2003 and grew to the current 34,800+ subscribers worldwide.  Along with MEMS Journal, Mike has also developed a strategy and market research consulting practice focused on MEMS, sensors and microsystems. He is the chairman and the main organizer of some of the leading industry conferences. Mike is an active participant in the MEMS, sensors, and semiconductors industries and is an advisor or partner with organizations such as SEMI, CVTA, GSA, MSIG, SMTA, IMAPS, SAE, SAA, and IEEE. He has a large social media network with 27,400+ direct connections on LinkedIn. Dr. Mike Pinelis is an active angel investor and a limited partner in several venture capital and private equity funds. He is also an advisor and mentor to technology startups, including those participating in the Techstars Mobility accelerator in Detroit. Mike is a member of the Michigan Angel Fund (MAF), the largest angel group in Michigan with over 100 members. Dr. Pinelis is also a member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA). Mike is currently working on setting up a dedicated VC fund focused on microtechnologies, MEMS, and sensors. Prior to MEMS Journal, Dr. Pinelis served as Director of Business Development for ISD Technology Group in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Prior to that, Dr. Pinelis founded and was the CEO of MindCruiser, Inc., a company specializing in developing online intellectual property marketplaces that was sold to Akiva Corporation. Dr. Pinelis earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering with a focus in MEMS and microfluidics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 


Nobuyuki Soyama –  PZT materials

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Japan

Nobyuki Soyama majored in chemistry at university. After entering Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, he has been working as an engineer to develop products and technologies based on metal-organic compounds. The typical products are sol-gel solutions, MOCVD precursors, fine nano-particles and etc. Recently, piezo-MEMS market has become very active. In order to expand their business, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation’s R&D of sol-gel solution is focused on piezoelectric application. Therefore, Soyama-san hold the post of sales concurrently in order to work as sales engineer. He would like to make MMC’s products spread widely to the market.

Peter Woias Energy harvesting

IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter Woias graduated in electrical engineering at the Technical University of Munich in 1988. He also received his doctorate from the TU Munich. Since 2000 Peter Woias is a full professor and head of the Laboratory on Engineering Design of MEMS at the Dept. of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg. His actual research focuses on microfluidics for medical applications, chemical micro process engineering, micro energy technology and microfabrication. Peter Woias has been appointed with the Robert T. Knapp award of ASME in 2005 and was a winner of the 2003 German BMBF competition “Innovation in medical technologies”. Since October 2006 he is the executive speaker of the German research training group GR 1322 “Micro Energy Harvesting”. His own research in energy harvesting is on piezoelectric and thermoelectric generators, on micro heat engines, on power management electronics and on energy-autonomous embedded systems. As of today, July 2015, Peter Woias has is author or co-author of 118 peer-reviewed journal papers and  207 conference publications.