Sounds like a really robust program and definitely a hot topic for today's engineering applications. I'm still a little fuzzy on MEMS' exact role and some of the key design concerns so I'll look forward to lots of great reports and posts based on the discussions at the summit.
Alex, This is exciting technology with many implications for the future. I heard that Sandia National Labs is doing work in this area and checked out their website. Readers might find their website of interest since it provides a good overview of areas of concentration: http://mems.sandia.gov/. Great stuff.
You'll find MEMS in wireless devices that either switch between a receiver and a transmitter section or a receiver or a transmitter that use antenna switching for better reception or range finding. MEMs also serve as resonators and variable inductors. As mentioned in another comment, Sandia Labs has created micro engines and micro locks. Sandia does a lot of work on security of nuclear weapons, so many unclassified photos on the Sandia site likely relate to security and safety applications.
Beth, one way to think about MEMS is that they are insanely small machines (micro-electro-mechanical systems) on a chip. MEMS-based gyrometers and gyro sensors of various kinds are a type of MEMS that some think will be big in various apps, including medical equipment. The gyros used in the Japanese Defense Ministry's flying sphere are probably MEMS devices:
Beth, here's a few other MEMS applications that you may have seen. Nintendo's Wii uses three-axis MEMS accelerometers for motion detection. Many laptops use them to detect whether they've been dropped. If the laptop is dropped, it parks its hard disk heads to prevent damage when it lands. Camcorders also use them for image stabilization.
@vimalkumarp thanks for the acknowledgement of my prognistication that MEMS is the future. @Beth there are numerous applications of MEMS - too many to list here but you might be interested in seeing the list we've compiled of "MEMS in the Machine" on the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) website: http://www.memsindustrygroup.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3933
Thanks Karen for messaging me. It is an honour for me to get a message from you. I am a great fan of Feynman's "there is plenty of room.." and i am very passionate about MEMS. I work on the low cost medical devices for the poor in India and I am sure MEMS can play a significant role in medical domain. Keep up your good work and wishing you the very best..!
Hello and happy Friday! In case you missed it, ESC/Design West/Sensors in Design featured MEMS in its announcement and lovely quotes from Alex Wolfe and me - you can check it out here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sensors-in-design-summit-launches-at-design-west-2012-02-17
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