Dr Lei Zuo, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
CEHMS, Virginia Tech
Extensive research has been done in the past fifteen years on the energy harvesting, which enables many promising applications like self-powered wireless sensors. The energy harvesting is also being extended to large power scale, with great potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy. In this talk the speaker will present a breakthrough innovation for large-scale vibration energy harvesting: mechanical motion rectifier (MMR) mechanism which converts the irregular vibration into unidirectional rotation. We will discuss the different realizations of MMR using rack pinions and ball screws, with applications to the vehicle suspensions and ocean wave energy. Recent lab tests and infield demonstrations will be presented.
Speaker Biography (Lei Zuo)
Lei Zuo completed his BS with honors from Tsinghua University in July 1997 and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in February 2005. He also held MS degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Lei Zuo is currently an associate professor with John R. Jones III faculty fellowship in the department of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. He also serves as the associate director of the NSF I/UCRC Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems. Lei Zuo's research focuses on energy harvesting, vibration control, mechatronics design, vehicle dynamics, and advanced sensors. He returned to academia after working in industry for four years (2004-2008). Since then he has secured over $10M research grants ($9M as the PI) from federal and state funding agencies NSF, DOE, DOT, EPA, ONR, US Army, NYSERDA, CIT, and others as well as industry. He has authored/co-authored 155 papers in journals and conferences including three with best paper and best student paper awards. Lei Zuo is a receipt of 2015 and 2011 R&D 100 Awards, nicknamed "Oscar of Invention", for his innovations on energy harvesting from ocean wave and vehicle suspensions. He was the winners of IDTechEx best technology development of energy harvesting (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015) and best application of the energy harvesting (2012). He received the 2014 ASME Thar Energy Design Award for his pioneering research on large-scale energy harvesting, and the 2014 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. He was named as a Fellow of ASME in 2016. Lei Zuo has advised 5 PhD and 15 MS theses and is supervising 13 PhD, 8 MS, and 2 post-doctoral researchers. He currently serves as technical and associate editors of three journals
Company Profile (Virginia Tech (CEHMS))
View Virginia Tech (CEHMS) Timeline
Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems (CEHMS) in an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). CEHMS aims to lead the global research and development in the area of energy harvesting at both small and large energy scales, by providing comprehensive expertise in all the related aspects including materials, components, system design, analysis, characterization and prototyping. We will discover new methods to create electricity and invent technologies that allow transitioning the prototypes to society. CEHMS has the mission of providing integrated power solutions to microelectronics, sensor networks, portable devices, and wireless communications through modeling, analysis, fabrication and demonstration of intelligent systems. The devices developed at CEHMS will provide the architecture for "self-powered sensing and actuation" and open the pathway for distributed power sources. The research at CEHMS covers development of harvesters utilizing single and multimodal conversion mechanisms, adaptive energy harvesting circuits, intelligent energy management system, and conformal storage media. Our access to cutting-edge facilities at multiple campuses allows us to explore various challenging industrial problems in a timely and efficient manner.