Gary Fedder-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Gary Fedder

Vice Provost for Research

Courtesy Appointment, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University
406 Warner Hall
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-268-8443


Dr. Fedder, Vice Provost for Research, arrived at the university in 1994 with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Robotics Institute. He currently is the Howard M. Wilkoff Professor in ECE, Professor in Robotics and has courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.  He previously served in administrative roles as Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (2006-2013) and as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering (2013-2015). Dr. Fedder earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in EECS from MIT in 1982 and 1984.  His research interests include design and modeling of microsensors and microactuators, fabrication of integrated MEMS with electronic circuits using conventional CMOS processing, and implantable microsystems. Dr. Fedder has served as a technical co-lead in the U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Partnership where he worked with industry, academia and government to generate recommendations that motivated the launch of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). He also co-led the proposal that landed the $70M pilot institute for the NNMI, America Makes, and currently serves on its Executive Committee.  Dr. Fedder has contributed to over 200 research publications and holds several patents in the MEMS area. 


As information systems have evolved from isolated computational engines to distributed networks, the autonomous ability to gather and act on information is becoming increasingly important. My research is in the interdisciplinary area of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS): sensor and actuator systems with performance derived from integration of electronics and mechanical structures with features measured in microns to millimeters. Fabrication of the batch-fabricated electromechanical devices and the development of related processes leverage the enormous investment in mature Very-Large-Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuit manufacturing. Benefits of this approach include much lower manufacturing cost, greater miniaturization, greater integration, and in many cases higher performance than can be achieved with conventional methods used to build systems requiring sensors and actuators.

My research focus on integrated MEMS links to a long-term trend to the manufacture of low-cost sensor-and-actuator Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). Integrated MEMS technology is becoming pervasive in embedded systems and is continually evolving to be relevant in new applications. A core general direction in my research group is design, fabrication, and testing of microdevices that are made thorugh integration with conventional foundry CMOS processes, which enable on-chip electrostatically actuated microstructures, capacitive and piezoresistive sensors, and polysilicon thermal heaters. Active projects include MEMS system modeling and design methodologies, accelerometers and gyroscopes for motion sensing, an electrothermal microcooler system, ultra-compliant neural probes, piezoelectric energy scavenging for implantable pressure sensors, nonlinear parametric microresonators, and self-healing RF microresonator oscillators and filters. Challenges include system design, process integration, and physical modeling including environmental effects.