Steven F. Nagle

Dr. Steven F. Nagle has long been interested in fluid mechanics and even began his graduate studies in aerospace doing computational fluid dynamics. It so happens that his graduate career then led him to studies in electromagnetism applied to the practice of creating electrical machines at the micro-scale while designing and fabricating the first electro-static induction micromotor. However, since the first practical use of the micromotor was to drive the compressor stage of the MIT Micro Gas Turbine Generator, the so-called microengine project, fluid mechanics remained in view.

The practice of microfluidics has a long past and a busy future. While the reed pen could be considered the first practical use of microfluidics, and the first commercial ink jet printer was introduced by Siemens in 1961, the modern practice of microfluidics arguably began in the early 1990s with BioMEMS (Biological Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems). The microengine compressor, turbine, gas bearings, combustion, and related microrocket research included fascinating fluid flow, mostly turbulent, yet it was the typically laminar-flow chemical reactors and BioMEMS chips that interested Dr. Nagle most. BioMEMS commercialization was slow, so his career did not emphasize microfluidics. Today, some of the same technological challenges have continued to slow commercialization, integration and interconnection most prominently, but with modern simulation, materials and fabrication technology the future has never looked brighter for the field of microfluidics.

Dr. Nagle currently serves as the Managing Director of the T. J. Rodgers RLE Laboratory. While the Lab rests on the three pillars of electronics, photonics and packaging, it serves all themes of research within the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT. This includes some strong work in microfluidics. The Rodgers RLE Lab also has a mandate to bring together academia and industry more often than is typical. Thus, because the FluidicMEMS organization aims to shine light preferentially on the research-to-industry transfer of the marriage of microfluidics and MEMS, the organization is a natural extension of the Rodgers RLE Lab mandate.

Please contact Dr.Nagle if you would like to learn more and help to develop FluidicMEMS.

Jonathan Cottet

Jonathan Cottet received a M.Sc. in Mechanics and Electronics from ENS Rennes and University of Rennes 1 (France) in 2013 and a M.Sc. in Microengineering on Micro and Nanosystems from EPFL (Switzerland) in 2015. He performed his Ph.D. between Ecole Centrale de Lyon and EPFL, focusing on the development of microsystems for the controlled formation of cell aggregates by dielectrophoresis. Dr. Cottet is currently a senior postdoctoral researcher at MIT. His research interests include design, fabrication and experimental characterization of lab-on-a-chip devices based on electric fields for biological applications.