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July STEM Café explores augmented optics

July 7, 2017

Dr. Sciammarella, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

How do self-driving cars drive and park without hitting anything? The answer is augmented optics: tools and imaging systems that can provide extremely precise measurements for use in a host of hot applications.

At the next STEM Café, Dr. Federico Sciammarella, from NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, will present “Augmented Optics:  Micro-Measuring to Make Awesome Technologies Possible.”

The STEM Café will take place on Wednesday, July 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant in DeKalb.

Dr. Sciammarella will introduce the role micro-measurement plays in the science behind self-driving cars, smart phones, 3-D scanners and other exciting technology. He’ll explain the basics of augmented optics and share some of the cutting-edge research he and his colleagues have done in the field. Dr. Sciammarella is excited to demonstrate “how we can use very simple tools to perform very accurate measurements.” He says, “I am hoping people will appreciate that sometimes very simple things can be complex to solve, but if you stay focused and know your basics they can be resolved.”

An Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Sciammarella has worked in the field of experimental mechanics for the past 20 years. He’s done research for companies like Caterpillar General Dynamics and for the Air Force. “We have looked at items as small as several nanometers with a conventional microscope,” he says, “and have designed systems that can scan the wing of a plane to find defects in real time.”

This event is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafés, all of which are free and open to the public. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Eduardo’s.

For more information, contact Judith Dymond at [email protected].