Sensors RIG


The Sensors RIG is a multidisciplinary group of researchers with interests in sensor materials, methods, devices and sensor applications for healthcare, environment, civil, petroleum, chemical industries and military applications. This group provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, present early findings, and explore collaborations and interdisciplinary funding opportunities. RIG’s aims are to connect sensor technologies, middleware and applications, and to provide an interface between academic and industrial research.

Meet the Team

RIG Chair

Tanya Hutter

Tanya Hutter
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Hutter’s research interests lie in the fields of emerging molecular sensing technologies, nanomaterials, microfabrication and nanophotonics with applications in environmental and industrial sensing, homeland security and medical diagnostics.

RIG Executive Team

Deji Akinwande

Deji Akinwande
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Akinwande’s current research focus explores materials and electronic systems based on 2D atomic layers. He is a co-inventor of a high-frequency chip-to-chip interconnect and an electrically small antenna for bio-electronics. He is one of the directors of the NASCENT ERC center at UT Austin.

Simon Humphrey
Simon Humphrey
Department of Chemistry

Dr. Humphrey’s research areas include catalysis, inorganic chemistry, materials, materials science, nanoscience and nanotechnology, polymer chemistry, and surface chemistry.

Sapun Parekh

Sapun Parekh
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Parekh works on disease biophysics using molecular analytical tools. His research is focused on quantifying changes in the physical and chemical properties of cells and biomaterials to predict, diagnose, and treat metastatic cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

Emily Porter

Emily Porter
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Porter’s research is in applied electromagnetics for medical applications, including health monitoring, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Her work is systems-oriented, with research in antenna and electrode arrays, interfacing with tissues, and detection and imaging algorithms. She is also interested in furthering our understanding of the dielectric properties of biological tissues and in designing tissue-mimicking phantoms as test beds for electromagnetic medical technologies.

Dan Wasserman

Daniel Wasserman
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Wasserman’s research area is in plasma/quantum electronics and optics. His group studies mid-IR and far-IR emitters, detectors, and photonic devices for applications in Defense and Security, Sensing, and Communications.

RIG Student Committee

Nirmalay Barua

Nirmalay Barua
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Nirmalay Barua is a Ph.D. Student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research experience includes nanomaterials synthesis & characterization, atomic scale modeling & simulation, and nanomechanics.

Aminur Chowdhury

Aminur Chowdhury
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Aminur Rashid Chowdhury is a PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is working in Hutter Lab as a graduate assistant. He received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh in 2013 and M.S. in Chemistry at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2019. Previously he worked for Oil & Gas industry for 3.5 years. His research interests in nanoengineered devices, gas sensors, nanostructured functional interfaces, renewable energy, and electromechanical sensors.

David King

David King
Department of Material Science and Engineering

David King is a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his bachelor’s degree from UT Austin in mechanical engineering. His research interests include gas sensors, medical devices, and renewable energy.

Dmitry Kireev

Dmitry Kireev
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Kireev is a postdoctoral research fellow at UT Austin. He is currently working on the real-life applications of two-dimensional materials such as graphene, MoS2, and others in the fields of bioelectronics, neuroprosthesis, soft tissue, and epidermal electronics. Within the scope of the recent pandemic, Dr. Kireev has shifted his focus towards building a graphene based biosensor targeted towards COVID-19 virus detection.

Tse Ang Lee

Tse-Ang Lee
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Tse-Ang Lee is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Taiwan University, Taiwan. His research interests focus on integrated microfluidic device design and analysis and micro fabrication techniques. He enjoys swimming, weight training, and cooking during his spare time.

Yixian Wang

Yixian Wang
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Yixian Wang is a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science & Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on chalcogen cathodes and stabilized anodes for both liquid and solid-state metal batteries. He is also an avid user of various microscopy and spectroscopy characterizations to study the phase transformations and failure mechanisms during battery charging and discharging. He is actively studying and looking for sensors with applications in battery research.

Connect with our Members

View the Galleries below to learn more about our members and reach out to your future collaborator!

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RIG Community

Projects – Learn more about what our members are working on

Help Wanted – Members looking for expertise

Next Generation Sensor Ideas

Connect with the Students and Postdoc Researchers

Sensors RIG YouTube Channel

The Sensors RIG YouTube Channel is facilitated by the student committee and hosts live and recorded seminars. The primary aim of the student seminar series is to share research presentations in the areas of sensors and sensing technologies. Our inaugural student-led seminar series began in Fall 2020, comprised of lunchtime talks from UT Austin graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. We hope the student seminar series will enable knowledge share and foster collaborations.

If you are interested in the Student Sensors RIG Seminar Series, join our listserv to receive event announcements and updates!

If you would like to give a short talk about your research, email us at

Spring 2023 Seminar Schedule

Topic: Multimodal Optothermal Manipulation of Synthetic Particles and Biological Cells
Speakers: Hongru Ding
Date: April 6, 2022
Time: 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Topic: Cross-reactive Arrays from the Anslyn Lab for Differential Sensing
Speakers: Hazel Fragherg
Date: March 23, 2022
Time: 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Past Student Sensors RIG Seminars

Check out our Sensors RIG YouTube Channel to watch these recorded seminars

Topic: Novel Device Architectures for High-Speed Mid-Infrared Photodetectors
Speakers: Yinan Wang
Date: November 10, 2022
Time: 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Location: Zoom

Topic: Spectrometers in Wonderland: Shrinking, Shrinking, Shrinking
Speakers: Richard Crocombe
Date: October 27, 2022
Time: 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
Location: Zoom

Topic: Optical, Thermal, and Electrical Simulations of the First and Third-generation Solar Cells in Lumerical Software
Speakers: Hamed Saghaei
Date: October 6, 2022
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Zoom

Topic: Research Mixer
Sanna Sillankorva, PhD, INL / Nanomedicine
Chris Rylander, PhD, UT / Biomedical
Alex Jenkins, PhD, INL / Spintronics
Cassandra Callman, PhD, UT / Biochemistry
Pieter De Beule, PhD, INL / Medical devices
Tanya Hutter, PhD, UT / Sensors
Vinaya Kumar, PhD, INL / Micro & nanotech

Date: April 29, 2022
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Location: Zoom

Topic: Engineering Bacterial Transcription Factors to Sense Poppy Alkaloids
Speaker: Simon d’Oelsnitz
Date: October 29, 2021
Time: 12:15 – 12:45 pm
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Highly Sensitive Capacitive Pressure Sensors Over a Wide Pressure Range Enabled by the Hybrid Responses of a Highly Porous Nanocomposite
Speaker: Kyoung-Ho Ha
Date: October 15, 2021
Time: 12:15 – 12:45 pm
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Rotational Micromotor Enabled Acceleration of Biomolecule Sensing
Speaker: Zexi Liang
Date: October 1, 2021
Time: 12:15 – 12:45 pm
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Electrical Impedance Tomography for Stroke Differentiation
Speaker: Jared Culpepper
Date: September 17, 2021
Time: 12:15 – 12:45 pm
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: All-Epitaxial Plasmonic Optoelectonics for the Mid-Infrared
Speaker: Leland Nordin
Date presented: March 12, 2021
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Unique Biomechanics Challenges in Characterizing Cardiovascular Soft Tissues
Speaker: William Meador
Date presented: March 26, 2021
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Atomically Thin Wearable E-Tattoo Biosensing
Speaker: Dmitry Kireev
Date presented: April 2, 2021
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Detection of Toxic Contaminants in Hand Sanitizers
Speaker: Aminur Rashid Chowdhury
Date presented: April 9, 2021
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Plasmonic Chiral Sensing of Biomarkers in Human Body for Chronic Disease Monitoring
Speaker: Yaoran Liu
Date presented: May 7, 2021
Check out our flyer for more details

Topic: Differential Sensing of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases Isoforms
Speaker: Lingyu Zeng
Date presented: November 20, 2020
See flyer for more details

Topic: Molecular Sensors and Molecular Logic Gates: Their Designs and Practical Applications
Speaker: Adam Sedgwick
Date presented: November 6, 2020
See flyer for more details

Topic: Fluorescent Probes for Imaging Zinc Metalloproteins in Cells
Speaker: Radhika Mehta
Date presented: October 23, 2020
See flyer for more details

Topic: Mitigating Exposure to Indoor Air Pollutants from Bleach and Peroxide Cleaning Events
Speaker: Daniel Blomdahl
Date presented: October 9, 2020
See flyer for more details

Topic: Wastewater-Based Epidemiology as a Tool to Detect Community-Scale COVID-19 Prevalence
Speaker: Emma Palmer
Date presented: September 25, 2020
See flyer for more details

Past Events

Topic: Merging computational material and data sciences to gain novel insights into materials reliability
Speaker: Rémi Dingreville, Sandia National Laboratories
Date: April 1, 2022
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Zoom and In-Person (ETC 2.132)
Event Flyer

Date presented: April 29, 2021

  • Eric Anslyn
    • Dr. Anslyn’s expertise is in mechanistic physical organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and recently materials chemistry. His most well-known work is on the creation of new methods for chemical sensing. He is a pioneer in the area of differential sensing, and had made contributions toward the rapid analysis of enantiomeric excess and disastereomeric excess in synthetic methodology development.
  • Deji Akinwande
    • Dr. Akinwande’s research is in chemical, gas and bio sensors using nanomaterials such as functionalized graphene and related 2D materials for state of the art performance. He is a co-inventor of a high-frequency chip-to-chip interconnect and an electrically small antenna for bio-electronics. He is one of the directors of the NASCENT ERC center at UT Austin.
  • Bo Xie
    • Dr. Xie’s research reflects her interdisciplinary training in Medicine, Psychology, and Science and Technology Studies. As such her research intersections are among aging, technology, and information. She focuses on health informatics interventions that can promote older adults’ use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health information and decision-making (i.e., e-health literacy) that may have important implications for patient-provider relationships and health outcomes. She is interested in any research that can help improve older adults’ adoption and use of technology–of any type–to access information, services, and social interaction.
  • Sandia National Labs Presentation
    • Ben Brodsky, Manager, Biological and Chemical Sensors Department
      • Dr. Brodsky manages the Biological and Chemical Sensors Department at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Biological and Chemical Sensors Department at SNL specializes in miniature sensors and sensor-based system for a variety of sensing applications including chemical, biological, and explosives. These sensors and systems can be built into wearable, handheld, UAV, or fixed/installed formats.


Join the Sensors RIG Student Committee

The Student Committee is seeking like-minded undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc researchers to help drive the Sensors RIG student activities and help plan new events, talks, and outreach. Working with the student team is a great way to develop skills in event organization, social media, branding, marketing, and industrial outreach, and connect with researchers at UT Austin and beyond!

Academic-Industry Networking Series

The Sensors RIG will be hosting a networking series in collaboration with industrial partners. The goal of the series is to increase industrial-academic engagement in addressing real-world challenges in sensor development.

See more below...