Pradeep Lall, MacFarlane Endowed Professor at Auburn University, left. receiving the Outstanding Sustained Contributions Award from Avram Bar-Cohen, President of IEEE Electronic Packaging Society at ECTC 2018 in San Diego.
Pradeep Lall, MacFarlane Endowed Professor in department of mechanical engineering, is the 2018 recipient of the IEEE’s outstanding Sustained Technical Contributions Award for outstanding sustained contributions to the design, reliability and prognostics for harsh environment electronics systems.
The award recognized Lall’s seminal contributions to the field of harsh environment electronics. Lall is widely credited with the development of leading indicators of failure for prognostics health management of electronic systems to allow for early identification of faults that may impair system operation. Lall is the author and co-author of over 500 journal and conference papers in the field of electronics reliability, safety, energy efficiency, and survivability.
“This award is recognition of Dr. Lall’s international reputation and the impact of his contributions to state-of-the-art innovation,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “His work has positioned Auburn Engineering to be a leader in harsh environment electronics.”
“Electronics is pervasive in today’s consumer products and many of the functions are safety critical”, Lall said. “Take present day automobiles — electronics enables much of the safety critical circuitry in present-day cars,” Lall said. “Examples include lane-departure warning systems, collision avoidance systems and park and drive assist systems. Given the level of criticality and the need for continued reliable operation, it is important that problems be identified much prior to catastrophic failure. Much of the electronics resides under the hood of the automobile where temperatures and vibration loads are very high. Ensuring survivability for sustained operation of electronics is a continuing evolving challenge with the miniaturization of electronics.”
Lall joined the Auburn faculty in 2002 after a distinguished industry career at Motorola, where he worked on the development and manufacture of wireless products such as cellphones and two-way radios.
Lall is a fellow of the IEEE. The award was conferred at the IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), a premier international event attended by more than 1,700 attendees in San Diego in May. Lall received $3,000 and a certificate for his achievements. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.
Lall is also a member of the Technical Council and Governing Council of NextFlex and is director of the NSF Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics at Auburn University. He has previously been recognized by the National Science Foundations-IUCRC’s Schwarzkopf Prize for Technology Innovation in 2016. Lall is the recipient of The Alabama Academy of Science Wright A. Gardener Award, the IEEE Exceptional Technical Achievement Award, ASME-EPPD Applied Mechanics Award, SMTA’s Member of Technical Distinction Award, Auburn University’s Creative Research and Scholarship Award, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Senior Faculty Research Award, and 20 best paper awards at national and international conferences.
Auburn University’s Flexible Biometric Band was featured at the NextFlex Innovation Day on Aug 9th, 2018 in San Jose, CA. The intended application for the band is for operators working on the inspection and maintenance on aircraft fuel tanks. The fuel tanks are small, confined spaces in the aircraft, which reside in the fuselage and inside the wings of the aircraft. Inspection and maintenance operations require the operators to climb inside the confined space of the fuel tanks. Oxygen levels in a confined space may become depleted due to oxidation or depletion by another gas. The typical concentration of oxygen in the environment is 20.9 percent. When oxygen levels drop from 19.5 percent to 12 percent, judgment is impaired and personnel may experience an increased pulse and fatigue. If levels drop further, from 12 percent to 6 percent, fatigue, nausea and vomiting will occur. A dual-use aspect of the technology may include the following applications: monitoring of vitals of workers in high-heat environments to determine when workers need to come out of the heat before the effects of heat stress become a physical risk factor and monitoring of an individual worker in a hazardous environment
The multi-sensor biomedical band will be worn by the operator working in a confined space and it’s multiple sensors will measure for the loss of blood oxygenation resulting from depletion of oxygen in the environment in the fuel tank, abrupt changes in the pulse rate resulting from anxiety or claustrophobia, loss of consciousness, myocardial infarction, stroke, bradycardia or
aneurysm. Additional sensors can be added if needed to address a broader range of medical conditions. The raw data from the sensors is gathered by the embedded microcontroller on the wearable band through the GPIO and transmitted via the Bluetooth sensor on the USART port of the microcontroller to the paired smartphone. The LifeSaver App is installed on the smartphone and receives the transmitted data via the Bluetooth module and processes the data checking for imminent danger to the operator. If the status is OK, the app continues to monitor silently. However, if the operator is in imminent danger, or in need of medical attention, the app autonomously contacts emergency medical services with the GPS location of the operator and details the condition of the operator and the nature of the medical condition.