Keynote Speakers

Professor Kiyoshi Toko

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"Biochemical Sensors for Mimicking Gustatory and Olfactory Senses"

Dr. Toko is a Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University, and a dean for 2008-2011. He received his PhD from Kyushu University in the study of self-organization in biomembranes and biological systems. He continued this work during a period as Research Associate and Associate Professor in the same laboratory. During that time he proposed a concept "to measure the taste" and succeeded in developing the first-ever taste sensor using lipid membranes, i.e. the electronic tongue. At present, this taste sensor is sold commercially in Japan and all over the world. He is now one of the leading scientists in the field of bioelectronics, which deals with devices and phenomena related to both electronics and biology. He has published more than 500 papers in well-respected journals on the subject of taste and odor sensors and the application of lipid membranes. He has directed and continues several government projects in food, nanotechnology, and integrated sensing technology using biosensors and the taste/odor sensor. Due to these results, he won many prizes such as Prize for Science and Technology (MEXT), Fire Defense Agency Commendation Encouragement Prize, Japan Society of Applied Physics Fellow Commendation, Momofuku Ando Prize, Harushige Inoue Prize (JST) and Tateishi Prize. His research results are frequently on air in TV broadcast. He is a member of professional associations of applied physics, taste and smell, membrane, food science and technology, and electrical engineering, and is an Editor of an international journal, Sensors and Materials.


Professor Gian-Luca Bona

"Material Challenges and Opportunities for Sensor Applications"

Gian-Luca Bona studied physics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he received a Ph.D. degree in 1987 for his investigations of surface magnetic structures with short pulsed laser excitation. Subsequently, he joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory and first conducted research in optical sampling of ultra-fast opto-electronic devices and later shifted his focus to the design and characterization of intense, high-speed quantum-well semiconductor lasers. In 1994, he initiated work on integrated optical devices with high index contrast which led to a series of reconfigurable planar lightwave circuits and later on expanded to photonic bandgap concepts for high speed interconnects in computer applications. From 2004 to 2008, he led as department group manager the Science & Technology function in the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA, with a strong focus on advanced materials for the next generation semiconductor industry as well as on expanding CMOS fabrication methods and on the development of nonvolatile memory devices. From mid 2008 until mid 2009, he was director Tape Storage Solutions in the IBM Systems and Technology Group, located in Tucson, AZ and responsible for the development of magnetic tape media, heads and tape drives as well as storage subsystems which include tape automation, interconnects and controllers. Gian-Luca Bona is currently CEO of EMPA the Swiss Materials Science & Technology Laboratory and Professor for Photonics at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology ETH & EPFL. His personal scientific interest focuses on photonic materials and its testing for novel applications such as for communication, interconnects and sensors.


Professor Khalil Najafi

"Biomimetic Hair Sensors: Utilizing the Third Dimension"

Khalil Najafi is the Schlumberger Professor of Engineering and the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Michigan.  He served as the Director of the Solid-State Electronics Laboratory from 1998-2005, has been the director of NSF’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) since 2004, and served as the deputy director of the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Wireless Integrated Microsystems (WIMS) from 2000-2008.  He received the B.S., M.S., and the Ph.D. degree in 1980, 1981, and 1986 respectively, all in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan.  His research interests include: micromachining technologies, micromachined sensors, actuators, and MEMS; analog integrated circuits; microsystems and micromachined sensors and actuators for biomedical applications; hermetic and vacuum packaging technologies; and low-power wireless sensing/actuating systems.  Dr. Najafi has been active in the field of solid-state sensors and actuators for thirty years.  He has been involved in several conferences and workshops dealing with micro sensors, actuators, and microsystems, including the International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators, the Hilton-Head Solid-State Sensors and Actuators Workshop, and the IEEE/ASME Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) Conference.  He has served as associate editor or editor of several journals, including IEEE J. of Micro Electromechanical Systems (JMEMS), J. of Micromechanics & Microengineering, J. of Sensors and Materials, IEEE J. of Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Trans. on Electron Devices, and IEEE Trans. Biomedical Engineering.  He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the AIBME.