Adjunct Professor of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering
Departmental Research Area
Integrated Circuits & Systems
Individual Research Interest
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), technology transfer, commercialization, manufacturing.
Professor Chau has over 25 years of experience in commercializing Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) products. He received his BS degree with First Class Honors from the University of Hong Kong in 1980, his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan in 1981 and 1987, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. He invented the “Dissolved Wafer Process” during his doctoral research, which later found commercialization at Ford Microelectronics, Inc. (for accelerometers), Draper Laboratory/Rockwell/Honeywell (for gyroscopes), and ISSYS (for pressure and flow sensors). It was the educational MEMS process of choice for the Integrated Microsystems Laboratory Course at the University of Michigan for around a decade.
Professor Chau became the first MEMS PhD hired at Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) in 1992. He was pivotal in overcoming early technical hurdles, which subsequently led to the successful release of the ADXL50, the world’s first integrated surface-micromachined accelerometer. For the next 14 years at ADI, he continued to play key technical and managerial roles in MEMS development and oversaw the proliferation of high volume accelerometer products ranging from airbag crash sensors for automobiles to motion sensors for consumer electronics products like the Nintendo Wii, with over 250 million units shipped by 2006. He served as Symposium and Conference Chair for the SPIE Symposium on Micromachining and Microfabrication for 8 consecutive years and has been granted 16 US patents.
Due to an insatiable desire for knowledge, Professor Chau turned to computer music and received the MA degree in Music, Science, and Technology from Stanford University in 2013.