Sensors Expo 2010 – Day 2

Contributed by Karen Lightman, managing director, MEMS Industry Group

Day two of Sensors Expo 2010 at the Rosemont Convention Center kicked off with a full tour of the expo floor. Attendance was definitely up from 2009 but in humble opinion, the quality and quantity of exhibitors was a bit lower than I expected (considering the foot traffic the show received). There were, of course, a few exceptions – namely MicroStrain (founded by Steve Arms) – a very cool Vermont-based company using sensors (and MEMS) for aerospace, military and other applications.  I’ve been watching MicroStrain for some time and it’s great to see them doing so well.

What was most fun for me was visiting the MIG member companies who were in attendance at Sensors Expo Chicago – both as exhibitors and visitors. Walking the floor gave me an opportunity to connect with old friends (like Rick Russell who is now with Merit Sensors) as well as new folks like Darron Collins, Ronny Weum and Soheil Habibi at Sensonor; as well as a whole slew of folks from GE Sensing (too many to list here!) . I truly enjoyed doing “on the spot” video interviews with a few MIG members, including Eric Eisenhut of Kionix; Ariel Cao of Tronics; and Rob Andosca of microGen Systems – all of which you can see at the bottom of this post.

The show was organized into a few breakouts: energy harvesting; smart power solutions; and MEMS solutions. What was great was that nearly all of the MEMS companies in MEMS solutions are MIG members: DHarris Group, Automation & Robotics Research Institute (ARRI), microGen, softMEMS, MEMS and NanoTechnology Exchange and Tronics. The only exception was former member, Colibrys (and I hope you’ll come back!).

Beyond the exhibitors I caught up with several MIG members including Donna Sandfox of OMRON who updated me on the über-cool MEMS pressure sensors that they are working on (stay tuned – announcements are imminent!) for medical and other applications.

Donna and I sat in on the GE Sensing presentation by Russell Craddock and Stephen Sajben on “high performance pressure transducers technology: how to get high-stability measurements in harsh environments.” I have had the pleasure of seeing several GE presentations before and I am always impressed with the GE style/template that the presenters show. It’s clean and simple and I need to remember that mantra when I am doing my own presentations. What surprised me, though, was that in their 30 minute presentation, not ONCE did they mention the word “MEMS” – why? What are your thoughts?

And on that note, I am off to spread the love about MEMS throughout the world – next stop is Microtech Conference and Expo in Anaheim, June 22-24. I encourage you to check out the Yole Développement Special Symposia on Technology Commercialization on Tuesday, June 22 which offers an impressive lineup of MEMS companies and experts. As you can read in MIG’s latest press advisory, on June 23 I’ll be moderating a great panel of MIG members to discuss the links and kinks in the MEMS supply chain and on June 24, I’ll have the pleasure of being a panelist in Roger Grace’s symposium on MEMS based solutions and integration. If you are in attendance, I encourage you to join me for a cocktail at the Microsystem Networking Reception – Hosted by MEMS Industry Group (MIG) & Nano Science & Technology Institute (NSTI) in Room 303C. Cheers!

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