MEMS Design and Application, Course No: ME/EE-685


(Spring 2004) – San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

Course Description:

Micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMS, is an emerging area with applications to a variety of engineering fields such as aerospace, mechanical, electrical, communications and bioengineering. This course concentrates in discussing the process, manufacturing (fab), materials, design, layout and simulation issues in MEMS. The course work is complemented with a comprehensive group design project and a review paper of a MEMS technology of the student’s choice. The course contents is prepared for a diverse student body of mechanical, electrical and bioengineering graduate students.

Course Objectives: 

The objectives of this course are:

  • to teach critical thinking in microengineering process, materials and design issues,

  • to build an understanding of microscale physics for use in designing MEMS applications,

  • review current MEMS, RFMEMS and BioMEMS applications,

  • use the above knowledge to design and fab (when possible) novel MEMS/BioMEMS/RF MEMS applications as part of a group project.

This is a graduate level course open to aerospace, electrical, mechanical and bioengineering students.

Visits to Local Fabs and Companies:

  • Class 1000 Clean-room at UCI's INRF (Integrated Nanosytems Research Facility)

  • Nanogen

  • Hughes Network Systems

  • Marc Madou's BioMEMS Lab & GP Li & Franco De Flaviis RF Lab @ UCI.

Guest Lectures:

  • Dr. Dalibor Hodko - Director of Advanced Technology at Nanogen. Topic: DNA Arrays: From Molecular Diagnostics to Nanobiotechnology Applications.

  • Dr. Hector de Los Santos of NanoMEMS LCC, also author of "RF MEMS Circuit Design for Wireless Applications". Topic: Introduction to RF MEMS for Wireless Applications.

Layout and Simulation Software:

For this MEMS design class, we will make extensive use of the CoventorWare Suite of MEMS software. We have a license for 15 simultaneous users. The software is installed on all the Dell GX110 machines in Room 221 (Computing Lab) in Engineering Building. CoventorWare will be used for homework layout problems and the final design project. 

MEMS Lab (Cleanroom)

For some of the soft lithography and microfluidics projects, we will consider using UCI's INRF cleanroom.

Lecture Materials:

All lecture materials, articles, homeworks, and class announcements are available on SDSU's Blackboard Web Portal.

Text Book

Stephen D. Senturia, Microsystem Design , Kluwer 2000, ISBN 0-7923-7246-8.

Grading and Assignments:

Final Design Project - 40%
Mid-Term - 30%
Research Review Paper - 15%
Howe works - 15%.


Dr. Kassegne is a visiting scientist in Mechanical Engineering at the Henri Samueli School of Engineering of UC Irvine where he conducts research in the areas of microarrays, microfluidics, sensors and actuators for applications in the life sciences and next generation lithography. He has taught several courses in FEA, computational modeling, mechanical design, and MEMS and has over ten years of industrial experience.

E-mail:         samk at digitaladdis at com
Web-site:      All instruction materials & announcements on BLACKBOARD.
Telephone:     760-402-7162 [cell]

Shown above are some pictures from Design Project presentations and tour of the Class 1000 Cleanroom & Anechoic Chamber (RF Lab) at UCI's Integrated Nanosystem's Research Facility (INRF).

Highlights of ME685 Group Projects:

  1. DC Contact Series RF Switch - 3 students
  2. Integrated Drug Delivery System with Glucose Sensor - 4 students.
  3. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) micro-pump - 4 students.
  4. Positive displacement Micro-pump - 4 students.
  5. 3D Accelerometer - 3 students.
  6. Inkjet Dispenser - 4 students.