Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Ubiquitous Wireless Power for a Healthy World (POWERHEALTH)

  • Kiani, Mehdi (PI)
  • Popovic, Zoya Z. (CoPI)
  • Arnold, David D.P. (CoPI)
  • Serrano, Guillermo G.J. (CoPI)
  • Avestruz, Al-thaddeus A.-T. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Planning Grants for Engineering Research Centers competition was run as a pilot solicitation within the ERC program. Planning grants are not required as part of the full ERC competition, but intended to build capacity among teams to plan for convergent, center-scale engineering research.

This award supports a planning grant for an Engineering Research Center (ERC) to create a 'Healthy World' by providing ubiquitous wireless power technologies for a wide range of applications that involve monitoring and improving health from humans to animals, plants and infrastructure. This potential ERC would provide foundational technologies required for wireless power transfer to implantable/wearable medical devices and other internet-connected devices. Although electronic design and manufacturing have enabled incredible advances across these fields, the methods for powering such devices have not seen similar progress. The center would create the environment for developing these technologies by providing transformative technical advancements. The planning team consists of faculty with the necessary expertise in materials, health, and engineering across five institutions-Penn State, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Colorado Boulder, and University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. Penn State will lead the planning team providing leadership in developing the technology roadmap and testbeds.

This planning grant for the proposed Engineering Research Center will support the research and education team building necessary to address challenges and identify opportunities. The ultimate goal of the planning activities will be to identify the industrial base, technology roadmap, technology barriers, regulations and standards, commercialization partners, and intellectual property for the targeted health-relevant wireless power transfer space. A multidisciplinary engineering team will be formed to address known technology barriers, such as tunable components (inductors, capacitors) and circuits that address variability, beam focusing, understanding of human-in-the-loop wireless power transfer, health safety, and human-behavior affecting technology adoption, as well as others identified during the planning workshop and industrial visits. The team will implement a 3-tier approach to meet the necessary translational requirements for widespread wireless power transfer implementation, including efficiency, power density, safety, function and distance. Throughout the program, emphasis will be on understanding the current barriers to develop fundamental solutions that provide transformative impact.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/22


  • National Science Foundation: $100,000.00


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