William C Tang

picture of William C Tang

Associate Dean for Research
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Professor, Biomedical Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1990, EECS

Phone: (949) 824-1895
Fax: (949) 824-7966
Email: william.c.tang@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
5200 Engineering Hall
Mail Code: 2700
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
MEMS, cellular biomechanics, micro implants
Academic Distinctions
William C. Tang received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, 1982, and 1990, respectively. His seminal thesis work on the electrostatic comb drive has become a crucial building block for many microactuator and microsensor research in the field. Since his graduation, he continued his contribution to the MEMS field first in the automotive industry as a Research Senior at Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan, and as the Sensor Research Manager at Ford Microelectronics, Inc., in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1996, he joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he was the Supervisor of the MEMS Technology Group, leading the pursuit of MEMS technology for space applications. In July 1999, he assumed the responsibilities as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He took over the MEMS and Micro Power Generation programs, and established new programs in Nano Mechanical Array Signal Processors and Chip-Scale Atomic Clock. Since July 2002, Dr. Tang has been on faculty as a professor with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, with a joint appointment at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Between July 2003 and June 2005, he served as the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education of the Biomedical Engineering Department. From July 2005 to June 2006, and again from July 2009 to June 2010, he was appointed Interim Chair for the Department. Since March 2008, he has been serving as the Associate Dean for Research in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. His current research interests are in micro- and nano-scale technologies for wireless medical implants, micro biomechanics, microfabrication technologies, and micro-scale navigation systems. He is actively involved in international research and development activities through his roles as member or chair of organizing committees of international technical conferences, member of scientific advisory committee for research institute oversea, and efforts to promote international collaborations as the Associate Dean for Research. Including the patent on electrostatic comb-drive actuator, Dr. Tang was awarded four U. S. patents, one provisional patent, and one patent pending on MEMS designs and technologies. He is the author and co-author for over sixty conference and refereed papers in the MEMS field, and is frequently invited to speak in seminars and workshops. Dr. Tang is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow and Chartered Physicist with the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Research Abstract
The Microbiomechanics Laboratory aims at studying biological systems at the micro- and nano-scales with mechanically-derived modalities. In traditional biomechanics, the human body is viewed as an intricate collection of interacting mechanical structures and systems that exhibit both static and dynamic mechanical behaviors. These studies are usually confined to the level of the entire organisms, physiological subsystems, or individual organs. The rapid advances in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technologies offer a set of powerful tools that allows studying biomechanics at the micro scale. This will shed lights on the finer details of biomechanics, and may uncover fundamental knowledge of the origin of mechanical behaviors in living organisms.
We develop devices and platforms that enable both in-vitro and in-vivo studies of the mechanical aspects in physiological activities involving cells, tissues, and organs. They would be suitable for interfacing and interrogating the mechanical phenomena of interest within the targeted physiological activities at the length-scales that are beyond the reach of traditional biomedical instrumentations. Our vision is that these devices and platforms will enable new research efforts to understand the significance of biomechanics at the most basic unit of life - the cell. We also envision enabling clinically-relevant applications that require accurate real-time data on the stress-strain distributions in the organs or physiological systems for investigation and diagnosis of the mechanical implications of health and diseases within the organs. We further envision leveraging the understanding in physiological phenomena researched with these tools to develop prosthetic devices to restore both sensory and motor functions that are mechanical in nature within the body.
Professional Society
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