He Once Turned Clay Pots into Acoustic Speakers. Now He Makes Smart Sensors For Health Applications.

Srinivas Tadigadapa recalls that he was “quite the tinkerer” when he was a child growing up in New Delhi.

He was fascinated by the inner workings of electronics and appliances, he says, and once opened up an iron to explore its heating system. On another occasion, he found a creative way to crank up the volume of music at home.

“We had these clay pots to keep water cool,” Tadigadapa says. “I realized that one of the openings in the pot perfectly fit one of my speakers. So I placed my speaker in there, and the amount of bass you could get out of this structure was amazing.”

Tadigadapa, who joined Northeastern in January as professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, remains driven by an insatiable curiosity. His research lies at the forefront of the interdisciplinary field of microelectromechanical systems, with a particular focus on developing micro and nanoscale sensors and sensing systems.

“I’ve worked in many areas of sensors over the past 20 years,” he says. “Now the advent of the internet of things has made this work even more relevant because sensors are the baseline acquiring data for everything.”

At Northeastern, Tadigadapa is designing smart sensors that could help doctors better monitor the brain’s electrical activity in patients with epilepsy.

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