Alexander C. Benken
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering – MEMS – May 2019
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
MEng Electrical Engineering – May 2014
BS Electrical Engineering – August 2013
Ph.D. Research, Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF), University of Michigan
Harsh Environment Wireless Pressure Sensor
Refined a microfabrication process flow to be used as a prototyping platform for lower-cost creation of MEMS devices. Research focused on creating a robust, high-yield process flow allowing for multiple devices to be simultaneously fabricated. Example devices fabricated include self-sealed pressure sensors for harsh environments, device-level packaged RF switches, geolocation hydrophone arrays, and a wireless device for short range communication with inductive coupling.
Research Assistant, Micro-Nano Technology Center, Speed School of Engineering, ECE Department
Germanium on Silicon Integrated Photodiode
Developed processes in a cleanroom environment to study the variation of electrical properties and viable etchants on electron beam (e-beam) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) deposited germanium (Ge) thin films on silicon substrates. Successfully developed methods for processing and etching these thin films. These findings were published in the SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics) Proceedings in October 2014. This data was then used to develop and fabricate a Ge-based photo-diode on a silicon substrate for complete integrated circuit integration with communication technology.
MEMS Bistable Temperature Sensor
Lead a team of two electrical engineering students to design and develop a miniaturized commercial bistable temperature sensor by using MEMS technology. Fabrication duties included photolithographic process development, deposition of thin films, and polymer bonding. Project was successful and resulted in a follow-on contract from the customer (Raytheon). Project documentation included creation of System Requirements and Spec Documents for customer.
Analog Integrated Circuit Design and Testing
Studied design processes and layout techniques of analog integrated circuits, culminating in the design of a temperature-independent bandgap voltage reference and regulator. After the voltage regulator was designed and tested in SPICE, it was laid out in L-Edit, where all components were created from scratch. The design was fabricated by MOSIS and found to be successful when tested.
Piezoresistive Pressure-Sensor Process Development
Studied microfabrication techniques and design software for creating MEMS devices. A piezoresistive pressure sensor was fabricated in the Louisville MNTC Cleanroom. The device was then diced, packaged and successfully tested.
Fall 2010 - Fall 2013
DoE Solar Decathlon House
Lead a team of five junior and senior level electrical engineers to design all electrical requirements of a low-cost, solar-powered disaster relief housing option. Competed against international teams in the DoE Solar competition in Irvine, CA in fall of 2013.
Tanner L-Edit, LVS, SPICE, MATLAB, COMSOL, HFSS, C and Assembly Language
ACTIVITIES and HONORS
Published Paper on Germanium Etching Techniques and Photo-diode Research
Valedictorian of the Speed School of Engineering Graduate and Undergraduate Classes
Full Tuition Scholarship for Undergraduate and Graduate Education