All Ears: 5 Must-Listen Podcast Episodes for MEMS & Sensors Enthusiasts

With technology moving at breakneck speed, MEMS and sensors professionals whose job is to stay on top of industry developments must be able to find useful information—fast. Podcasts are one rich source of insight. In All Ears, I share roundups of recent podcast interviews with entrepreneurs and CEOs and episodes covering emerging technologies, breakthroughs and even the unexpected – like a MEMS pinball machine. For the seasoned MEMS and sensors professional or the curious onlooker who loves to learn, here are 5 podcast episode recommendations.  





1. – Episode 214: Tiny Sensor Problems

Christopher White (@stoneymonster) and Elecia White (@logicalelegance) host, a weekly podcast about the 5Ws of engineering. They’re both embedded software engineers by trade and their guests include everyone from entrepreneurs and makers to educators and engineers.

Tiny Sensor Problems is a good introduction for people who have little to no knowledge of MEMS sensors. Kristen Dorsey, Assistant Professor of Engineering at Smith College, provides a brief overview of MEMS and touches on the manufacturing processes, including temperature sensitivity and sensors hype over the years. You’ll learn facts about interesting MEMS applications that were created, like the pinball machine I mentioned. Dorsey also elaborates on her work in flexible strain and pressure sensors for possible applications in AR and robotics in the future.



2. NPT – Episode 4: MEMS Directional Sensors

Let’s dig deeper and learn about some of the applications for MEMS and Sensors. In this case, Erdos Miller, The Drilling Technology Podcast focuses on an extreme niche: oil and gas drilling technology. Ken Miller and David Erdos make up two of the engineering, developers and architect team at Erdos Miller that specializes in creating custom solutions for oil and gas downhole devices. Throughout the episode, they explore surveying sensors starting from the 1920s. History buffs would appreciate the stroll down memory lane and the ingenuity behind the first survey sensor, which involved a glass bottle filled with acid. Texas Instruments’ DLP technology gets a mention towards the end of the episode when micromirrors became a topic of discussion.


Early Stage

3. The Early Stage Podcast – Episode 15: Vesper – Tiny Microphones That Listen Forever

MEMS and sensors are a huge part of IoT—no doubt about it. The Early Stage Podcast captures insights from entrepreneurs into their company’s journey including their innovative approaches to developing cutting-edge technologies and overcome business and technology challenges they encounter. This episode focuses on Matt Crowley, CEO at Vesper, and how piezoelectric microphones will affect the voice interfaces as AI grows more sophisticated. Enthusiastic about the subject, John Valentine, host of the Early Stage Podcast, poses thoughtful questions and Crowley is eloquent and clearly passionate about his trade. They touch upon the race to produce the best voice interfaces for the AI ecosystem and tool kits for companies interested in voice enablement—but lacking a dedicated audio team—and looking for a simple solution.



4. IoT Podcast – Episode 155: New toys, Pi Day and insect-tracking LIDAR

Host Stacey Higginbotham, a technology journalist covering  cloud computing, data centers and IoT, joins IT expert and veteran podcaster Kevin Tofel, in a weekly conversation about IoT developments. They’re entertaining and informative with a knack for making complex concepts easily digestible.  In this episode, they discussed their thoughts on how the Broadcom/Qualcomm merger played out. While not explicitly focused on MEMS and sensors, the episode and the podcast in general touches upon overarching challenges the MEMS and sensors industry faces with security, standards, product development and applications usage. The highlight of the show included the guest of this week, Tobias Menne, global head of digital farming at Bayer AG who discusses Agriculture Technology (AgTech).


Fish Fry

5. Amelia’s Weekly Fish Fry – Silicon Stagnation: How Emerging Technologies and Non-Traditional Materials Are Changing the Future of MEMS

Hosted by visionary Amelia Dalton, this episode of Fish Fry addresses the prospect of paper and plastic displacing silicon in MEMS manufacturing. Dalton interviews A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates founder Alissa Fitzgerald about her research on the threat of waning research to  silicon sensor technology. And more importantly, they discuss its implications for the MEMS and sensor industry 10 to 20 years down the line.

Can’t get enough of MEMS? Register to listen in on MEMS and Sensors Industry Group’s free webinar, “Process Control and Root Cause Analysis for More-than Moore and Advanced IC Technologies” on April 25 at 8:00 AM PDT.

Topics: sensors , MEMS , IoT , STEM