Grant supports Prof Ellis' work on novel laser interferometer

September 5, 2014

ellisJonathan Ellis, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Optics, is co-PI on a recently-funded Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation.

Ellis will work with Shane Woody of InSituTec, Inc., to develop a novel laser interferometer to provide fast, portable, nanometer-level calibrations for ultra-precise motion control devices. This could be a "game changer" in chip manufacturing, large-scale measuring machines, precision robotics and other manufacturing processes that require routine calibrations to verify that process equipment meets exacting inspection and manufacturing specifications.

STTR grants are designed to help startups and small businesses undertake research and development with high technical risk but also with the potential for high commercial reward. Unlike similar Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, STTRs require a researcher at a university or other nonprofit research institution to play a significant role in the project. 

Ellis has also been named as an Associate Editor for the journal Precision Engineering -- Journal of the International Societies for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology, which is devoted to the multidisciplinary study and practice of high accuracy engineering, metrology, and manufacturing.