PhD University of Waterloo
Phone: (607) 777-5315
FAX: (607) 777-4620
Teaching/Research Focus: MEMS, Mechanical Vibration, linear and nonlinear dynamics, control systems, opto-electro-mechanical systems.
Dr. Towfighian earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechanical engineering from Amirkabir
University of Technology (Iran), and Ryerson University (Canada), respectively. She
received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo (Canada)
in 2011. Her PhD project was focused on extending the operation range of micro-electrostatic
actuators using a closed loop voltage control system. Achieving quasi-static stable
displacement up to 90% of the capacitor gap as a result of her research, can enhance
the performance of theses actuators in many applications such as programmable optical
filters for real time monitoring of gas species. Her research involved developing
an analytical model for the closed loop electrostatic actuator and verifying simulation
responses with experimental results. The results of this research study were published
in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. As part of her PhD thesis,
she also investigated the nonlinear dynamic behavior of the closed loop electrostatic
actuator including bi-stability and chaotic responses that find applications in wireless
communication devices and ultra-sensitive mass sensors. Her research results were
published in Nonlinear Dynamics and Journal of computational and Nonlinear Dynamics.
She also pursued her one year postdoctoral fellowship at Ryerson University and University
of Toronto and developed an auto-focusing module for cell phone cameras using Micro-Electro-Mechanical
System (MEMS) actuators. She modified the design of a repulsive MEMS actuator for
low-voltage applications in cell phones and designed an optical system to use a MEMS
mirror for auto-focusing. Dr. Towfighian has been the recipient of highly competitive
awards and scholarships in Canada including NSERC postgraduate scholarship, OGS, and
MITACS postdoctoral fellowship.
She joined the department of Mechanical Engineering at Binghamton University in 2013. Her research is focused on developing analytical models and experimental verifications of MEMS to thoroughly investigate their linear and nonlinear dynamic responses. A comprehensive model is then used to improve MEMS performance for applications in energy harvesting, endoscopes, and biosensors.