By Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture
PULLMAN, Wash. – Cecilia Richards has been named a 2014 fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for outstanding achievements in micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) power and small-scale engines.
She was part of a team that built one of the world’s smallest engines. It fits inside the hole of a lifesaver and is thinner than a piece of paper. The engine was called the P3, for Palouse piezoelectric power, and was radically different in design, fabrication and operation from any existing engine.
Her work has been funded by federal agencies and labs including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). She received an NSF Young Investigator Award, an NRC fellowship and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics/Gordon C. Oates Air Breathing Propulsion Award.
Richards has authored more than 120 technical papers and proceedings and holds two patents. She joined the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University in 1992. She holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Irvine and B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of British Columbia.