Sunday, October 18, 2015

We need revolution in the sensor community

A pet peeve of mine is engineers in academia developing technology that has zero practical application. I'm fine when scientists do it and I encourage them to keep doing it, but engineers need to stop. This is particularly a problem among people that develop sensors. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO MAKE MORE SENSIVITE SENSORS THAT HAVE NO SELECTIVITY. After tenure I'm going to start writing perspective articles trashing all of the sensor papers that only measure control samples under ideal conditions. Electrical engineers are the worst offenders. They get their crap published in Science because their technology is filled with buzzwords like graphene, plasmonics, and single-molecule. This type of research is getting more and more expensive and yet provides no return on investment. I have several EE colleagues that are well-funded through the NSF and especially through the DoD to make this crap and then they go around campus asking faculty in other departments if they might have a use for this technology. NO, THERE IS NO PRACTICAL USE FOR YOUR SENSOR THAT MEASURES A 0.0000001% CHANGE OF A PHYSICAL PROPERTY. Sure it can measure the wind generated by a fart three blocks away, but it will only work in outer space. Studying the mating habits of calling ducks is 100000X more practical than what you folks are doing.