Dr. Hengky Chandrahalim, an assistant professor of electrical engineering within AFIT's Graduate School of Engineering and Management, was named the 2022 award winner in the Professional Achievement Category for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). The SASE Professional Achievement Award is given to a highly-experienced, mid-career professional who has made significant discoveries, made important advances in his or her chosen career path, and is acknowledged as a leader of large initiatives. The award was presented at the SASE National Convention in Atlanta, October 6-8, 2022.
Chandrahalim’s research in microsystems engineering and nanotechnology has produced revolutionary techniques in microfabrication with the potential to address key Department of the Air Force needs and to solve large-scale societal issues related to health, environment, and communication. He has pioneered the development of two-photon nanofabrication technique to create 3D functional microsystems on virtually any substrate. This technique has enabled the realization of 3D freeform geometries that have nanometer-level precision. This technology has created breakthrough solutions for multipurpose sensing in spatially constrained applications, such as drones, fighter aircrafts, microsatellites, and autonomous under water vehicles. The originality and creativity in this line of research has resulted in seven patents and two pending patents within the last 18 months. The results of this research have been disseminated in 10 articles within the last three years and received an invited talk in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) RAPID 2021 Conference.
In addition, Chandrahalim led a research team in exploiting the unique properties of quantum dots to enable nondestructive testing of materials. Applications that can make use of this technology are non-contact testing of aircrafts, ground vehicles, and ships. The most near-term use of this technology is a new strain gauge for quality control, 3D printing, and in buildings and structures. This non-destructive, non-contact technology also has the potential to compete against another optical 2D strain-sensing technology called digital imaging correlation (DIC). At about 8% of the cost of a DIC system, this could save the U.S. Air Force approximately $32 million when buying a single system for up to 386 squadrons. The results of this study have been published in multiple venues and received serious attention from news media, such as Nanotechnology Now and IEEE Spectrum. This work also received special mention from the editor-in-chief of American Chemical Society Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Furthermore, Chandrahalim has taken an initiative to train graduate student officers from different academic departments in the Graduate School in studying novel nanoelectronic-based paints to economically and accurately identify strain on aircraft parts. The team was selected as the finalist in the Air Force Materiel Command’s 2020 Spark Tank Competition. This nanoelectronic technology enables the Department of the Air Force to quickly identify surface defects on aircraft through an easy-to-read surface map. This work attracted the attention of the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force who encouraged the team to submit a follow-on research proposal in July 2021.
The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Asian Americans in STEM to achieve their full career potential.