Dr. Ronald Polcawich joined DARPA as a Program Manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in August 2017. His research interests include advanced materials processing, micromechanics for small-scale robotics, device designs, and miniaturized position, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems.
Dr. Polcawich is currently on detail to DARPA from the Micro and Nano Materials and Devices Branch of the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), in Adelphi, MD. At ARL, Dr. Polcawich served as the team leader for PiezoMEMS Technology with a focus on developing component technologies for cognitive radio frequency (RF) communication and radar systems and for MEMS inertial sensors, which are important for position, navigation, and timing (PNT) solutions for where size, weight, power and cost factors need to be minimized. His research activities at ARL included materials processing of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films, MEMS fabrication, RF MEMS components, MEMS actuator technologies, mm-scale robotics, MEMS inertial sensors, and sensors for aiding inertial systems.
Dr. Polcawich currently holds 16 patents, has authored over 100 journal and proceedings articles, and has written three book chapters on fabrication and design of piezoelectric MEMS devices using PZT thin films. Dr. Polcawich and his colleagues were the recipients of the 2006 Department of the Army Research and Development Achievement Award for their work on piezoelectric RF MEMS switches and the 2009 US Army Research Laboratory Engineering Award for ground-breaking work on piezoelectric MEMS. Additionally, Dr. Polcawich received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and the 2015 IEEE UFFC Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award.
Dr. Polcawich received a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997, a M.S. degree in Materials from Penn State University in 1999, and a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State University in 2007.
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