Optically Chopped PIR Sensor for Occupancy Detection by Dr. Ya Wang

Date: 03/27/2018

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Special Collections Seminar Room


University Libraries Presents The STEM Speaker Series

“Optically Chopped PIR Sensor for Occupancy Detection”

by Dr. Ya Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering


Passive infrared (PIR) sensors are the current choice for occupancy presence detection in buildings. The sensors are popularly used for controlling lighting, heating and cooling based on occupancy. A major problem is that these PIR sensors only detect individuals who are moving, which may provide false negative detections and inaccurate occupancy estimation, resulting in uncomfortable lighting/temperature swings, short lifetime of the equipment, and waste of energy. To address this issue, this talk presents a new type optically chopped PIR sensor, equipped with an electronic shutter and machine learning technologies that enable fast and accurate occupancy detection including individuals who are stationary.


Currently, the heating and cooling of buildings generates about 13% of the U.S. domestic greenhouse gas emissions and consumes about 40% of the energy used in a typical U.S. residence, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. When fully implemented, this technology can potentially reduce these emissions by two percentage points. Moreover, this technology can help U.S. businesses and residences eventually reduce reliance on tightly controlled building environments, thus enabling radical and sustainable architecture in next generation energy efficient building designs.



Dr. Ya Wang is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the State University of New York, Stony Brook (2013 – date). Before then, she was a Postdoc research fellow at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. (2007 – 2012) in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Dr. Wang is active in research involving dynamic properties of smart materials, applied to energy harvesting, sensing and control. Her work has been sponsored by NSF, DOE ARPA-E, DOD ONR, DOT UTRC, and local industrials. Dr. Wang was awarded 2015 Special Congressional Recognition, and 2015 DOE Wave Energy Prize. She is also advisor to Six Semi-finalists of Intel/Regeneron Science Talent Search. She has authored 1 book chapter, 27 journal papers and 30 conference proceeding papers and filed 1 U.S. utility patent, and 5 provisional patents. She is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Mechanical Systems Engineering. She is a member of ASME, SPIE, AIAA and IEEE, the conference symposium chair of 2018 ASME SAMSIS, and the technical committee member of ASME SMASIS, and SPIE NDE/smart structures.


Clara Tran

Clara Tran

Clara is the liaison to the Department of Chemistry, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Women in Science and Engineering program.
Email: yuet.tran@stonybrook.edu
Clara Tran
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