This report examines design considerations in one of the most promising new areas of engineering – Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Designing and optimizing MEMS devices involves unique challenges, including analyzing the inter- dependent physical phenomena to which MEMS devices are sensitive and working with small-scale geometry. A discussion of the necessary steps to model a MEMS micro-heater for an automotive gas sensor array that can withstand high temperatures is presented in this article.

This work was a collaborative effort between Walied Moussa, Ph.D., of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and ALGOR, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA. To obtain a copy of the report, “MEMS Design Optimization with FEA,” visit

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2002 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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