Esther Whang EE’23 Wins 1st-Place Undergraduate Collegiate Poster at SWE22
POSTED ON: November 8, 2022
Senior electrical engineering student, Esther Whang, won first place in the Undergraduate Collegiate Poster Competition at WE22 in Houston, Texas.
WE22 is the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology, put on annually by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The Collegiate Poster Competition emphasizes the ability to deliver visual presentations on original independent research or project. There were a total of ten finalists selected to present at WE22 and Esther took first place in the undergraduate poster contest category.
Esther’s poster highlighted the “E-Textile Origami Accordion with DIY Textile Sensors.” The research was completed alongside Cameron Tardy ChE’25, Kalvin Huang ChE’25, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Jennifer Weiser, and Professor of Mathematics and C.V. Starr Distinguished Professor of Engineering Mili Shah.
In recent years, textile sensors have gained attention for their human-computer interface (HCI) applications, especially from the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) community. However, despite the rising interest in textile sensors, minimal literature exists on DIY methods for making low-cost textile sensors. The project provides a method for developing piezo-resistive textile sensors through pyrrole polymerization, which creates sensors that retain the flexibility of the original fabric while imbuing it with piezo-resistive properties. The potential applications of the DIY textile sensor are demonstrated through the E-Textile Origami Accordion, a musical device utilizing textile sensors to capture the movement of its bellows. The project illustrates a low-cost method to develop and utilize DIY textile sensors to detect motion, opening doors for future applications such as motion capture.