About Lorenzo: Professor Faraone is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FIEEE), Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE). He has published more than 250 international journal papers on his research work, and supervised more than 35 PhD student completions. He is currently Head of the Microelectronics Research Group (MRG) at The University of Western Australia (UWA). Prior to joining UWA in 1987, he worked primarily in the area of silicon CMOS-based microelectronics and non-volatile memory technology with RCA Labs in Princeton, NJ, USA. Since joining UWA he has worked on compound semiconductor materials and devices, including HgCdTe-based infrared sensor technology and MBE growth, as well as optical MEMS technologies for infrared spectroscopy and imaging applications.
About the talk: The on-farm application of near-infrared (NIR) and short-wave-infrared (SWIR) spectroscopic instruments requires that they be of lower cost, of reduced size, weight and power (SWaP), and more mechanically robust in comparison to similar bench-top based laboratory instruments. Such a field-portable sensing technology would provide hand-held, vehicle-mounted or airborne UAV-based NIR/SWIR spectroscopy on the farm, with the capability to collect real-time spectral information from multiple wavelength bands. This presentation will outline the technologies that have been developed by the Microelectronics Research Group at The University of Western Australia that have made possible what is, in essence, a spectrometer-on-a-chip. Such a technology has numerous on-farm applications, including soil analysis, fruit/produce analysis, environmental monitoring, food authentication, assessment of plant water-stress, bio-mass quantification, etc. Of particular relevance, is the use of such technologies to minimise fertilizer usage, optimise water/irrigation usage, minimise herbicide usage, optimise produce harvesting times, etc.