Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center

The Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC) is the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center(I/UCRC), founded in 1986 as the National Science Foundation Center for Microsensors and Microactuators, and “Graduated” as a self-sufficient I/UCRC in 2008,  is devoted to interdisciplinary engineering research on micro- and nano-scale sensors, moving mechanical elements, microfluidics, materials, and processes that take advantage of progress made in integrated-circuit, bio, and polymer technologies. BSAC is perennially the top University-based MEMS/Microtechnology research center in peer rankings (Small Times Magazine).

BSAC has produced over 1,115 publications; including 168 Ph.D. dissertations (see for a nearly complete list).  Currently, 13 faculty co-directors, along with about 40 PostDocs and more than 150 graduate researchers. 

Complete searchable HTML list of 100+ current BSAC projects, titles, abstracts are available at

Benefits to Industrial Partners:  Participation in the Center provides Industrial Members (partners) with access to wide-ranging research from the best and brightest researchers in a University with worldwide recognition.  Members see Center research at an early stage for a timely view of new developments before publication. Extensive formal research reviews are conducted on-campus twice per year, in March and September and once per year in Japan and Europe, specifically for Industrial Members.  Members, through the Industrial Advisory Board, influence the directions taken in the research and policies of the consortium.  Members can obtain exclusive or non-exclusive, royalty-bearing rights to inventions made in the Center prior to any non-member disclosures or licensing.  Member organizations can nominate researchers to be seminar speakers and medium-term Center visitors.  Industrial funding for the Center has been granted full DoD IR&D status.  Industrial Members are invited to special presentations of research at the Center. Relationships formed among Industrial Members, faculty, and researchers tend to persist throughout developers’ and researchers’ careers, creating subtle but lasting organizational value to members and graduates. Contact with graduate students in training can lead to hiring for internship and/or long-term positions. Nearly 50% of BSAC PhD graduates take, at graduation or thereafter, positions with BSAC Industrial Member companies or Laboratories. No single Industrial Member is likely to establish the high risk, high reward multi-project environment available through the research consortium. BSAC research has spawned new businesses or divisions for its members and new start-ups from among its researchers.   More information at

BSAC welcomes inquiries from technology-based companies interested in participating in our research consortium as industrial members, and from top students seeking advanced degrees in our specialties.

Staff contact
Mailing address

656 Sutardja Dai Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1764