In the vast and timely field of energy-related research, scientists and engineers are focusing their efforts on developing efficient energy sources for self-powered devices.

Plans are underway to bring academic researchers and industrial researchers from leading industries, national labs, and defense agencies to Virginia Tech from Jan. 28-29 to discuss current challenges and set future goals for the application of energy harvesting.

Set to be the world's largest workshop on energy harvesting, the event is being organized by Shashank Priya, associate professor at Virginia Tech's Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, and will take place at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

"We hope the workshop leads to quality scientific exchanges, networking of researchers with industry and program managers, and identification of new applications," says Priya.

Presentations will focus on vibration, thermal, magnetic, and light energy harvesting, including in-depth coverage of strategies and design criterion for efficient harvesters. Various applications such as structural health monitoring, wireless sensor networks, and unmanned vehicles will be discussed.

As the lead institution for the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems, Virginia Tech is dedicated to solving the power source challenges of sensor networks, wireless communications, and microelectronics. Harvesting energy from environmental sources such as light, temperature gradients, wind, and vibrations are some of the areas being explored for future energy generation.

The event is endorsed by the electronics division of the American Ceramics Society.

Find more information about the Jan. 28-29 workshop and online registration. Registration deadline is Dec. 15, 2008, with an early registration discount available until Dec. 1.