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Elisabeth SmelaDr. Elisabeth Smela

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Room 2112 Glenn L. Martin Hall (Building 088)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742  USA

Brief Biography

  • Research Scientist, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Senior Scientist, Risø National Laboratory, Denmark
  • Vice President of Research and Development, Santa Fe Science and
    Technology, Inc. (SFST), New Mexico
  • since 2000, University of Maryland
  • in 2017-18, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, and Equity Officer


  • BS, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Honors and Awards

  • Jefferson Science Fellow, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), Office of Multilateral Affairs (MLA), 2018-19
  • Woman of Influence, the President's Commission on Women's Issues, University of Maryland, 2019
  • EAPromising European Researcher Award from the European Society for Electromechanically Active Polymer Transducers & Artificial Muscles (EuroEAP), 2015
  • NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
    (PECASE), 2004 (converted from CAREER award, 2003)
  • E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty, UMD, 2004
  • Outstanding Invention of 2004, Office of Technology Commercialization, UMD
    cell sensor based pathogen detection
  • DuPont Young Professor Award, 2003
  • Danish Research Councils Talent Project award, 1998
  • NSF Fellow, Summer Institute in Japan, 1991

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the use of organic materials in sensors and actuators, particularly polymer MEMS and bioMEMS.  Continuing our work on cell-based sensing, we have recently begun a significant effort in odor identification (an e-nose). Further information about our work can be found in the Publications and Research pages of this site.

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Contact Information

Phone: +1 (301) 405-5265

Fax: +1 (301) 314-9477

Email:  smela@umd.edu

Group Members

Current Members


Related Pages

Information on and for women in the Clark School.


Other women faculty in the Clark School, and the women's community.


Unofficial summary of University policies on family leave, daycare, etc.


The Greer Report, from 1988: Making a Difference for Women


Women who historically made a difference at Maryland.