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Laura Comella is a new research group leader at livMatS
The electrical engineer is developing sensor cells that are distributed in materials systems and act as a communicating network
Dr. Laura Comella started as a junior research group leader within the Agnes Pockels junior research group program at the livMatS cluster in February 2023. The program aims to increase the number of female researchers at the junior research group level and provide excellent female scientists with the means and room to establish their own group in an interdisciplinary environment.
Comella is developing sensor cells that are distributed in materials systems as a communicating network and function in a similar way to the nervous system of living beings. The sensor cells will be able to measure parameters in the environment and in the system itself and pass them on as information within the network so that different parts of the material communicate with each other. Comella is additionally focusing on sensor cells that gather information on the energy status of the system. Her goal is to combine these cells with an energy storage unit that is thus aware of its energy status. With this unit and sensor cells, material systems could be created that only react to external stimuli when their available energy is sufficient.
Comella studied electrical engineering at the University of Palermo in Italy and started her scientific career as research assistant at Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart. Here she worked, among others topics, on the development of capacitive sensors for micro-hydraulic drives, which resulted in her PhD degree in 2019 from the University of Stuttgart. From 2017, she worked as a project leader for a battery management systems company before moving to the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg as a group leader in 2019.