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miniature microphones, based on the hearing of a tiny fly

Help for the hearing impaired

Ron Miles’ ability to turn theory into practical solutions, particularly in the area of biomimetics -- the application of methods and systems found in nature to engineering and technology -- is earning him a place of prominence among his fellow researchers, nationally and internationally.

A professor of mechanical engineering, Miles and his collaborators are developing miniature microphones, based on the hearing of a tiny fly. His work with Ron Hoy (Cornell), Daniel Robert (University of Bristol) and Andrew Mason (University of Toronto) led to the discovery of a highly innovative mechanism for directional hearing in the fly, Ormia ochracea. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, he is currently developing directional microphones for hearing aids inspired by Ormia’s ears.

Miles has published over 70 scholarly articles and has received the University and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching; the Research Foundation’s Outstanding Inventor Award; the Chancellor's Award for Research in Science, Engineering and Medicine; the Research Foundation’s Innovation, Creation and Discovery Award; and the Research Foundation’s 2005 First Patent Award. Miles teaches in the areas of vibrations, dynamics and acoustics.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08