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Joseph Andrews
February 9, 2024

Faculty Focus: Joseph Andrews

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Assistant Professor Joseph Andrews is jointly appointed in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He leads the Laboratory for Printed Electronics and Sensors (LPES) at UW-Madison. His lab focuses on developing new printed electronic devices for interdisciplinary sensing applications. Novel electronic sensors are needed to usher in the coming age of more personalized medicine, data-driven diagnostics, and the “Internet of Things”. The inherit low-cost and flexibility associated with the fabrication technique motivates the use of printing for electronic sensors. The LPES takes a holistic approach to the invention and design of electronic sensors with multiple layers of emphasis including ink development, sensor design, and device validation. The impact of their work will manifest itself in many areas including biomedical research, “smart” objects, and wearable sensors.

View Prof. Andrews’ faculty research video feature >>

Mechanical Engineering Research – Joseph Andrews


What one project are you most excited about working on right now?

I am most excited about our recent deployment of a soil nitrate detection system. The system uses printed electrochemical nitrate sensors, and allows for multi-depth measurements of nitrate, moisture, and temperature. We were able to deploy one system this past summer at UW-Madison’s agricultural research station in Hancock, Wisconsin and plan to deploy 40 sensors this upcoming year.

What do you think the impact will be on tech and society?

The sensors allow for a direct measurement of a process called nitrate leaching. This is a phenomenon where nitrate leaches out of soil and into groundwater. This type of pollution is dangerous for individuals that rely on well water for drinking and is harmful for the environment. Our sensing systems allow for more informed nutrient management to help mitigate these negative effects.

Learn more via Prof. Andrews’ research lab website.