William Robbins

Professor William Robbins

William Robbins

Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Kenneth H. Keller Hall
200 Union Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Ph.D., EE, 1971, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States
M.S., EE, 1965, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
B.S., EE, 1963, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States

Professional Background

Energy harvesting, power semiconductor devices; ultrasonics, sensors; MEMs

Research Interests

My research interests are listed above under the areas of expertise. These interests overlap each other to a significant degree.

Research in energy harvesting to generate modest amounts of electricity includes the use of flexible piezoelectric materials flapping in the wind and mechanical deformation of dielectric elastomers. Surface acoustic wave device interests center around the development of modestly tunable SAW devices utilizing the delta-E effect in magnetostrictive materials.

A colleague and I have been developing a novel and modern curriculum in electric energy systems. This includes topics of power electronics, power systems, and electric drives. A substantial effort in  dissemination of this curriculum has been developed over the past several years  including week-long intensive workshops for U.S. faculty teaching these topics.

Teaching Subjects
EE 4982V Senior Honors Project
EE 4981H Senior Honors Project
EE 3115 Analog Electronics
EE 3005 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
EE 3006 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Lab

Selected Publications

William P. Robbins, Ian Marusic, Dustin Morris, Todd Novak, “Wind-Generated Electricity Using Flexible Piezoelectric Materials”,International Symposium on Applications of Ferroelectrics (ISAF 2008), Santa Fe, NM, Feb. 24-27, 2008 (Invited paper)

Basantkumar, Rajneeta R.; Robbins, William P.; Gerberich, William W.; Stadler, Bethanie J. H, “Mechanical Properties of Magnetostrictive Galfenol Thin Films”, MMM (Magnetism and Magnetic Materials) Conference, Nov, 5-9., 2007

Rajineeta R. Basantkumar, Bethanie, J.H. Stadler, William P. Robbins, and Eric Summers,
“Integration of Thin-Film Galfenol With MEMS Cantilevers for Magnetic Actuation”, IEEE Trans. on Magnetics, Vol.42, No.10,  pp.3102-3104 (Oct. 2006)

Andrey Bayrashev, William P. Robbins, and Babak Ziaie, “Low Frequency Wireless Powering of Microsystems Using Piezoelectric-Magnetostrictive Laminate Composites”, Sensors & Actuators A-Physical. 114(2-3):244-249, 2004 Sep 1.

William P. Robbins, “Simplified Unipolar Quasi-Square Wave Energy Recovery Drive Circuits for Piezoelectric Actuators”, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, Vol. 52, No. 8, pp. 1420-1421, August, 2005

Daniel E. Glumac and William P. Robbins, “A Planar Unimorph-Based Actuator With Large Vertical Displacement Capability – Part I: Experiment”, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Freq. Control, Vol. 45, No. 5,  pp.1145-1150  (Sept., 1998)

William P. Robbins and Daniel E. Glumac, “A Planar Unimorph-Based Actuator With Large Vertical Displacement Capability-Part II: Theory”, IEEE Trans. on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Freq. Control, Vol. 45, No. 5,  pp. 1151-1160   (Sept., 1998)

Robbins, William P., and A. Hietala. “A Simple Phenomenological Model of Tunable SAW Devices Using Magnetostrictive Thin Films”, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, 35.6 (1988): 718-722.