Kenneth (Beau) R. Farmer, II, PhD

Portrait of Beau Farmer

Kenneth (Beau) R. Farmer, II

TLI Faculty, Technological Leadership Institute


Ph.D. in Applied Physics
Cornell University

Master of Science in Applied Physics
Cornell University

Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science
University of Virginia


    Kenneth R. Farmer, II (Beau) is the Chief Technology Officer at TSI Incorporated, a manufacturer of precision research, analytical, test and measurement instruments in Shoreview, MN, serving a wide array of disciplines ranging from characterization of nanomaterials to the quantitative visualization of fluid flow. At TSI he leads initiatives to uncover and bring in technology opportunities for growth using the tools of technology foresight. Beau is also teaching a graduate course on Technology Foresight and Forecasting at the University of Minnesota’s Technology Leadership Institute. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2003, he served as Director of both the Microelectronics Research Center and the NJ MEMS Initiative at NJIT in Newark, NJ, where he was an Assoc. Prof. of Physics. He also maintained an adjunct appointment in the Dept. of Mech. Engr. at Columbia Univ., New York, NY. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics in 1990 from Cornell Univ., and his B.S. in Engr. Physics in 1983 from the Univ. of Virginia. Before joining NJIT in 1992, he served as a guest scientist in the Dept. of Solid State Electronics at Chalmers Univ. of Tech. in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been the P.I. on over $4M in research grants and contracts, including federal, state and industrial awards for MEMS and microelectronics. Among these has been the prestigious NSF CAREER award, several additional NSF grants, a $1.7M grant to establish the NJ MEMS Initiative, and an EPA award to develop a microengineered mass spectrometer. He has received nine patents, and is the author of over 50 publications and 20 invited presentations. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/TC 229 on Nanotechnologies Standards.

    Alternate Job Roles

    Chief Technical Officer
    TSI Incorporated

    Curriculum Vitae

    Research Interests

    • Silicon microfabrication, micromachining and wafer bonding for conventional silicon and novel MEMS device applications. Devices include tunnel diodes; nano-structured nonvolatile memory cells; miniature temperature and pressure sensors; a shear stress sensor; micromirrors for telecommunications, adaptive optics and biomedical applications; microrelays; microfluidics devices; a miniature mass flow sensor; templates for controlled cell growth; and a microengineered mass spectrometer.

    • Physics in metal-insulator-semiconductor device structures: tunneling; generation, passivation and electrical characterization of bulk and interface defects; noise and discrete conductance fluctuations in small area structures. Concentration on ultra-thin dielectrics (SiO2, nitrided oxides and high-K materials,


    • Member of Senior Management Team for large enterprise that manufactures and sells instrumentation for research, analytical, test, measurement and military applications, reporting directly to President.
    • Responsibilities include leading corporate technology initiatives, establishing and maintaining technology infrastructure, and invigorating a culture of innovation and growth. Requires skilled interactions with Engineering, Marketing, Sales and Manufacturing as well as external partners.
    • Established and maintained processes for technology foresight and ideation.
    • Resulted in uncovering, courting and closing licensing, alliance and acquisition opportunities, leading to new products and new businesses. One new product received an international R&D 100 Award as a best new research product for 2008. 

    M.S in Management of Technology

    Currently Teaching Courses
    Technology Foresight And Forecasting (MOT 8214)

    Honors and Awards

     • Senior Member, IEEE, 2002

    • NSF CAREER Award recipient, 1996

    • NJIT Excellence in Teaching Award, for lower-division undergraduate instruction, 1996 

    Selected Publications

    X. Wang, B. Li, Z. Liu, H. T. Roman, O. L. Russo, K. K. Chin and K. R. Farmer, “Analysis of partial discharge signal using Hilbert – Huang Transform,” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 21, p. 1063, 2006.

    J. Zhe, V. Modi and K. R. Farmer, “A Microfabricated Wall Shear Stress Sensor with Capacitive Sensing," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Vol. 14, p. 167, 2005.

    X. Wang, B. Li, Z. Xiao, S. H. Lee, H. Roman, O. L. Russo, K. K. Chin and K. R. Farmer, “An ultra-sensitive optical MEMS sensor for partial discharge detection,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol. 15, p. 521, 2005.

    N. Markarian, M. Yeksel, B. Khusid, K. R. Farmer and A. Acrivos, “Particle Motions and Segregation in Dielectrophoretic Microfluidics,” Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 94, p. 4160, 2003

    Z. Xiao, X. Wu, W. Peng and K. R. Farmer, “Analytical Behavior of Rectangular Electrostatic Torsion Actuators with Nonlinear Spring Bending," Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Vol. 12, p. 929, 2003.