Professor Rao's research is aimed at discovering, understanding and developing advanced materials for a range of applications, including solar energy conversion, catalysis, printed electronics, sensors, and functional coatings. Students and researchers in his lab work on highly interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of materials science, mechanical engineering, solid state physics, and thermal sciences.
Boston 25 reported on WPI researchers developing a sensor the size of a Band-Aid to measure a baby’s blood oxygen levels, a vital indication of the lungs’ effectiveness and whether the baby’s tissue is receiving adequate oxygen supply. This wearable device will be flexible and stretchable, wireless, inexpensive, and mobile - possibly allowing the child to leave the hospital and be monitored remotely.
The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI receiving $3 million from the National Science Foundation to study human-robot interaction in the workplace. Eight WPI researchers are involved: Cagdas Onal (principal investigator), Yunus Telliel, Jeanine Skorinko, Winston Soboyejo, Jing Xiao, Pratap Rao, Soussan Djamasbi and Jane Li.