Lau Gih Keong

Lau Gih Keong
Assistant Professor
Tel: 6790 6825
Email: GKLau@ntu.edu.sg
Office: N3.2-01-17 
  • PhD Delft University of Technology 2007
  • MEng Nanyang Technological University 2001
  • BEng(Mech)(Hons) Nanyang Technological University 1998

Prof Lau is an Assistant Professor with the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering since Feb 2008. He received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 2004, and the M.Eng. and B.Eng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2000 and 1998 respectively. Dr Lau’s research focuses on MEMS, micro-actuators, dielectric elastomer actuators, and bio-inspired compliant mechanisms for flapping wing flight. He is the PI of several projects funded by A*STAR SERC, DSTA, NTU, NUS & industry.

  • Interest:
    MEMS, smart structures and materials, sensors and actuators, flapping-wing micro air vehicles, dielectric elastomer actuators.
  • Projects:
    Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and micro-actuators
    A new class of polymeric electro-thermal micro-actuators were designed for large and fast actuation, and realized based on high-aspect ratio micro-machined SU8 expander and silicon micro-fins. They were used to drive large-stroke micro-grippers for particle micro manipulation. In addition, its fast thermo-elastic expansion was demonstrated capable of dual-stage micro-positioning for >1 terabit/inch2 hard disk drives.
    [Micro-systems Lab, Micro-Systems & Optics]
    Dielectric elastomer actuator as artificial muscles
    Dielectric elastomer actuator can act as artificial muscles if it can produced as high electrostatic stress as contractile stress of human flexion. The actuator performance of dielectric elastomer is however limited by electric breakdown. His research resolved pre-mature failures of DEAs by using oil immersion and oil capsules. As such, the oil immersed poly-acrylate DEA achieved an a very high electric field of up to 800 MV/m, double the dielectric strength in air. They can reliably drive a liquid lens for tunable focus.
    In addition, metallic thin films, which were perceived to be too stiff and brittle to impede large elastomeric deformation, is made biaxially stretchable and compliant by means of surface crumpling on elastomeric substrate. These crumpled metallic thin films remain conductive beyond 110% radial strain and they were used as compliant electrode to drive large elastomeric deformation of up to 128% areal strain at 1.8 kV (102 V/m).
    [Micro-systems Lab, Micro-Systems & Optics]
    Insect-inspired compliant mechanism for flapping-wing micro air vehicles.
    Flapping-wing flight, which enables birds and insects agile maneuvers, is however energetically costly for hovering. Substantial power is expended to accelerate and decelerate wings. As inspired by insects, we developed a thoracic mechanism with nonlinear stiffness to recover wing inertial power. In addition, we developed a click mechanism, enabling elastically bi-stable and large snap of wings to save inertial power.
    [Micro-systems Lab, Micro-Systems & Optics]

Research Students under supervision

PhD Students
Name Project
La Thanh Giang Miniaturization of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Micro-systems
Low Sze Hsien Biomimetic Flight Muscles
Chin Yao Wei Bio-inspired Click Mechanism for Flapping Wing Micro-Aerial Vehicle
Shrestha Milan Artificial muscles based on multi-layered dielectric elastomer actuators and 3D printing technique
Kusuma Agusanto Laser Doppler Vibrometer for Characterizing Micro-Motion in Actuators

Selected Publications
  • Low, S. H., & Lau, G. K. (2014). Bi-axially crumpled silver thin-film electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators. Smart Materials and Structures, 23(12), 125021.
  • La, T. G., Lau, G. K., Shiau, L. L., & Tan, A. W. Y. (2014). Muscle-like high-stress dielectric elastomer actuators with oil capsules. Smart Materials and Structures, 23(10), 105006.
  • Lau, G. K., Lim, H. T., Teo, J. Y., & Chin, Y. W. (2014). Lightweight mechanical amplifiers for rolled dielectric elastomer actuators and their integration with bio-inspired wing flappers. Smart Materials and Structures, 23(2), 025021.
  • La, T. G., & Lau, G. K. (2013). Very high dielectric strength for dielectric elastomer actuators in liquid dielectric immersion. Applied Physics Letters, 102(19), 192905.
  • Low, S. H., Shiau, L. L., & Lau, G. K. (2012). Large actuation and high dielectric strength in metallized dielectric elastomer actuators. Applied Physics Letters, 100(18), 182901.
  • Lau, G. K., Goh, S. C. K., & Shiau, L. L. (2011). Dielectric elastomer unimorph using flexible electrodes of electrolessly deposited (ELD) silver. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 169(1), 234-241.
  • Lau, G. K., Yang, J., Thubthimthong, B., Chong, N. B., Tan, C. P., & He, Z. (2012). Fast electrothermally activated micro-positioner using a high-aspect-ratio micro-machined polymeric composite. Applied physics letters, 101(3), 033108.
  • Duc, T. C., Lau, G. K., Creemer, J. F., & Sarro, P. M. (2008). Electrothermal microgripper with large jaw displacement and integrated force sensors. Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems,  17(6), 1546-1555.
  • Lau, G. K., Goosen, J. F. L., Van Keulen, F., Duc, T. C., & Sarro, P. M. (2007). Powerful polymeric thermal microactuator with embedded silicon microstructure. Applied physics letters, 90(21), 214103.
  • Lau, G. K., Goosen, J. F. L., Van Keulen, F., French, P. J., & Sarro, P. M. (2006). Actuated elastomers with rigid vertical electrodes. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 16(6), S35.
  • Lau, G. K., Du, H., & Lim, M. K. (2001). Use of functional specifications as objective functions in topological optimization of compliant mechanism. Computer methods in applied mechanics and engineering, 190(34), 4421-4433.

  • Solid Mechanics And Vibration
  • Micro Electro Mechanical Systems
  • Dynamics
  • Machine Vibration Analysis And Fault Recognition
  • Mechanics Of Deformable Solids
  • Aircraft Structures