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Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
208 North Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801


Office hours 8:30a - 5:00p


Phone: 217-333-3097
Fax: 217-244-6375


Placid Mathew Ferreira

Placid Mathew Ferreira

Mechanical Science & Engineering
144 Mechanical Engineering Bldg
1206 W. Green
Urbana, Illinois 61801
(217) 333-0639
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Ph.D. IE Purdue University 1987

Research Statement:
Professor Ferreira's research focuses on industrial automation, particularly computer-controlled machine tools, nanopositioning and nanosensing, computational geometry and solid modeling as they relate to automated process planning and the discrete-event control of large-scale, flexibly automated systems.

His kinematic methods for pure translational stages that can be adapted to different desirable characteristics, auto-calibration techniques for XYZ stages and multi-axes, and high-bandwidth parallel kinematic schemes are now being applied to the development of nano-positioning systems. He has developed techniques for synthesizing maximally permissive, provably correct supervisory controllers for flexible manufacturing systems, and methods for rotary ultrasonic machining of ceramics and other materials that are difficult to machine.

He is working to develop a novel metal patterning technique that involves solid-state electrochemical dissolution-based subtractive nanopatterning. This novel technique offers a single-step, high throughput and high fidelity approach to manufacturing nanoscale metallic structures by using a large-area, subtractive approach rather than the single tip-based line and dot deposition processes that are carried out in scanning probe microscopes. The technique is versatile, useful for a variety of metals and easily integrated with other nanofabrication techniques. In their initial attempts, the scholars achieved a lateral resolution of 120 nanometers.
Research Interests:
  • Programmable automation: computer-automated process planning (CAPP)
  • Manufacturing systems control
  • Numerically-controlled machine tools
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Nanopositioning stages
  • Nanoscale manufacturing
For more information:
Flexible Automation Lab

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Teaching:

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, College of Engineering, UIUC, 1997, 2008
  • Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Advising, College of Engineering, UIUC, 1990
  • Listed in the Daily Illini “Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students” for Spring 1990, Spring 1992

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Research:

  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2013
  • Fellow, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 2011
  • Ingyong Ham Lectureship, Penn State, 2006
  • Invited Guest Professor, Controls Engineering Department, Chalmers University, Gothenberg, Sweden, Summer 1999
  • University Scholar, UIUC, 1995
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1991
  • Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1990