Minoru Taya

Professor Emeritus
Mechanical Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Materials Science & Engineering

Adjunct Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering

Adjunct Professor, Oral Health Sciences


Dr. Minoru Taya has been a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington since 1986. Most recently he became an Adjunct Professor for the School of Dentistry, Oral Health Science , UW. He received a Bachelor of Engineering in 1968 from the University of Tokyo, Japan; Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1973 and Doctor of Philosophy in Theoretical Applied Mechanics in 1977, both from Northwestern University.

Dr. Taya is currently director of the Center for Intelligent Materials and Systems (CIMS). The intelligent materials that he has been studying are shape memory alloys (SMA), ferromagnetic SMA (FSMA), piezo-composites, electro- and photo-active polymers, and designed actuators based on these materials, including compact ferromagnetic SMA spring actuators, which provides a large stroke and reasonably large force at very high actuation speed. The FSMA actuators are for use in unmanned aircrafts and unmanned ground rover, as well as robotic arms. The electroactive polymers (EAPs) include hydrogels such as Nafion and Flemion, and electrochromic polymers. These EAPs are the key materials for fish fin actuators, smart antenna and smart window technology. In addition, Dr. Taya has been working on design and processing of several energy-harvesting materials and systems; (i) energy-harvesting electrochromic window (NSF-EFRI) and thermoelectric modules with low-cost and light-weight for UAV combustion chambers (AFOSR). Most recently, Dr. Taya has been working on oral implant materials based on toxic-free SMAs.

Dr. Taya served as Associate Editor for Materials Science and Engineering-A, and ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, and chair of the Electronic Materials Committee of ASME Materials Division. Dr. Taya is Fellow of ASME, American Academy of Mechanics, and International Editorial Board member of Advanced Composite Materials.

Dr. Taya has written three monograph books, (i) “Metal matrix composites” with R.J. Arsenault, Pergamon Press, 1989, and (ii) “Electronic Composites”, Cambridge University Press, 2005, (iii) “Bioinspired active and sensing materials and systems” in collaboration with several biologists (E. Van Volkenburgh of University of Washington, M. Mizunami of Hokkaido University, and S. Nomura of National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan).


  • Ph.D. in Theoretical Applied Mechanics, Northwestern University, 1977
  • M.S. in Civil Engineering, Northwestern University, 1973
  • Bachelor of Engineering, University of Tokyo, 1968

Research Statement

Dr. Taya is involved in supervising a number of projects related to multifunctional materials and composites with emphasis on sensing and active materials, and compact actuators. The active materials and composites that he has been studying are: shape memory alloys (SMA), ferromagnetic SMA (FSMA) and their composites, piezo-composites, electro- and photo-active polymers and their composites. He has also been working on electrochromic window (ECW) technology, which can switch optical properties (transmittance) between transparent and colored stages. As derivative of ECW, Dr. Taya is currently working on NSF NRI project, “Nanorobotics based on FePd nanohelix for diagnosis and treatment of cancer,” where the FePd nanorobots will induce mechanical stress loading to target cells, causing cell death, and also on soft-matter robotic hand design under Nabtesco Funding where dielectric polymers are used for actuator and sensor. In addition, Dr. Taya has been working on the development of a new structural health monitoring of polymeric composite structures by using magneto-optic imaging and also magnetic nanocomposite. During the last 10 years, Dr. Taya has been working on bioinspired design of active and sensing materials and their devices, the summary of which is published in a book, “Bioinspired actuators and sensors”, in 2016 from Cambridge University Press with co-authors being E. Van Volkenburgh, M. Mizunami and S. Nomura.

Select publications

  1. M. Taya, E.. Van Volkenburgh, M. Muzunami and S. Nomura, 2016, Bioinspired Actuators and Sensors, Cambridge University Press.
  2. Amasawa, E., Sasagawa, N., Kimura, M. and Taya, M., 2014, “Design of a new energy-harvesting electrochromic window based on organic polymeric dye, cobalt couple and PProDOT-Me2 “,Advanced Energy Materials, 1400379.
  3. Kim.HS, Itoh, T., Iida, T. ,Taya, M. and Kikuchi, K., 2014, “Design of linear shaped thermoelectric generator and self-integration using shape memory alloy”, MSE B 183,61-68.
  4. Kim, H.S., Kukuchi, K., Itoh, T., Iida, T., and Taya, M., 2013, “Design of segmented thermoelectric generator based on cost-effective and light-weight thermoelectric alloys”, Mater. Sci. Eng. B 185, 45-52.
  5. Yasuda, H., Yein, T. Tachi, T., Miura, K. and Taya, M., 2013, “Folding Behavior of Tachi-Miura Polyhedra”, Proc. R. Soc. A 2013 469, 20130351.
  6. Kim, S., Kong, X., and Taya, M., 2013, "Electrochromic windows based on anodic electrochromic polymesitylenes containing 9H-carbazole-9-ethanol moieties", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells 117,183–188.
  7. Liang, Y., Taya, M., Xiao, JQ and Xiao , G., 2012, “Design of the inchworm actuator based on the ferromagnetic shape memory alloy composite”, Smart Mater. Struct. 21,115005.
  8. Taya, M., Liang, Y., Namli, O.C., Howie, T., 2013, “Two-way reversible bending actuator based on a shape memory alloy/shape memory polymer composite”, Smart Materials and Structures, 22, 105003.
  9. Nagata, M., Baldwin, E., Kim, SY, Taya,M., 2013,”Design of dye-sensitized solar cells integrated in composite panel subjected to bending, Journal of Composite Materials, 47(1),27-32.
  10. S. Kim, M. Taya, 2012, “Electrochromic windows based on V2O5-TiO2 and poly (3,3-dimethyl-3,4-dihydro-2H-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxepine) coatings”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 107, December 2012, Pages 225–229.
  11. Namli, O.C. and Taya, M., 2011, “Design of piezo-SMA composite for thermal energy harvester under fluctuating temperature”, J. Applied Mechanics, 78, 031001-1 to 031008.
  12. Rong, Y., Kim, S.Y., Su, F., Myers, D. Taya, M., 2011, “New effective process to fabricate fast switching and high contrast electrochromic device based on viologen and Prussian blue/antimony tin oxide nano-composites with dark colored state”, Electrochimica Acta 56 , 6230– 6236.
  13. Kim, SY and Taya, M, 2010, “Electropolymerization kinetic study of 3,3-dimethyl-3,4-dihydro-2H-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxepine and its optical optimization for electrochromic window applications”, Electrochimica Acta, 55, 5307- 5311.
  14. Mori, S, Nagata, N, Nakahata, Y, Yasuta†, K, Goto, R, Kimura, M and Taya, M, 2010, Enhancement of Incident Photon-to-Current Conversion Efficiency for Phthalocyanine-Sensitized Solar Cells by 3D Molecular Structuralization”, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., Comm., 132 (12), pp 4054–4055.
  15. Wang, J, Sato, H, Xu, Chunye and Taya, M., 2009, “Bioinspired design of tactile sensors based on Flemion”, J. Applied Physics, 105, 083515.
  16. Kim, WJ, Taya, M and Nguyen, MN, 2009, “Electrical and thermal conductivities of a silver Flake/Thermosetting polymer matrix composite”, Mechanics of Mater., vol. 41, 1069-1071.
  17. Su, FY, Xu, C, Taya, M, Murayama, K, Shinohara, Y and Nishimura, S, 2009, “Detection of Carcinoembryonic Antigens Using a Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor”, Sensor, 8, 4282-4295.
  18. Kim, SY, Xu, C and Taya, M, 2009. " Contrast, switching and durability of V2O5-TiO2 film based ECWs", J. Electrochemical Society, 156 (2) E40-E45.
  19. Ma, C, Taya, M and Xu, C, 2008, “Flexible electrochromic device based on poly[3,4-(2,2 dimethylpropylenedioxythiophene]” Electrochimica Acta, 54, 598-605.
  20. Xu, C, Ma, C, Kong, X. and Taya, M., 2008,” Vacuum filling process for electrolyte in enhancing electrochromic window assembly”, Polymer Advanced Technology, 19, 1-5.