Raj Bhakta

I’m currently a PhD student in Fiber & Polymer Science in the Textiles Engineering department at NCSU. I graduated from the University of Texas-Austin in 2014 with a B.S. in Physics (concentration in Nuclear Engineering) and a minor in Philosophy of Physics as a proud Longhorn (Hook ’em!). I was granted a Department of Homeland Security Research Fellowship to work on a Spark-Source Mass Spectrometer at Y-12 National Security Complex in Summer 2014. I am excited by the future of the Internet-of-Things and the role the wearaables space will play. I am also very entrepreneurial minded and plan to launch a start-up someday.

I believe that science and technology should ultimately benefit all of humanity. I regularly think about how we can solve the great problems our species is facing and will face in the future. As a researcher, I aim to create solutions to solve some of these problems at some level. Feel free to reach out to me to connect and discuss science, technology, philosophy, entrepreneurship, and what we can do to solve some of the world’s pressing needs.

Outside of academics, I dance (Hip-Hop, Bollywood, Bhangra), watch/play soccer, and avidly consume any and all knowledge I can.

Research Interests

Wearable technology, smart-textiles, electronic-textiles, sensors, printed electronics, nano-technology, internet-of-things, energy harvesting, technology commercialization, prototyping and product development

Current Research

My current research builds on the work done in the NEXT group on robust flexible interconnect technology. There is a pressing need in the industry to connect electronic components to textile platforms without the use of traditional bulky wires and conductive yarn. The technology I work on is scalable with current manufacturing processes, uses currently adopted materials, and is low-cost, making it an attractive option to enable electronic-textiles. This technology is mechanically robust, electrically stable, and modular so that many of these “e-textile legos” can be integrated onto existing garments, enabling retro-fitting. Recently, we built an ECG Athletic Shirt that measures your heart-rate in real-time. Next, I’ll be working on integrating more complex sensors and energy harvesting devices to make prototypes that can be mobilized for commercialization within the ASSIST research center. Ultimately, I want to help enable electronic-textiles as the next generation of wearable devices.