People 2023

Prof. Sanjay Sarma is MIT's Vice President for Open Learning and the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Sarma founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT (now MIT Auto-ID Labs) and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He sits on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal and several startup companies. Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. In between degrees, Sarma worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California.  He has authored over 50 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz

Rahul Bhattacharyya is a Research Scientist at the MIT Auto-ID Laboratory. He obtained a Bachelors and Masters Integrated Dual Degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. His research interests broadly encompass the development and integration of technologies that form the framework for the Internet of Things. He is particularly interested in low-cost, pervasive wireless sensor design using smart materials and novel antenna designs and predictive analytics for fault detection using machine-learning techniques. Rahul has served various roles on the organizing committee of the IEEE International Conference on RFID 2010-15 and was technical program co-chair of the 4th International Conference on the Internet of Things. He currently holds membership of the IEEE and the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure.

Stephen Ho is a Research Scientist in the MIT Auto-ID Laboratory. His research interests center around the application of information towards improving systems, processes, and manufacturing. His Ph.D. research evaluated the impact of rich RFID information on warehouse operations and the opportunities for increased efficiency that stem from additional information. His current research focuses on transportation efficiency stemming from automated systems and collaborative opportunities. Stephen obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1996 from Cornell University and his Master of Science (1999) and Doctor of Philosophy (2004) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering.
  Rich Fletcher

Dajiang Suo


Alexandre Urpi is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research consists of creating seamless interfaces between people, objects and spaces by combining the fields of biosignal sensing and the Internet of Things. He is currently doing research in brain-computer interfaces for the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality as well as developing a personalized thermal comfort sensing system using wearable devices for biological signal monitoring. Alex received his masters in mechanical engineering from MIT in 2018 and he has a double degree in Telecommunications Engineering and Industrial Engineering by UPC BarcelonaTech. He joined Professor Sarma’s group in 2015 as a visiting student to complete his undergraduate thesis, where he did research in RFID tag antenna-based sensing and investigated applications for RFID tags used as actuators. In 2016 he joined the Field Intelligence Lab as a research assistant. He is a “La Caixa” fellow (2018).

Denise Tellbach is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research interests are in manufacturing, IoT, and applying machine learning to enhance the functionality of control systems for manufacturing. Denise received a double masters degree in Management Science and Mechanical Engineering from RWTH Aachen University and Tsinghua University in 2018 and her undergraduate degree from RWTH Aachen University in 2016. In the past she has developed a maturity model for the digitalization of production control. She has also worked on cyber-physical systems modelling and reliability assessment focussing on electric grid. She joined the AutoID Lab as a graduate student under Prof. Sarma in 2019 and is a Presidential Fellow at MIT (2019).
Heyi Li is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research interests is intelligent sensing with RFID. Heyi received a B.S. in Electronics in 2021 from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. In her free time, Heyi enjoys dancing, figure skating and badminton.
Fátima Villa-Gonzalez is a graduate student at Tecnun Engineering School, University of Navarra, Spain, currently doing research at the Auto-ID La, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA, USA. She joined the MIT Auto-ID Lab in 2019 as a visiting student to complete her master's thesis. She received a B.S. degree in Telecommunications Systems Engineering and a M.Sc. degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Tecnun Engineering School in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Her research interests include microwave, antennas, chipped and chipless RFID sensors, electronic circuits and digital signal processing.
Shoumen Pa Datta is a senior member of the Auto ID Labs and MIT Affiliate at the School of Engineering at MIT. He is the former Senior Vice President of the Industrial Internet Consortium (2013-2016) and Co-Founder and Executive/Research Director of the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation (2001-2009) at the MIT School of Engineering. He has taught Strategy and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was a Member of the Auto ID Center at MIT (1999-2003), MIT Data Center (2004-2006) and MIT Energy Initiative (2008-2009). As a Research Scientist, Engineering Systems Division, MIT School of Engineering, he has explored technology innovation, RFID, IoT and data analytics. He has offered executive education courses at MIT and several other institutions in US, EU and APAC. Shoumen earned his PhD in Molecular Biology from Rutgers University School of Medicine (UMDNJ) in research collaboration with Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He was a Research Fellow in Medicine (Neuro-Endocrinology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was a Research Associate at the Whitehead Institute at MIT and a member of the Human Genome Project at MIT. He was a Research Scientist at University of California UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, California. In between his careers in research/medicine and engineering/management, he has served in the public sector to improve K-12 public education as a Special Assistant to the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, Science Education Partnership at UCSF School of Medicine and Berkeley Pledge initiative at the University of California, Berkeley. For additional details go to and Publications and CV  Please write to or visit to connect via social media.
Ben Dwyer is a MEng student in the Brainand Cognitive Science department at MIT, with research interests in computer vision, autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity. He completed his undergraduate studies at MIT in Computational Neuroscience in the spring of 2022. In the fall of 2022, Ben joined the Auto-ID Lab at MIT as a graduate student researcher under Professor Sarma. Ben is currently working on his master's thesis which focuses on developing a two-factor authentication schene for connected vehicle infrastructure to enhance the security of sutonomous vehicles. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors through skiing and scuba diving.
Laura Van Houten is an Administrative Assistant at the Auto-ID Laboratory and is also affiliated with the Mechanical Engineering department at MIT. Within the MechE Department she is primarily assisting Sanjay Sarma and Timothy Gutowski. She holds a B.S. in Spanish and French from SUNY Oneonta as well as a M.S. in Spanish Legal Translation from New York University. Before joining MIT in 2019, Laura specialized in administration for personal injury and intellectual property law.