Shayla Sawyer

Associate Professor, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering

Shayla Sawyer is an associate professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her Nano-Bio Optoelectronics research program expands the fundamental understanding, engineering processes, and potential applications of hybrid inorganic/organic materials for optoelectronic devices and sensors. This includes the fabrication of nanomaterials from bacteria, fabrication in a solution process, and the development of optoelectronic sensors and complimentary systems. The optoelectronic devices are comprised of hybrid inorganic/organic materials what may include semiconductor metal oxide nanostructures, conductive polymers, conductive nanostructures, and bio-chemical solutions. Her overall research goal is aimed at effectively fabricating and characterizing novel materials and sensors with consideration of systems that require sensitivity and/or selectivity to bring quantitative measurements in typically qualitative worlds.  NSF Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications Research Center, NSF Divison of Biological Infrastructure, National Security Technologies/Department of Energy, NSF Division on Research and Learning, and the NSF GK-12 Community Situated Research Center are a few recent funding resources for her work.


Ph.D. Electrical Engineering (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2006), B.S. Electrical Engineering (Hampton University, 2003)

Research Focus
  • optoelectronics
  • characterization
  • design
  • sensor development