The Center for Advanced Sensor Technology or CAST is a multidisciplinary group of researchers and students at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Our activities focus on the development of sensing technologies: the chemistries, methods, systems and devices used in measuring various substances of interest to biotechnology, medicine, the environment, and homeland security.
CAST Mission and History
Advanced Sensor Technology in the Service of Mankind
Our mission is to use innovative sensor technology to solve societal problems. Historically, innovation is an activity not associated with a university environment and is typically recognized as a business paradigm. Indeed, most people confuse innovation with invention. Innovation is what transforms an invention (usually just an idea or device) into a useful form of generally broad utility. Simply stated, inventions typically have narrow scope; innovation results in a paradigm shift.
The core group of CAST started as a motley crew of faculty researchers and students from the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the Center for Fluorescence Spectroscopy. In 2001, our group moved to the Technology Research Center (TRC) at the UMBC campus. CAST as a Center started out within the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in 2006. In 2007, we expanded into a UMBC campus center and now have faculty from several other departments and centers affiliated with us (see list of affiliated faculty and centers).
There are three major aspects to our work that are part of the process of innovation: basic research; applied sensor development; and education. Our main mission is to convert findings from our basic research into low-cost sensor technology and applications. Simultaneously, we provide opportunities for our students and members of the public to learn more about sensors and their uses. Additionally, we are actively involved with academic partners, industrial collaborators and government agencies in a diverse array of projects.