Gallium nitride based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) have been investigated extensively as an alternative to Si-based power transistors by academia and industry over the last decade. It is well known that GaN-based HEMTs outperform Si-based technologies in terms of power density, area specific on-state resistance and switching speed. Recently, wide band-gap material systems have stirred interest regarding their use in various sensing fields ranging from chemical, mechanical, biological to optical applications due to their superior material properties. For harsh environments, wide bandgap sensor systems are deemed to be superior when compared to conventional Si-based systems. A new monolithic sensor platform based on the GaN HEMT electronic structure will enable engineers to design highly efficient propulsion systems widely applicable to the automotive, aeronautics and astronautics industrial sectors. In this paper, the advancements of GaN-based HEMTs for mechanical sensing applications are discussed. Of particular interest are multilayered heterogeneous structures where spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization between the interface results in the formation of a 2-dimensional electron gas (2DEG). Experimental results presented focus on the signal transduction under strained operating conditions in harsh environments. It is shown that a conventional AlGaN/GaN HEMT has a strong dependence of drain current under strained conditions, thus representing a promising future sensor platform. Ultimately, this work explores the sensor performance of conventional GaN HEMTs and leverages existing technological advances available in power electronics device research. The results presented have the potential to boost GaN-based sensor development through the integration of HEMT device and sensor design research.