Upcoming Seminars and Events

Open Science Day

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of EPFL, its President Martin Vetterli invites you to explore what is Open Science with world-class researchers and influential policy makers. How can we successfully transition to digital scholarship? What will knowledge production and dissemination resemble in the future? This day will be dedicated to discussing the promises and challenges of open and reproducible science in various disciplines present at EPFL, from the life sciences to particle physics.
The event will take place in the main auditorium of the landmark Rolex Learning Center on EPFL Campus. It is free of charge and is open to everyone. However, registration is required.
Open science is a complex and transversal topic that can only be understood when a variety of point of views collide. We are honored to confirm that the following people have accepted our invitation to share their expertise with the participants:

Katie Bouman, California Institute of Technology
Sir Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief Springer Nature
Mercè Crosas, Harvard University
Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University
Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General
Maria Leptin, EMBO Director
José Moura, IEEE President Elect
Fernando Pérez, University of California Berkeley
Marcel Salathé, EPFL
Robert-Jan Smits, TU/e Executive Board President
Bruno Strasser, University of Geneva
Jeannette Wing, Director of the Data Sciences Institute, Columbia University


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Invited talk: Laboratory Studies of Wind Turbines – High Reynolds Number Aerodynamics

Professor Marcus Hultmark

Wind turbines and wind farms present unique challenges, fluid mechanically, as they combine extremely high Reynolds numbers with additional time scales imposed by the rotation and three-dimensional effects. This implies that resolved numerical solutions are too computationally expensive and investigations in conventional wind tunnels are impossible due to the flow speeds and rotational rates needed in order to satisfy the dynamic similarity requirements. At Princeton, we achieve the conditions a large wind turbine experiences, experimentally, by compressing the air around a model-scale turbine up to 238 bar. This yields conditions similar to those experienced by a field-sized turbine using a model that is only 20cm in diameter. Using pressure enables tests at high Reynolds numbers but at low velocities, which implies that realistic non-dimensional frequencies can be tested even with such a small model. The power output and forces are investigated over an unprecedented range of Reynolds numbers, and it is shown that aerodynamic scale-effects persist at higher Reynolds numbers than previously believed, and that the boundary layer state is critical for turbine performance.

Marcus Hultmark is associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University and director of the Princeton Gas Dynamics Laboratory.  His research interests include a variety of problems related to fluid mechanics, with focus on problems involving turbulence, such as heat and mass transfer as well as drag reduction and wind energy. Experimental studies are combined with theoretical work, and an important part of his research program is the development and evaluation of new sensing techniques to investigate these phenomena with high accuracy and resolution.  He was awarded the 2016 Air Force Young Investigator award, the 2017 NSF Career award and in 2017 he received the Nobuhide Kasagi Award. He received his M.Sc. degree from Chalmers University in 2007 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2011.

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EE Distinguished Speakers Seminar: VLSI Sensors and Security

Wayne Burleson has been a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1990. From 2012-2017 he was also Senior Fellow at AMD Research in Boston working on power optimization, especially for supercomputing under the DOE FastForward and DesignForward programs.  He has degrees from MIT and the University of Colorado.  He has worked as a custom chip designer and consultant in the semiconductor industry with VLSI Technology, DEC, Compaq/HP, Intel, Rambus and AMD.  Wayne was a visiting professor at ENST Paris in 1996/97, at LIRM Montpellier in 2003 and at EPFL Switzerland in 2010/11. His research is in the general area of VLSI, including circuits and CAD for low-power, long interconnects, clocking, reliability, thermal effects, process variation and noise mitigation. He also conducts research in hardware security, reconfigurable computing, content-adaptive signal processing, RFID and multimedia instructional technologies.   He teaches courses in VLSI Design, Embedded Systems and Security Engineering.  Wayne has published over 200 refereed publications in these areas and is a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions in integrated circuit design and signal processing.

Abstract: Very Large Scale integrated circuits use multiple levels of abstraction to hide physical behavior beneath a digital façade.  In particular, manufacturing process variations, aging effects, voltage noise and thermal variations, must be modeled at design time and managed at run-time in order to provide efficient and reliable computation.  These effects are all increasing as CMOS technology advances, and are present in most post-CMOS technologies as well.  These same physical variations can be used as sources of entropy and unique identifiers to provide a foundation of trust to support higher level security protocols.  This talk will introduce a variety of on-chip sensors in both custom CMOS and FPGA technologies that use statistical techniques to measure various physical quantities at very fine-grain spatial and temporal granularity.  New circuits will be shown to securely deliver random numbers and chip identifiers even in the presence of powerful adversaries.  A proposal for “secret-free” cryptography based on hardware will also be explored which protects against an even stronger threat model.  Finally, a new undergraduate lab course in Security Engineering will be presented, showing how VLSI and embedded system design can be taught in the context of an intelligent adversary.
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A NanoBioengineering Frontier for Next-Generation Optical Devices

Prof. Ardemis Boghossian, Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, School of Basic Sciences, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)

(sandwiches served)

The vast expansion of available synthetic biology tools has led to explosive developments in the field of materials science. No longer confined to engineering just synthetic materials, the increased accessibility of these tools has pushed the frontier of materials science into the field of engineering biological and even living materials. By coupling the tunability of nanomaterials with the prospect of re-programming living devices, one can re-purpose biology to fulfill needs that are otherwise intractable using traditional engineering approaches.

Optical technologies in particular could benefit from capitalizing on untapped potential in coupling the optical properties of nanomaterials with the specificity and scalability of biological materials. This seminar highlights specific applications in optical sensing and light-harvesting energy technologies that exploit the synergistic coupling of nanobio-hybrid materials. We discuss the development of bio-conjugated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) for near-infrared fluorescence sensing and the application of these nanobioptic sensors for continuous measurements in living cells and organisms. We further explore the development living photovoltaics based on bioengineered, photosynthetic organisms with augmented capabilities.

Ardemis Boghossian has been appointed Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC) of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2007. In 2012, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Michael S. Strano. Her graduate work focused on applied nanotechnology, where she engineered nanoparticles that interface with light-harvesting, biological constructs to enhance solar energy conversion. She also developed algorithms for quantifying stochastic fluctuations in fluorescence from single-molecule, nanotube-based biosensors.

She continued her research career as a postdoctoral fellow in the Frances H. Arnold laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a protein engineer, applying methods of directed evolution to engineer cells that can electronically interface with electrodes. At EPFL, Professor Boghossian implements a highly interdisciplinary approach to addressing fundamental challenges and developing novel technologies that exploit the synergy between nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Through her focal points in the fields of optoelectronics and protein engineering, she contributes new biological and biochemical methods for the production of durable hybrid nanomaterials for energy and biosensing applications.

  • Postdoc, Department of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2012-2014
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2012; Minor: Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering
  • B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2007; Minor: Mathematics

Zoom link for attending remotely: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/808934849
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IMX Seminar Series - Chiral Inorganic Nanostructures

Prof. Nicholas Kotov, University of Michigan USA

Early observation of strong circular dichroism for individual nanoparticles and their assemblies have developed into a rapidly expanding field of chiral inorganic nanostructures. The chiral inorganic nanostructures encompass sophisticated constructs from metals, semiconductors, ceramics, and nanocarbons with multiple chiral geometries with characteristic scales from Ångströms to microns. Such versatility enables their functional engineering over a broad range of physical and chemical properties inspiring multiple technological realizations exemplified by biosensing and optoelectronics.   
This talk will address (1) the origin of the uniquely high values of optical anisotropy; (2) the mechanisms of chirality transfer in inorganic materials; and (3) differences/similarities with chiral supramolecular, liquid crystal, and biological assemblies.  The role of chiral inorganic nanostructures in homochirality of life on Earth will be briefly discussed. An essential role of long-range correlations and a possibility of critical phenomena in chiral nanoassemblies that lead to emergence of exceptionally complex structures will be demonstrated.  
Essential milestones toward utilization of chiral nanoscale assemblies in enantioselective catalysis and metaoptics will be outlined. One of the novel venues for practical realizations of chiral nanoassemblies include photocatalytic C-C coupling in biomimetic chiral supraparticles and CD spectroscopy in terahertz spectral window with chiroplasmonic kirigami composites.
Kotov, N.A. Inorganic Nanoparticles as Protein Mimics Science, 2010, 330, 188.
Chen, W. et al. Nanoparticle Superstructures Made by PCR: Collective Interactions of Nanoparticles and a New Principle for Chiral Materials. Nano Lett. 2009, 9(5), 2153.
Srivastava, S.; et al Light-Controlled Self-Assembly of Semiconductor Nanoparticles into Twisted Ribbons. Science, 2010, 327, 1355–1359.
J.Yeom, et al Chiral Templating of Self-Assembling Nanostructures by Circularly Polarized Light, Nature Mater. 2015, 14, 66.
S. Jiang, et al.  Chiral Ceramic Nanoparticles of Tungsten Oxide and Peptide Catalysis, JACS, 2017, 139, 13701.
Yeom et al, Chiromagnetic Nanoparticles and Gels, Science. 2018, 359 (6372), 309-314.
W. Choi et al, Kirigami Modulators for Terahertz Chiroptical Spectroscopy, Nature Materials, 2019, 18, 820–826.
Bio: Prof. Nicholas A. Kotov is working on conceptual foundations and technical realizations of biomimetic nanostructures. In the course of his studies he demonstrated that self-organization is the unifying property of all nanoscale matter. Examples of biomimetic nanostructures associated with his works include graphite oxide,- graphene- and clay-based layered biomimetic nanocomposites, chiral nanomaterials, and omni-dispersible colloids.  His contribution to technology include ultrastrong nacre-mimetic nanocomposites, soft neuro-prosthetic implants, 3D tissue replicas for drug-testing, chiral biosensors, and cartilage-like electrolytes for batteries. Prof. Kotov is a founder of several start-up companies that commercialized bioinspired nanomaterials for biomedical, energy, and automotive technologies. 


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Direct Multipixel Imaging of an exo-Earth with a Solar Gravitational Lens Telescope

Prof. Slava Turyshev, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / CALTECH

According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the solar gravity field acts as a lens that may be used focus and greatly amplify light from distant faint sources. Thanks to impressive optical properties of the Solar Gravitational Lens (SGL), in the near future, we could deploy a modest telescope at the focal region of the SGL for direct imaging of a potentially habitable Earth-like exoplanet with a megapixel resolution, not possible with any other astronomical tools. It could also provide high-resolution spectroscopic data to identify a variety of atmospheric biomarkers needed for unambiguous detection of an alien life form.

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IGM Colloquium: Exact Model Reduction and Forced Response in High-Degree-of-Freedom Nonlinear Mechanical Systems

Prof. George Haller, Chair in Nonlinear Dynamics, Institute for Mechanical Systems, ETH Zürich

Despite major advances in computational power, mapping out the forced response of large, nonlinear mechanical systems for different forcing frequencies has remained a major challenge. One reason is the small damping in most engineered systems, which leads to exceedingly slow-decaying transients in direct numerical integration. Another reason is that computing periodic response is not a naturally parallelizable procedure; involving more processors tends to increase the computation time. As a consequence, forced response is typically computed after ad hoc reduction procedures are applied to the original mechanical system. In this talk, we describe a recent tool from dynamical systems, spectral submanifold theory, which enables a mathematically exact reduction of nonlinear oscillatory systems to low-dimensional invariant manifolds. With the help of this reduction, previously unimaginable computational speeds can be achieved in computing nonlinear forced response. The approach also enables the detection of detached branches (isolas) of the response curves that remain undetected by classical numerical continuation, yet are critically important for structural health monitoring. We discuss these results on various problems, including analytic, numerical, and experimental construction of spectral submanifolds and forced response curves.
George Haller received his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics at the California Institute of Technology in 1993. He then spent a year as postdoc at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, prior to joining the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University as Assistant Professor in 1994. In 2001, he left Brown University as Associate Professor to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became Professor in 2005. While still a professor at MIT, he became the first director of Morgan Stanley's Mathematical Modeling Center in Budapest, which he headed for three years. He then joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in 2009, serving as Department Chair till 2011. Over the period 2014-2018, he headed the Institute for Mechanical Systems at ETH Zurich, where he currently holds the Chair in Nonlinear Dynamics.
Professor Haller has served on the editorial boards of the SIAM Journal for Mathematical Analysis, the Journal of Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems and the Zeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Physik (ZAMP). He is currently Senior Editor at the Journal of Nonlinear Science and Associate Editor at the Journal of Applied Mechanics. His honors include a Manning Assistant Professorship at Brown University, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in mathematics, an Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Fellowship, an ASME Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, an Honorary Doctorate from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and a Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Professorship at McGill University. He is an elected external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences since 2019.
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PhD defense open seminar: In vivo diffusion magnetic resonance imaging of the white matter microstructure from dictionaries generated by Monte Carlo simulations: development and validation

Gaetan Rensonnet

Many neurological and psychiatric disorders are closely related to subtle alterations of white matter cells such as axons, i.e., the long cables interconnecting the different areas of gray matter. The ability to predict microstructural properties of those cells in vivo using a non-radiating technique would therefore have far-reaching consequences in neuroscience and in clinical practice. 
In this thesis, a framework was developed for the estimation of the white matter microstructure based on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), a non-invasive imaging modality sensitive to the micrometer-scale displacements of water molecules undergoing diffusion the brain. The proposed approach, dubbed microstructure fingerprinting, relied on numerical Monte Carlo simulations of water diffusion rather than on closed-form mathematical formulas. On a variety of small animal and healthy human subject experiments, it was shown to be more robust and interpretable than traditional models. The flexibility of the proposed method should allow various refinements to be incorporated in the future, ultimately advancing our understanding of the white matter and improving the management of brain disorders. 
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CERN-EPFL Workshop

Research workshop to plan common projects between faculty members of the School of Engineering and CERN

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Shining Light on Metallomembranes - POB seminar

Saranya Pullanchery

This month we will have the pleasure to host Saranya Pullanchery  ,Post-doctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for fundamental BioPhotonics (LBP).

For organizational purposes (if you want to eat pizza!), please confirm your participation using this Doodle.

Hope to see you there,
The team of the EPFL Photonics Chapter
Metal ions in our body can form complexes with lipids in the cell membrane. Such interactions are chemically specific. Trace metal ions such as Cu2+ and more abundant ions such as Ca2+ form chemically distinct complexes with negatively charged lipids. We do not yet completely understand the role of such ion-lipid complexes in our body. Understanding the molecular mechanism of ion-lipid complexes is essential toward finding their physiological relevance.
In this talk, I will show how we utilize the interface-selective technique, vibrational sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy to understand molecular level details of ion-lipid interactions. SFG spectroscopy uniquely provides vibrational spectrum of the interface.  We obtain information about surface charge and surface structure from the interfacial spectrum of water. Such details are typically not accessible using bulk spectroscopic techniques.  Combining the information from SFG spectroscopy and fluorescence microscopy, we find key differences in the mode of interaction of Cu2+, Zn2+ and Ca2+ ions with negatively charged lipid membranes. 

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Talk by Prof. Aram Harrow from MIT on Quantum Algorithms for Machine Learning

Prof. Aram Harrow (MIT)

The EPFL Quantum Computing Association is excited to invite you to the talk of Prof. Aram Harrow from MIT!

Title: Hybrid Classical-Quantum Algorithms for Optimization and Inference
Quantum Computers are known to have strengths in cryptography and quantum simulations, but what about Machine Learning? This would be a valuable application, but there are difficulties: small Quantum Computers must handle large data sets and the existing classical algorithms are already quite sophisticated. To address these challenges, Prof. Harrow will describe how hybrid classical-quantum algorithms can best exploit the strengths of both types of computers. 

About the speaker: Aram Harrow is an Associate Professor of Physics in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Theoretical Physics. Harrow works in quantum information science and quantum computing. Together with Avinatan Hassidim and Seth Lloyd, he designed a quantum algorithm for linear systems of equations (the HHL algorithm), which in some cases exhibits an exponential advantage over the best classical algorithms. The algorithm has wide application in quantum machine learning. He is a steering committee member of Quantum Information Processing (QIP), the largest annual conference in the field of quantum computing. Harrow is a co-administrator of SciRate, a free and open access scientific collaboration network. He also co-runs a blog, The Quantum Pontiff. His collaborators include Peter Shor and Charles H. Bennett.
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Education, research, and technology transfer in open source software: new possibilities for universities

Prof. Carlos Maltzahn

The efficiency and speed of large communities that drive open source software projects such as Linux are hard to beat by individual companies. The robustness of these projects creates high valuations for companies who learned how to leverage these projects (e.g. IBM acquiring Red hat for $34-billion). But in universities we are just beginning to discover the new possibilities of open source software in education, research, and technology transfer. In education, open source software can be studied in class rooms and students can learn how to productively interact with open source software communities. Communities have developed tools which allow for fast orchestration and deployment of complex software systems in classrooms and can serve as a new kind of media for deep understanding. In research, open source software is commonly used to implement prototypes, run experiments and analyze data. But open source software can encompass entire experiments that, using orchestration and deployment tools, can be replicated by researchers and students alike. In technology transfer, promising software research prototypes can be made highly usable and useful by industry/university cooperative research centers that provide opportunities and funding for building developer communities for those prototypes.

In this talk I will present two examples of those new possibilities: first I will give an overview of the Center for Research in Open Source Software (cross.ucsc.edu) which I founded four years ago within UC Santa Cruz. CROSS successfully introduced an industry-sponsored research and incubator program currently funding four research fellows and three incubator fellows. In the second example, I will provide a closer look at one of the incubator projects which is providing programmable storage for databases and file systems (SkyhookDM) and how it relates to one of the research projects on “eusocial storage devices” that can act collectively.
Carlos Maltzahn is the founder and director of the UC Santa Cruz Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS). Dr. Maltzahn also co-founded the Systems Research Lab, known for its cutting-edge work on programmable storage systems, big data storage & processing, scalable data management, distributed system performance management, and practical replicable evaluation of computer systems. Carlos joined UC Santa Cruz in 2004, after five years at Netapp working on network-intermediaries and storage systems. In 2005 he co-founded and became a key mentor on Sage Weil’s Ceph project. In 2008 Carlos became a member of the computer science faculty at UC Santa Cruz and has graduated nine Ph.D. students since. Carlos graduated with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Nanoparticles: from their production to their commercial application

Dr. Michaël ROSSIER
Avantama AG, Stäfa (Zurich), Switzerland

ChE-606 - Highlights in Energy Research seminar series
Nanoparticles and their composite materials have attracted considerable interest during the last decades because of their optical, catalytic, mechanical and electrical properties, resulting in a wide range of applications. Avantama uses flame spray pyrolysis to produce its high quality powder, allowing the synthesis of precise and homogenous nanoparticles with virtually limitless chemical compositions. Furthermore, flame spray pyrolysis allows the rapid development of new materials and has proven its scalability up to the multi-ton scale.
To overcome the difficult usage of dry nanopowder in industrial processes, Avantama has developed a large know-how in formulation engineering. The formulation engineering is one of our core competencies, enabling us to help our customers to overcome tomorrow’s innovation challenges. The fine tuning of the formulation properties opens the door to the deposition of nanoparticles by roll-to-roll printing and thus allows the use of nanoparticles in applications requiring an efficient deposition method over a large area, as needed in printed electronics. Avantama formulations allow the coating of thin layers, for example such as the ones used in the production of organic photovoltaic devices.
In addition to creating nanoparticles by flame spray synthesis, we at Avantama also developed a novel approach to synthesizing Perovskite quantum dots on an industrial scale. Our proprietary production process yields the most efficient quantum dots at industrial scale.

The seminar can also be followed remotely by joining the online Cisco WebEx meeting (connection possible 15 minutes before the talk).
See here the documentation how to install the Cisco WebEx add-on on your computer.
In case of problem, you can contact our IT support (37679 - it.vs@epfl.ch)
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Terminal Antenna Design for Future Wireless

Buon Kiong Lau received the B.E. degree (with honors) from the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, and the Ph.D. degree from the Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia, in 1998 and 2003, respectively, both in electrical engineering. During 2000 to 2001, he was a Research Engineer with Ericsson Research, Kista, Sweden. From 2003 to 2004, he was a Guest Research Fellow at the Department of Signal Processing, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. Since 2004, he has been with the Department of Electrical and Information Technology, Lund University, where he is now a Professor in the Communications Group. He also holds a Senior Researcher appointment with the Swedish Research Council since 2010. He has been a Visiting Researcher with the Department of Applied Mathematics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China; the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; and the Takada Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.   Dr Lau's primary research interests are in various aspects of multiple antenna systems, particularly the interplay between antennas, propagation channels, and signal processing. He has co-authored 34 journal papers (17 in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation), 5 book chapters, over 100 conference papers and 3 patents/patent applications.   Dr. Lau has been an Associate Editor, a Senior Associate Editor and a Track Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, for which he was also a Guest Editor of the “Special Issue on MIMO Technology” (2012) and the Lead Guest Editor of the “Special Issue on Theory and Applications of Characteristic Modes” (2016). In addition, he was the Lead Guest Editor of the “Special Cluster on Terminal Antenna Systems for 4G and Beyond” (2013) for the IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters.   From 2007 to 2010, he was the Co-Chair of Subworking Group 2.2 on “Compact Antenna Systems for Terminals” within EU COST Action 2100. He has also served as a Swedish National Delegate and the Chair of Subworking Group 1.1 on “Antenna System Aspects” within COST IC1004 between 2001 and 2015. From 2012-2015, he was the elected Regional Delegate of European Association on Antennas and Propagation (EurAAP) for Region 6. He is also a member of the Education Committee within the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), where he had been the Coordinator for the annual IEEE AP-S Student Design Contest during 2013-2015.   In 2015, Dr. Lau received an award from IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation for exceptional performance as an Associate Editor (one of 3 awarded among 46 Associate Editors). His co-authored papers have received several Best Paper Awards, including two CST University Publication Awards in 2010 and 2013.  

Massive MIMO, full-dimension (FD) MIMO, millimeter-wave and small cells are some popular candidates for the 5th generation (5G) wireless communication systems. However, as much as these technologies present exciting new challenges for antenna design, the conventional design framework is expected to remain, partly due to the current emphasis on non-antenna issues. Conventionally, terminal antennas are designed based on simple, and often unrealistic criteria, including an emphasis on antenna performance in free space. Moreover, the need for compact multi-antenna implementation makes it even more challenging to deliver efficient antenna designs. Though poor antenna performance in reality is largely overlooked for different reasons, future wireless systems with high performance requirements will greatly benefit from a more comprehensive antenna design paradigm.
This lecture starts by giving an overview of conventional terminal antenna design and comment on its limitations. An outline  of the current trends in terminal antenna design for 4G systems is given. Then, a new antenna design paradigm that has the potential to dramatically improve 5G performance is introduced. In particular, the paradigm takes into account the interactions of the antenna system with its nearfield and farfield surroundings and provides a powerful framework to optimize these interactions. Finally, some practical techniques to take advantage of this design paradigm, where each technique offers promising performance gains over the state-of-the-art, are provided.

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ViTest - A rapid field-based diagnostic tool to detect grapevine diseases

2019 Igem team

ViTest is a fast point-of-care nucleic acid test to differentiate between two grapevine diseases: Flavescence Dorée and Bois Noir. Flavescence Dorée is infectious and needs to be quarantined quickly while Bois Noir is not. 

We start by extracting DNA from infected plant material using a microneedle patch. We then amplify the sequences corresponding to grapevine (endogenous control) and the diseases (if they are present). This step is performed using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification, an isothermal nucleic acid amplification method. The created amplicons are transcribed into mRNA and bind to a toehold sensor, thus activating a reporter gene.

Once this gene is translated, it produces catechol 2,3 dioxygenase which reacts with catechol and creates a colorimetric feedback. Both the transcription of the amplicons and the translation of the reporter gene are done in our homemade OnePot PURE cell-free system.


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EE Distinguished Speakers Seminar: Integrated Circuit design in the Artificial Intelligence Era

Maciej J. Ogorzalek is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Head of the
Department of Information Technologies, Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland.
He held many visiting positions in Switzerland, US, Spain, Japan, Germany. Between 2006-2009 
he held the Chair of Biosignals and Systems, Hong Kong Polytechnic University under the Distinguished Scholars Scheme. Currently he is visiting professor at the Integrated Systems Laboratory at EPFL.
Author or co-author of over 380  papers published in journals and conference proceedings and a book
Chaos and Complexity in Nonlinear Electronic Circuits. 
He gave over 60 plenary and keynote lectures at major conferences world-wide.
He served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Magazine (2004-2007), member of the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems Part I, Proceedings of the IEEE, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos,  International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications  also  the NOLTA Journal IEICE Japan.
Dr. Ogorzalek is IEEE Fellow (1997). He was IEEE 2008 Circuits and Systems Society President.
He served as IEEE Division 1 Director, Member of the IEEE Board of Directors  (2016-2017).
He is Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and  Member of the European Academy of Sciences (Academia Europaea).

Abstract: Integrated  circuits are omnipresent. We not only use mobile phones, personal computers but we are surrounded by systems whose operation 
highly depends on advances sensors, processing systems, controllers etc.  such as  home appliances, cars, smart cards, smart energy systems, bio-medical  equipement, smart offices, transportation systems and many others. 
There are more and more new applications appearing in the picture with enormous data flows to deal with and process for our advantage.
One of these application areas is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and specifically Deep Learning in various domains of applications.
For these new envisaged applications we will need electronic systems with much improved, maybe 1000 times,  performance in terms of power consumption, speed of operation and reliability. Data transfer bottleneck, power consumption and scalability become major obstacles to be overcome.
As the sizing of transistors in current technologies comes to the atomic distance limitations further development becomes possible by either 
introduction of new disruptive technologies or changing in geometric arrangements and architectures of the elements and building blocks.
Some limitations in microcircuit constructions can be avoided by putting whole building blocks and sub-circuits in stacks. Such an approach allows for more efficient space usage at the same time allowing circuit footprint reduction. New routing solutions offer very significant wire-length reductions thus reducing power dissipations and signal delays.  
3D integration looks as a fantastic  area of development, however, there are many new challenges and problems to be solved for the next 
generation of nano systems. 3D integration offers also unprecedented opportunities by allowing blocks fabricated in heterogeneous
 technologies to be integrated in one chip. This allows for stacking and integration of microprocessors, memories, RF circuitry, sensors, 
batteries and hyper-capacitors, energy harvesting blocks,  biological and chemical sensors and many new types of building blocks in one chip. 
However innovation is needed for new developments.  AI acceleration requires still better solutions!
In this lecture we will present the state of-the-art and an outlook with commentaries what kind of new solutions might be needed.
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Imaging in the Age of Machine Learning

Prof. Florian JUG, Max Planck Institute, Dresden & Prof. Anders HANSEN, University of Cambridge 

What are the challenges and opportunities with imaging in the age of Machine Learning? 

Prof. Florian Jug (Max Planck Institute) and Prof. Anders Hansen (University of Cambridge) will discuss this question during the next "Seminar Series in Imaging" lecture. 

Program and abstracts: 

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title to be announced

speaker to be announced

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

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IMX Seminar Series - Solutions of anionic 2D materials and phosphorene nanoribbons

Prof. Chris Howard, University College London UK

I will focus on recent work [1, 2, 3] in which we demonstrate that a range of ion-intercalated layered materials can spontaneously dissolve in polar solvents to form ionic solutions of 2D materials. The thermodynamically-driven dissolution is benign, advantageously maintains the morphology of the starting materials and can achieve solutions containing exclusively individualised monolayers. The charge on the anionic nanosheet solutes is reversible, enables targeted deposition over large areas via electroplating and can initiate novel self-assembly upon drying [1].
Surprisingly, applying this method to crystals of black phosphorus results in nanoribbons rather than 2D nanosheets [2]. Despite the motivation of over 100 publications predicting that phosphorene nanoribbons (PNRs) would have extraordinary properties, until our work, no one had made PNRs, and there was no obvious way of applying established routes for forming graphene nanoribbons to phosphorene. The PNRs we produce have typical widths of 4-50 nm, predominantly single-layer thickness, lengths up to 75 μm. The PNRs are atomically-flat single crystals, aligned exclusively in the zigzag crystallographic orientation with remarkably uniform widths along their entire lengths, and are extremely flexible. Our work thus enables the search for predicted exotic states in PNRs including spin density waves, tunable magnetism and topological states, and testing in applications where PNRs are predicted to give transformative advantages, ranging from fast-charging batteries, to flexible thermoelectric devices and nanoelectronics.

  1. P. Cullen, et al. Nat. Chem. 15, 555 (2017),
  2. T.S. Miller et al. Nano Letts. 17, 5891 (2017)
  3. M. Watts, et al. Nature 586, 216 (2019)
Bio: Chris Howard is an Associate Professor at University College London where he had previously obtained his Ph.D. His lab specialises in the manipulation of low dimensional materials via chemical doping that he studies both in the solid state and in liquid. Following his Ph. D. he was awarded a fellowship to develop his novel ideas for carbon nanotube dissolution. This work lead to patents and commercialisation and eventually he worked full time working for industry during this process. He subsequently completed postdoc research at Royal Holloway London before being appointed Lecturer in Physics back at UCL in 2013. He uses a wide range of in house experimental methods and spends a lot of time at central facilities, particularly for X-ray and neutron scattering.
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The LIMNA symposium on Emerging Topics and Technologies in Metabolism

Confirmed speakers: Karine Clément, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France Jorge Ferrer, Cente for Genomic regulation (CRG), Barcelona, Spain Arvand Haschemi, Medical University of Vienna, Austria Zoltan Kutalik, University of Lausanne, Switzerland Susanne Mandrup, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark Samuel Nobs, Weizmann Institute of Science, Reẖovot, Israel Ganna Panasyuk, Necker Enfants Malades Institute (INEM), Paris, France   Short talks will be selected from submitted abstracts.

 The registration to the LIMNA Symposium on October 29, 2019 at the Olympic Museum, Lausanne is now open! The LIMNA symposium on Emerging Topics and Technologies in Metabolism will gather speakers using “next-generation” approaches (systems genetics, omic, computation) to study metabolism-related processes and tissues.

Registration is now open!
Deadline for abstract submission: 01.09.2019
Deadline for registration only (registration is free but mandatory) : 01.10.2019 Participation will be likely recognized by the Federation of Swiss Cantonal Veterinary Officiers as a half day of ongoing training.
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IGM Colloquium: The role of added mass and circulatory forces in unsteady incompressible flows

Prof. Holger Babinsky, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge

Unsteady effects occur in many natural and technical flows, for example flapping wings or air vehicle gust encounters. If the accelerations are large the resulting unsteady forces can be quite considerable, a fact that is exploited by insects and small birds to generate additional lift at low Reynolds numbers. However, the exact physical mechanisms underlying the generation of unsteady force continue to challenge our understanding of such flows. One approach to improve our insight is to identify the dominant effects and describe these with low-order force models. An often-made classification is to group forces into circulatory (e.g. vortex lift or bound circulation) and non-circulatory (added-mass).
Although the concept of added mass has been around for more than a century and is superficially simple, its details continue to confound and confuse. In this talk I will re-visit the definition of added mass and propose a different interpretation. Using a series of simple, canonical, experiments and PIV I will show how the contributions made by different physical force mechanisms can be identified experimentally and thus clarify some open questions about this concept.
Holger Babinsky originates from Bavaria and studied Aerospace Engineering at Stuttgart University in Germany. He obtained a PhD in hypersonic aerodynamics from Cranfield University (UK) in 1994. After 18 months as Research Associate at the Shock Wave Research Centre of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan he returned to the UK to take up a position at the University of Cambridge. He is now Professor of Aerodynamics in the Engineering Department and Head of Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery as well as a Fellow of Magdalene College.
His main areas of research are in the field of experimental aerodynamics and associated measurement techniques. Apart from shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions, which he has studied for almost 30 years, his current research includes the aerodynamics of micro-air vehicles, road vehicles and flow control for transonic aircraft wings and supersonic engine inlets. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aeronautical Journal (the worlds oldest aeronautical journal in production) and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an Associate Editor of Experiments in Fluids.
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CIBM 15th Anniversary Event

We are pleased to invite you to the 15th Anniversary Event of the CIBM at the EPFL Forum Rolex Learning Center on October 30th 2019

The upcoming Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM) 15th Anniversary event aims to give the recognition to CIBM members, collaborators, partners and all stakeholders for their contributions in research, teaching and service activities over the last 15 years. In engaging with the scientific community and the public, we hope to share CIBM's vision and objectives for the future.
Our Guest of Honor is Emeritus Prof. Denis Hochstrasser M.D., UNIGE. The program includes morning and afternoon plenary talks by world renowned scientists Prof. Denis Le Bihan, NeuroSpin CEA, Prof. Klaas Prüssmann, ETHZ and Prof. Charles Schroeder, COLUMBIA University, talks by partners and collaborators Prof. Kim Do Cuénod, CHUV-UNIL, Prof. Petra Susan Huppi, HUG-UNIGE and Dr. Kwangyu Shi, University of Bern and CIBM Section Heads Prof. Matthias Stuber, Prof. François Lazeyras, Prof, Christoph Michel and Prof. Dimitri Van De Ville. Furthermore, there will be a talk by CIBM Founding Director Prof. Rolf Gruetter. The event will close with a panel session comprising of CIBM Scientific Advisory Board members Prof. Pierre Magistretti and Prof. Denis Le Bihan and  members of the CIBM Strategy Committee Prof. Reto Meuli and Guest of Honor Prof. Denis Hochstrasser. There will also be poster sessions and demonstrations by CIBM collaborators and research staff scientists during the coffee breaks, lunch and the afternoon apero.
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Seminar by Dr. Vivianna Fang, ETH Zurich

Dr. Vivianna Fang, ETH Zurich

"Leader Emergence in Nascent Venture Teams: The Critical Roles of Individual Emotion Regulation and Team Emotions"


This study advances a theory of how different aspects of emotion regulation influence individual leader emergence in the intensely emotional context of nascent venture teams. Despite the growing amount of research on the role of leadership in the entrepreneurial process, the emergence of leaders in nascent venture teams has rarely been explored. Drawing on theories and research on leadership emergence and emotion regulation, we argue that the two aspects of emotion regulation (i.e., reappraisal and suppression) exert opposite effects on the degree to which nascent venture team members come to perceive an individual as a leader. We also theorize that team emotions arising from affective events moderate the relationship between reappraisal and leader emergence in such teams. Data from 103 nascent venture teams without prior leaders show a negative relationship between individuals’ trait disposition to suppress emotions and their emergence as leaders, and a positive relationship between their trait disposition to reappraise emotions and their emergence as leaders. Moreover, we find that negative team emotions magnify the positive association between reappraisal and leader emergence, while positive team emotions mitigate it.
We discuss the implications of our findings for the literature on entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurial emotions, and leadership in general.
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Ask the Entrepreneur @ EPFL #3: The importance of an MVP

Florian GerlichInsolight

Don’t miss the last Ask the Entrepreneur event on October 31st! Florian Gerlich, co-founder of Insolight, will share his experience on the importance of your first MVP to reach potential customers. Join us after for a networking lunch. Apply here

The series of three workshops is based on a mission and challenge approach to enhance the validation and execution of your business case. Our goal is to support the best startup talents in Switzerland in order to build world-class startups the fastest way possible.

Apply if you have an innovative startup project and the ambition to conquer the world. Student, doctoral candidate, postdoc or member of staff at EPFL or any other Swiss university carrying a solid high-tech startup project are also more than welcome to join.

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Two-Dimensional Colloidal Quantum Wells for Future Photonic Sources

Prof. Chih-Jen SHIH
Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences
ETH Zurich

ChE-606 - Highlights in Energy Research seminar series
Miniaturized photonic sources based on semiconducting two-dimensional (2D) materials offer new technological opportunities beyond the modern III-V platforms. For example, the quantum-confined 2D electronic structure aligns the exciton transition dipole moment, directing emission perpendicular to the surface which gives rise to high-efficiency quantum optics and electroluminescent devices. It requires scalable materials and processes to create the decoupled multi-quantum-well (MQW) superlattices, in which individual 2D material layers are isolated by atomically thin quantum barriers (QBs). My research group developed synthetic routes to obtain monodispersed, quantum-confined colloidal quantum wells (CQWs) of lead halide perovskites with precise thickness control, yielding different emission colors without altering the chemical composition. We successfully developed the protocols fabricating the thin-film MQW superlattices out of these materials. Unexpectedly, an enhancement of PLQY with respect to colloidal dispersions was observed, and individual QWs can be decoupled with unprecedentedly ultrathin QBs that screen interlayer interactions within the range of 6.5 Å. These unique phenomena were investigated in order to uncover the underlying physical mechanisms. The photonic sources demonstrated here have narrowband emission together with high quantum yield, directionality, and wavelength tunability, which are highly desirable for many near-field and far-field applications such as nanoantennas and light-emitting diodes.

The seminar can also be followed remotely by joining the online Cisco WebEx meeting (connection possible 15 minutes before the talk).
See here the documentation how to install the Cisco WebEx add-on on your computer.
In case of problem, you can contact our IT support (37679 - it.vs@epfl.ch)
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Enabling Continuous Learning through Synaptic Plasticity in Hardware

Tushar Krishna, Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.

Ever since modern computers were invented, the dream of creating artificial intelligence (AI) has captivated humanity. We are fortunate to live in an era when, thanks to deep learning (DL), computer programs have paralleled, and in many cases even surpassed human level accuracy in tasks like visual perception and speech synthesis. However, we are still far away from realizing general-purpose AI. The problem lies in the fact that the development of supervised learning based DL solutions today is mostly open loop.  A typical DL model is created by hand-tuning the deep neural network (DNN) topology by a team of experts over multiple iterations, followed by training over petabytes of labeled data. Once trained, the DNN provides high accuracy for the task at hand; if the task changes, however, the DNN model needs to be re-designed and re-trained before it can be deployed. A general-purpose AI system, in contrast, needs to have the ability to constantly interact with the environment and learn by adding and removing connections within the DNN autonomously, just like our brain does. This is known as synaptic plasticity.

In this talk, we will present our research efforts towards enabling general-purpose AI leveraging plasticity in both the algorithm and hardware. First, we will present GeneSys (MICRO 2018), a HW-SW prototype of a closed loop learning system for continuously evolving the structure and weights of a DNN for the task at hand using genetic algorithms, providing 100-10000x higher performance and energy-efficiency over state-of-the-art embedded and desktop CPU and GPU systems. Next, we will present a DNN accelerator substrate called MAERI (ASPLOS 2018), built using light-weight, non-blocking, reconfigurable interconnects, that supports efficient mapping of regular and irregular DNNs with arbitrary dataflows, providing ~100% utilization of all compute units, resulting in 3X speedup and energy-efficiency over our prior work Eyeriss (ISSCC 2016). Finally, time permitting, we will describe our research in enabling rapid design-space exploration and prototyping of hardware accelerators using our dataflow DSL + cost-model called MAESTRO (MICRO 2019).
Bio: Tushar Krishna is an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. He also holds the ON Semiconductor Junior Professorship. He has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT (2014), a M.S.E in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University (2009), and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi (2007). Before joining Georgia Tech in 2015, Dr. Krishna spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher at Intel, Massachusetts.

Dr. Krishna’s research spans computer architecture, interconnection networks, networks-on-chip (NoC) and deep learning accelerators - with a focus on optimizing data movement in modern computing systems. Three of his papers have been selected for IEEE Micro’s Top Picks from Computer Architecture, one more received an honorable mention, and two have won best paper awards. He received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CRII award in 2018, and both a Google Faculty Award and a Facebook Faculty Award in 2019. He also received the “Class of 1940 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness” Award from Georgia Tech in 2018.

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Privacy in the Digital Age: EPFL and RTS to host radio series for the public

Jessica Pidoux - Assistante doctorante à l’Institut des Humanités Digitales de l’EPFL
Daniel Gatica-Perez - Professeur à l’Institut des Humanités Digitales de l’EPFL et à l'Institut de recherche et d’enseignement en intelligence artificielle (LIDIAP)
Sébastien Fanti - Avocat spécialiste de la protection des données
Niels Weber - Psychologue spécialiste de l’hyperconnectivité

A series of four weekly radio shows will be recorded live by Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) at EPFL’s ArtLab in November. EPFL professors and external experts will debate key issues at the intersection of digitization and society, and members of the public are invited to attend. Topics will range from artificial intelligence, privacy and law, to art, culture and history.

All discussion will be in French.

The recordings are open to the public (upon registration) who will be able to take an active part in the discussions.

Broadcast RTS: on Espace 2 on Saturday from 5pm to 6pm and on La Première on Sunday from 8pm to 9pm.

The other shows:

    Saturday 2 November at 5 p.m.
    How can we protect the boundaries of our private lives without giving up digital tools that are becoming increasingly essential?

    Jessica Pidoux: Doctoral assistant at the EPFL Institute of Digital Humanities (DHI)
    Daniel Gatica-Perez: Professor at EPFL DHI and at the Institute for Research and Teaching in Artificial Intelligence (LIDIAP)
    Sébastien Fanti: Data protection lawyer
    Niels Weber: Psychologist specializing in hyperconnectivity

    Anne Laure Gannac, Journalist RTS
Next shows > Register to attend one or more of the programs 
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Merging Human-Machine Intelligence with Soft Materials Technology

Prof. Dr. Xuanhe Zhao,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT

Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne SV 1717 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/385971995

Abstract: Whereas human tissues and organs are mostly soft, wet and bioactive; machines are commonly hard, dry and biologically inert. Merging humans, machines and their intelligence is of imminent importance in addressing grand societal challenges in health, sustainability, security, education and joy of living. However, interfacing humans and machines is extremely challenging due to their fundamentally contradictory properties. At MIT Zhao Lab, we exploit soft materials technology to form long-term, high-efficacy, multi-modal interfaces and convergence between humans and machines.  In this talk, I will first discuss the mechanics to design extreme properties including tough, resilient, adhesive, strong, fatigue-resistant and conductive for hydrogels, which are ideal material candidates for human-machine interfaces. Then I will discuss a set of soft materials technology platforms, including i). bioadhesives for instant strong adhesion of diverse wet dynamic tissues and machines; ii). bioelectronics for long-term multi-modal neural interfaces; iii). biorobots for teleoperated and autonomous navigations and operations in previously inaccessible lesions such as in cerebral and coronary arteries. I will conclude the talk with a perspective on future human-machine convergence enabled by soft materials technology.

Bio: Xuanhe Zhao is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at MIT. The mission of Zhao Lab is to advance science and technology on the interfaces between humans and machines for addressing grand societal challenges in health, sustainability, security, education and joy of living. Dr. Zhao was a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2018. He received young investigator and early career awards from National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Society of Engineering Science, Adhesion Society, American Vacuum Society, and Materials Today; best paper awards from Extreme Mechanics Letters and Journal of Applied Mechanics. He held chair professorships at MIT and previously at Duke University.

Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program.

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title to be announced

Prof. Camilla Foged, University of Copenhagen (DK)

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

  • Professor of Vaccine Design and Delivery at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018-present
  • Group Leader at the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2014-present
  • Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2008-2018
  • Post.Doc/Assistant Research Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry, The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2004-2008 (maternity leave in 2005)
  • Research Assistant at the Division of Hematology, Karolinska Hospital and Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004
  • Research Assistant at the Department of Pharmaceutics, the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2003
  • Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Pharmaceutics, The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1999-2003 (maternity leave in 2002)
  • Research Fellow at Novo Nordisk A/S, Gentofte/Bagsværd, Denmark, 1996-1998
  • ERASMUS Student at Dipartimento di Biotechnologie (DIBIT), Ospedale San Raffaele, and Universitá delgi Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy, 19
Zoom link for attending remotely: to be announced.
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IMX Seminar Series - New Materials & Process for Luxury Watches & Jewelry

Dr Frederic Diologent, Richemont Group Switzerland

High-end watches and jewelry are large consumer of precious metals and required more and more advanced materials in order to improve products attractiveness in terms of quality and aesthetics. Therefore, development of new precious alloys and processes have been carried out at Richemont R&I during the last four years in order to address this issue. The topics that will be developed into this talk will be related to the colors of precious metals, either the standard 18 carats gold with color ranging from yellow to red or others unusual colors that could be achieved, and the improvement of strength of alloys through the severe plastic deformation process. Researches are also carried out on non-precious metals and the development of bulk metallic glasses watch cases will be detailed.

Bio: Frederic Diologent is materials research and innovation director for the luxury goods group Richemont, where Frederic animate a team who brings new materials and process to watches and jewelry products.
He received a Master in physics from the University of Rouen and a PhD in Metallurgy from the University of Paris Sud and from the French aerospace lab (ONERA). From 2002 to 2009 he worked as researcher at the ETHZ and EPFL on nickel-based superalloys, titanium aluminides, gold alloys, copper alloys, metallic foams and aluminum alloys. After a first experience in industry in 2009 in the solar energy he joined the group Richemont in 2011 within Cartier Horlogerie and then in 2014 moved to R&I to launch the materials lab. Authors or coauthors of more than 40 publications and patents he always try to pushed lab’s research into industry.

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Defining mitochondrial protein function through systems biochemistry

David J. Pagliarini 1, 2         (1, Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI 53715, USA - 2, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA)

Despite their position as the iconic powerhouses of cellular biology, many aspects of mitochondria remain remarkably obscure—a fact that contributes to our poor ability to address mitochondrial dysfunction therapeutically. Such dysfunction contributes to a vast array of human diseases through distinct means. For instance, aberrant mitochondrial biogenesis can fail to properly set cellular mitochondrial content; dysregulated signaling processes can fail to calibrate mitochondrial activity to changing cellular needs; and malfunctioning proteins can render core bioenergetic processes ineffectual. A major bottleneck to understanding—and ultimately addressing—these processes is that the proteins driving them are often undefined. Concurrently, the functions of hundreds of mitochondrial proteins that may fulfill these roles are not known, or at best are poorly understood. The high-level goal of my research program is to help achieve a more complete, systems-level understanding of mitochondrial biology by systematically establishing the functions of orphan mitochondrial proteins and their roles within disease-related processes. We do so by first devising multi-dimensional analyses designed to make new connections between these proteins and established pathways and processes. We then employ mechanistic and structural approaches to define the functions of select proteins at biochemical depth. This ‘systems biochemistry’ strategy is helping us address three outstanding biological questions: Which orphan mitochondrial proteins fulfill the missing steps in classic mitochondrial processes, including the biosynthesis of coenzyme Q and other aspects of respiratory chain function? What proteins assist in the orchestrated assembly of lipids, metabolites, and proteins (from two genomes) to ensure proper mitochondrial biogenesis? And, which resident signaling proteins direct the post-translational regulation of mitochondrial activities? In answering these questions, we aim to help transform the mitochondrial proteome from a component list into a metabolic circuitry of connected functions, and to elucidate the biochemical underpinnings of mitochondrial dysfunction in human disease.

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Polymeric modules for synthetic biology

Prof. Katharina Landfester 

Since many years, there is a quest for minimal cells in the field of synthetic biology, potentially allowing a maximum of efficien­cy in biotechnological processes. Although the so-called “protocells” are usually referred to in all papers that attempt a cumulative definition of Synthetic Biology, research in this area has been largely under-represented. The aim of the Landfester lab is to develop vesicular structures, i.e. protocells, based on block copolymer self-assembly and engulfed nanocontainers with incorporated functions, such as energy production and the control of transport properties through nanomembranes. They have designed and developed nanocapsules that act as cell-like compartments and can be loaded with enzymes for synthetic biology and chemistry. In addition, self-assembly of well-defined diblock copolymers has been used to generate polymersomes and hybrid liposomes/polymersomes. Both strategies allow the compartimentalization on the nano- or microscale and conducting enzymatic or chemical reactions in the confinement of the polymersomes/ nanocarriers. New block copolymers and permeable nanocarriers have been synthesized and optimized. With these protocols, the Landfester lab established an enzymatic reaction cascade within droplet-based compartments. These compartments can act as cell-like functions to regenerate NAD. For these tasks, novel conductive polymer nanoparticles have been developed which will be included into the protocells for the NAD regeneration by light. Also enzyme-complexes are assembled that will fulfill these requirements.

Katharina Landfester received her doctoral degree in Physical Chemistry after working in 1995 at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPIP). After a postdoctoral stay at the Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), she worked at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam (Germany) leading the mini-emulsion group. From 2003 to 2008, she was full professor at the University of Ulm. At the MPIP, she started her activities in the field of biomedical applications in cooperation with several medical groups working on the interaction of nanoparticles with different cell compartments, the labelling of cells and the delivery of substances to specific sides. She joined the Max Planck Society in 2008 as one of the directors of the MPIP. She was awarded the Reimund Stadler prize of the German Chemical Society and the prize of the Dr. Hermann Schnell Foundation, followed by the Bruno Werdelmann Lecturer in 2012 and the Bayer Lecturer in 2014. Her research focusses on creating functional colloids for new material and biomaterial applications. She has published more than 650 papers in international journals, 30 reviews and holds more than 50 patents.

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IGM Colloquium: Some new directions in particle flow modeling

Prof. Ken Kamrin, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

This talk discusses developments in continuum modeling and hybridized discrete-continuum modeling for fluid-saturated and dry granular flows.  First we discuss a methodology for simulating "simple" continuum models for dry grains, focusing on a recent frictional plasticity model and a meshfree simulation approach using the Material Point Method (MPM).This approach on its own is shown sufficient to describe a number of granular intrusion problems.

However, due to its simplicity such a model cannot always be trusted to capture general flows accurately, nor represent particle-scale phenomena such as clogging, bouncing, and ballistic motion. To address this we propose a discrete-continuum hybrid approach, where an "oracle" algorithm dynamically partitions the domain into continuum MPM regions, where continuum modeling is safe, and discrete element regions where necessary. The domains overlap along transition zones, where a Lagrangian dynamics mass-splitting coupling principle enforces agreement between the two simulation states. Enrichment and homogenization operations allow the partitions to evolve over time. This approach accurately and efficiently simulates scenarios that previously required an entirely discrete treatment.

Finally, we discuss a technique for submerged granular flow problems, which treats the granular phase and the fluid phase as two separate, yet coupled continuum models. Using mixture theory, bouyancy and drag forces couple the Navier-Stokes behavior of the fluid phase to a dilatant, rate-sensitive granular flow model.  We run this mixture formulation using two coupled MPM simulations, one for the fluid phase and one for the granular phase, which solves for all continuum variables in all phases.  This methodology is shown able to replicate experimental results for saturated granular flows over a range of conditions and dilutions, and can be extended to account for more obscure effects, such as those giving rise to shear-thickening suspensions.
Ken Kamrin received a BS in Engineering Physics and a minor in Mathematics at UC Berkeley in 2003, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics at MIT in 2008.  Kamrin was an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences before joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty at MIT in 2011, where he was appointed the Class of 1956 Career Development Chair. Kamrin's research focuses on constitutive modeling and computational mechanics for large deformation processes, with interests spanning elastic and plastic solid modeling, viscous and non-Newtonian flows, amorphous solid mechanics, upscaling and continuum homogenization, and analytical methods for fluids and solids.  Kamrin has been awarded fellowships from the Hertz foundation, US Defense department, and National Science Foundation.  Kamrin received the 2010 Nicholas Metropolis Award from APS for work in computational physics, the NSF CAREER Award in 2012, the 2015 Eshelby Mechanics Award for Young Faculty, the Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award from the MIT School of Engineering in 2016, and the 2016 ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics Award.  He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Society of Engineering Science.
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Tech Apero – Smart Fibers for Wearable Sensors and Drug Delivery

René Rossi (Empa), Fabien Sorin (EPFL), Alexander Schaetz (Syngenta) and Siegfried Winkelbeiner (Schoeller)

Fibers and textiles are the only materials perennially in constant contact with our bodies. With the Internet of Things, clothes have become intelligent materials able to support the wearer, for instance as devices for medical assistance. Through consortia involving the major textile companies in Switzerland and academic research sponsored by the CCMX, new insights into fiber science are leading to the development of advanced technologies that allow wearable textiles to sense, monitor and respond to physiological or environmental changes.

Over the course of this Technology Apéro, the scientists leading the CCMX project, René Rossi and Fabien Sorin, will present novel fiber technologies based on electrospinning and thermal drawing, for on demand drug delivery and monitoring of specific metabolites. Moreover, Schoeller and Syngenta will present R&D developments, giving us an insight into the future of commercial textiles.

This event will be a perfect opportunity for you to discuss with industrial leaders and academics at the forefront of fiber research and development. The informal aperitif, offered after the talks, is an occasion to meet the speakers and explore opportunities for collaboration. Please join us!

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Quantitative Time-Resolved Dissection of Gene Expression and Cell Identity

Prof. David Suter, Institute of Bioengineering, EPFL (CH)

The genome contains the building plan of living organisms and largely determines their phenotype. Within complex multicellular animals, the differential activity of a common set of genes allows generating a large diversity of cell types. However, the activity of individual genes displays large temporal fluctuations, and mechanisms of gene regulation are disrupted when cells enter into mitosis. How these perturbations impact the control of cell identity is not understood.
My laboratory develops new approaches to dissect gene expression and cell fate decisions in a quantitative and time-resolved manner. I will first describe our quantifications of transcription factor-DNA interactions, the memory of gene activity through cell generations, and the coordination of protein synthesis and degradation in single living cells. I will then discuss how temporal fluctuations of transcription factor levels and their activity across the cell cycle impact self-renewal and differentiation of embryonic stem cells. Our work illustrates how quantitative time-resolved analysis of gene expression allows deepening our understanding of cell identity control.

Short bio:
David Suter obtained his MD/PhD at the University of Geneva on stem cell biology, followed by a first postdoctoral training with Ueli Schibler focusing on single cell monitoring of transcription. He then joined the group of Sunney Xie at Harvard University, where he co-developed a new method for single molecule live imaging of transcription factors in mammalian cells. In 2013, he obtained a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship and was subsequently nominated Tenure Track assistant Professor at the Institute of Bioengineering and EPFL School of Life Sciences. His research focuses on quantitative approaches to study gene expression and developmental cell fate decisions.
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Brainhack Global Geneva 2019

Three speakers during the event

Are you interested in collaborating on innovative brain-related projects during Brainhack at Campus Biotech in Geneva?

Brainhack is a 2 ½ day hackathon on brain technologies, mostly brain imaging but not only. It will take place on November Friday 8th and Saturday 9th, with a presentation of all the projects and a get together the day before on Thursday 7th at 5pm (cf full program here). 

To participate, you don’t need to know anything specific about the brain, just to bring yours! We welcome anyone from coders to doctors. Projects we just started collecting range from machine learning to identify brain states, via generating music from MRI signals, to developing a multiplayer game reading brain signals.

Contrarily to traditional hackathons during which teams compete, brainhacks are collaborative: all teams work on different projects and we’ll have more than a half-dozen for you to choose from. Project proposals just started being collected so right now you could attend the event in two ways:
  • as a participant to have fun on any project you’ll see presented during the pitches on Thursday: to do this please register here
  • as a project instigator to bring your own project idea (it could be anything from a toy project via an educational project to a mini-research project, cf previous and current projects): you are more than welcome to do so by filling this form (feel free to to email me if you have any question)
If you want to join we’ll take care of you with free breakfast, free lunch and unlimited coffee. There will be also optional social drinks and dinner planned for Friday night.

For more information, and to join the Brainhack, just check out our website at brainhack.ch.

Please note: Brainhack will be part of the well-advertised worldwide Brainhack Global series, so if you already know you want to attend this 2 ½ day event, do not wait to book your spot!
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Closing session 2019 CROSS projects - Theme: Resistance

Gabriela Tejada (EPFL), Caroline Roberts, Jessica Herzing (UNIL), Daniel Gatica-Perez (EPFL), Robert West, Andreas Spitz (EPFL) & Ahmad Abu-Akel (UNIL), Rafael Lalive, Inés Guardans Gonzalez, Isabelle Chappuis (UNIL), Nicola Nosengo (EPFL), Denis Gillet (EPFL), Delphine Preissmann (UNIL)

The 2019 CROSS-funded researchers will present the results of their projects around the theme "Resistance" and discuss their experiences with participants.

The CROSS Program encourages interdisciplinary projects that deal with current issues in society and technology, and that are carried out as a collaboration between researchers from EPFL and UNIL. Through an annual call for projects, CROSS provides competitive grants to support the preparatory phase of new research endeavors with a view to obtaining major funding.

13h45 - Welcome and introduction - by Gabriela Tejada (Academic Deputy at the EPFL College of Humanities)

Presentation of the 2019 projets in finalization:
  • 14h00 - Leveraging on-device smartphone inference to address resistance to participate in social surveys
    By Caroline Roberts, Jessica Herzing (UNIL SSP FORS) & Daniel Gatica-Perez (EPFL STI LIDIAP)
  • 14h20 - Mellowing extreme views via celebrity spokespeople, but gently
    By Robert West, Andreas Spitz (EPFL IC DLAB) & Ahmad Abu-Akel (UNIL SSP IP)
  • 14h40 - Discussion
  • 15h00 - Resisting human obsolescence in a world disrupted by machines
    By Rafael Lalive, Inés Guardans Gonzalez, Isabelle Chappuis (UNIL HEC) & Nicola Nosengo (EPFL STI LIS)
  • 15h20 - ReMediation: lmproving resistance to trauma through digital mediation
    By Denis Gillet (EPFL STI IEL) & Delphine Preissmann (UNIL SSP FBM)
  • 15h40 - Discussion
16h00 - End and aperitif
The event will be in English and French
Open to EPFL and UNIL communities upon registration
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EE Distinguished Speakers Seminar: Towards a power electronics based power systems

Antonello Monti received his M.Sc degree (summa cum laude) and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy in 1989 and 1994 respectively.  He started his career in Ansaldo Industria and then moved in 1995 to Politecnico di Milano as Assistant Professor.  In 2000 he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of South Carolina (USA) as Associate and then Full Professor.  Since 2008 he is the director of the Institute for Automation of Complex Power System within the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. Dr. Monti is author or co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers published in international Journals and in the proceedings of International conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, Associate Editor of the IEEE System Journal, Associate Editor of IEEE Electrification Magazine, Member of the Editorial Board of the Elsevier Journal SEGAN and member of the founding board of the Springer Journal “Energy Informatics”. Dr. Monti is the recipient of the 2017 IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award

Abstract: The energy transformation is bringing more and more power electronics into the power system. As result, we are moving from a classical electromechanical system to a fully electronic driven system. This change is significantly affecting the dynamics of the power system but also opening completely new opportunities. The presentation will discuss challenges and opportunities opened by this transformation. The main conclusion is that it is more an opportunity than a problem even if a lot of research is still needed to reach the definition of a full concept of automation for future power systems. At the same time, thanks to the experience earned in several projects, interesting options are emerging showing how the future power electronics-based power system could be actually more reliable than the classical power system.
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Engagement in the Digital Age: EPFL and RTS to host radio series for the public

Magaly Mathys - Co-responsable de Powercoders, Lausanne
Edouard Bugnion - Vice Président pour les systèmes d’information à l’EPFL
François Marthaler - Ancien Conseiller d’Etat Vaudois, entrepreneur, fondateur et directeur de Why!
Dominique Boullier - Sociologue, professeur des Universités, chercheur

A series of four weekly radio shows will be recorded live by Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) at EPFL’s ArtLab in November. EPFL professors and external experts will debate key issues at the intersection of digitization and society, and members of the public are invited to attend. Topics will range from artificial intelligence, privacy and law, to art, culture and history.

All discussion will be in French.

The recordings are open to the public (upon registration) who will be able to take an active part in the discussions.

Broadcast RTS: on Espace 2 on Saturday from 5pm to 6pm and on La Première on Sunday from 8pm to 9pm.

The other shows:

    Saturday 9 November, from 5pm to 6pm
    What impact does digitization have on our political conscience and on public engagement?

    Magaly Mathys: co-head of Powercoders Lausanne
    Edouard Bugnion: Vice President for Information Systems at EPFL
    François Marthaler: Entrepreneur and former member, Vaud Conseil d’État
    Dominique Boullier: EPFL lecturer and sociologist

    Anne Laure Gannac, Journalist RTS
Past and future shows
> Register to attend one or more of the programs 
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title to be announced

Prof. Barbara Treutlein, ETHZ, Zurich (CH)

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

Barbara Treutlein is Associate Professor of Quantitative Developmental Biology at D-BSSE. Her research focuses on human developmental biology, with a focus on how complex organs such as the liver and brain form. Barbara was a Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Munich and Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Zoom link for attending remotely: to be announced.
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IMX Seminar Series - Cellulose Nanofibrils: from Single Particle Structure to Multiscale Material Assembly

Dr Gustav Nystrom, EMPA Switzerland

The increasing global population and improved living standards demand a more efficient use of available resources and energy, and it is therefore critical to improve the use of sustainable resources without sacrificing the quality of materials and products. Cellulose nanofibrils from wood represents an important class of sustainable biocolloids with great promise for use in high performance nanomaterials due to their high specific strength and stiffness, chemical resilience and self-organizing behavior. Optimal use of nanocellulose in new materials, however, requires control of both the individual particle structure as well as how the particles are assembled over several length scales. Our fundamental work in this area is dedicated to an understanding of the single particle structure and properties, and how this structural knowledge can be used to understand and predict the controlled formation of higher order structures that ultimately lead to materials with optimized functionality. We use high-resolution microscopy to elucidate the physical properties of nanocellulose particles, follow their liquid crystal assembly in the light microscope, use physical scaling arguments to understand the different phases that are formed and combine this knowledge with external structuring techniques to form functional nanocellulose materials. In this overview presentation, I will describe our multiscale research approach specifically highlighting the nanoscale features of the cellulose nanofibrils and also give examples of how these particles can be used to produce functional materials in the form of gels, foams and 3D printed materials with integrated functionalities.
Bio: Gustav Nyström received his PhD in Engineering Physics from Uppsala University in 2012. Following postdoctoral work at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) with Lars Wågberg and Lars Berglund in the Wallenberg Wood Science Center and at ETH Zurich with Raffaele Mezzenga, he is since 2018 head of the Cellulose & Wood Materials laboratory at Empa and a Lecturer at ETH Zurich. He was the recipient of the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation’s Skills Development Prize (2014) and is a Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Fellow (2016). His research focuses on the interactions between polymers, nanoparticles, and colloids from renewable resources with the aim of finding energy efficient routes to build high performance materials contributing to a sustainable future.

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EE Distinguished Speakers Seminar: Power Electronics – A Key Technology for the All-Electric/Digital World

Johann W. Kolar is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received his PhD degree (summa cum laude) from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. He is currently a Full Professor and the Head of the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. He has proposed numerous novel PWM converter topologies, modulation and control concepts and has supervised 70+ Ph.D. students. He has published 880+ scientific papers in international journals and conference proceedings and has filed 190+ patents. He received numerous awards, incl. 29 IEEE Transactions and Conference Prize Paper Awards, the 2016 IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award, and 2 ETH Zurich Golden Owl Awards for excellence in teaching. The focus of his current research is on ultra-compact / ultra-efficient SiC and GaN converter systems, solid-state transformers, advanced three-phase inverter concepts for variable speed motor drives, ultra-high speed and bearingless motors / actuators, and design automation in power electronics/mechatronics.

Abstract: This talk will first introduce the basic concepts of electronic power processing in analogy to digital signal processing, but underline the different scaling laws governing both areas. Next, the key importance of power electronics converters will be highlighted in relation to megatrends shaping the world over the coming decades and according research vectors will be identified.  Finally, examples of current research activities in Power Electronics and Advanced Mechatronics at ETH Zurich will be presented and future challenges/opportunities for academic research in energy electronics will be discussed.
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Memory in the digital age - EPFL and RTS to host radio series for the public

Isabella di Lenardo - Docteure en Histoire de l’art et de l’architecture, coordonnatrice du Venise Time Machine
Florence Graezer Bideau - Docteure en histoire et civilisation, maître d’enseignement et de recherche à l’EPFL
Ralph Rimet - Directeur fondateur de Tooyoo.ch, plateforme de soutien à la transmission des données
Delphine Preissmann - Docteure en psychologie cognitive et comportementale et en neurosciences, chargée de cours à l’UNIL

A series of four weekly radio shows will be recorded live by Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) at EPFL’s ArtLab in November. EPFL professors and external experts will debate key issues at the intersection of digitization and society, and members of the public are invited to attend. Topics will range from artificial intelligence, privacy and law, to art, culture and history.

All discussion will be in French.

The recordings are open to the public (upon registration) who will be able to take an active part in the discussions.

Broadcast RTS: on Espace 2 on Saturday from 5pm to 6pm and on La Première on Sunday from 8pm to 9pm.

    Saturday 16 November, from 5pm to 6pm
    Are digital tools a hindrance or a help when it comes to preserving personal, collective, and cultural memories?

    Isabella di Lenardo: Coordinator of the Venice Time Machine project at EPFL
    Florence Graezer Bideau: Lecturer in the EPFL CDH Institute for Area and Global Studies
    Ralph Rimet: Founding Director of data and asset transmission platform Tooyoo.ch
    Delphine Preissmann: Lecturer in cognitive and behavioral psychology at the University of Lausanne

    Anne Laure Gannac, Journalist RTS
The other shows:
> Register to attend one or more of the programs 
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Améliorer l'expressivité et sa voix pour ses cours

Rita Gay

Comment penser son contenu pou pouvoir bien le dire? En quoi la voix est une résultante du corps en action? Quelles technique vocales mettre en œuvre et exercer?

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title to be announced

Prof.  Liana Silva, University of Lisbon (PT)

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

LC Silva graduated in Biochemistry in 2001 at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidade de Lisboa (UL), Portugal, and obtained her PhD degree in Chemistry (Molecular Biophysics) in 2006 at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She developed her post-doctoral project at the interface between molecular biophysics and biochemistry as a research fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), Israel and at the IST (2007-2009). In 2009, she was awarded a Ciência 2008 Research position to set her research team focused on Molecular & Cellular Biophysics at the Faculty of Pharmacy from the UL. She currently holds an Investigator FCT research position at the same institution. LC Silva has an interdisciplinary background in biochemistry and cell biology, quantitative photophysics and molecular biophysics. Her research is multidisciplinary and bridges membrane biophysics and cell biology. She is interested in understanding the role of membrane biophysical properties in cell function and pathology. Her research is focused on membrane lipids and their interplay in biological membranes, aiming at evaluating their role in membrane organization and function, and to provide the molecular tools to develop improved therapeutics.

Zoom link for attending remotely: to be announced.
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IMX Seminar Series - Enhanced sampling of atomistic processes during structural phase transformations

Dr Jutta Rogal, Ruhr University Bochum Germany

Obtaining atomistic insight into the fundamental processes during structural phase transformations and their dynamical evolution up to experimental timescales remains one of the great challenges in materials modelling. In particular, if the mechanisms of the phase transformations are governed by so-called rare events, the timescales of interest will reach far beyond the applicability of regular molecular dynamics simulations. In addition to the timescale problem the simulations provide a vast amount of data within the high-dimensional phase space. A meaningful physical interpretation of these data requires the projection into a low-dimensional space and the identification of suitable reaction coordinates.

In this presentation, I will give an overview of our recent progress in the application of advanced atomistic simulation techniques to capture the dynamical behaviour during phase transformations over a large range of timescales. One of the key results is the analysis of nucleation and growth mechanisms during solidification in metals that can be extracted from transition path sampling simulations. By applying a likelihood maximisation scheme the quality of different reaction coordinates is evaluated which enables us to identify the most important order parameters that characterise the atomistic processes during the initial stages of nucleation and growth.
A second example is the analysis of phase boundary migration during solid-solid transformations in metals between two different crystal structures with semi-coherent interfaces. The transformation proceeds via a collective displacement of atoms in the interface region. The associated effective energy barrier that determines the mobility of the phase boundary results from the characteristic features of the complex energy landscape that the system explores during the transformation.

Bio: Jutta Rogal received her PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2006, carrying out her PhD work on electronic structure calculations for surface catalysis at the Fritz Haber-Institute of the Max Planck Society. For her PhD thesis she was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and the Ernst-Reuter Preis of the Freie Universität Berlin. In 2007 Dr. Rogal moved to the University of Amsterdam as a postdoctoral researcher to develop methodological extensions to the transition path sampling approach. Since 2009 she is a research group leader at Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulations (ICAMS) at the Ruhr University Bochum.  Her group focusses on the development and application of advanced atomistic simulation technique to capture the dynamical behaviour of materials on extended timescales.  This includes the investigation of phenomena related to phase transformations such as diffusion, nucleation, and growth. In 2016 Dr. Rogal was awarded a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation which she spent at New York University in 2017/18 working on enhanced sampling techniques for high dimensional energy landscapes.

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EPFL Innovation Day

2019 marks our 50th year of transferring cutting-edge technology to industry. Join us and immerse yourself in the world of innovation with testimonials from
visionary industry leaders and outstanding entrepreneurs. 

The event is open to all, upon registration. Doors open at 2:30 pm and the conference starts at 3 pm. 
A closing aperitif will take place after the conference around 7pm.
The detailed programme can be found on the Innovation Day website.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Martine Clozel, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals
  • Aude Pugin, Apco Technologies
  • Edouard Bugnion, EPFL
  • Jurgi Camblong, Sophia Genetics
  • Marc Gruber, EPFL
  • Patrick Hertzog, Nexthink
  • Amin Shokrollahi, Kandou Bus
  • Martin Vetterli, EPFL

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Creativity in the digital age - EPFL and RTS to host radio series for the public

Marc Atallah - Maître d’enseignement et de recherche en lettres à l’UNIL, directeur de la Maison d’Ailleurs
Florian Colombo - Doctorant au laboratoire de calcul neuromimétique de l’EPFL, co-créateur d’une intelligence artificielle de composition musicale
Kirell Benzi - Data artiste
Giulia Bini – Assistante curatoriale et production à l’ArtLab

A series of four weekly radio shows will be recorded live by Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) at EPFL’s ArtLab in November. EPFL professors and external experts will debate key issues at the intersection of digitization and society, and members of the public are invited to attend. Topics will range from artificial intelligence, privacy and law, to art, culture and history.

All discussion will be in French.

The recordings are open to the public (upon registration) who will be able to take an active part in the discussions.

Broadcast RTS: on Espace 2 on Saturday from 5pm to 6pm and on La Première on Sunday from 8pm to 9pm.

    Saturday 23 November, from 5pm to 6pm
    What can digital tools bring to creativity, and does it still make sense to differentiate between digital and contemporary art?

    Marc Atallah: Lecturer in the EPFL CDH Social and Human Sciences program
    Florian Colombo: Doctoral student in the EPFL Computational Neuroscience Lab
    Kirell Benzi: Data artist
    Giulia Bini: Curatorial and production assistant at ArtLab

    Anne Laure Gannac, Journalist RTS

    A concert of electronic music and an aperitif will close this last show in the "In the Digital Age" series.
    Free admission upon registration
The other shows:
> Register to attend one or more of the programs
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Shedding Light on Ciliary cAMP Signaling

Prof. Dagmar Wachten, University of Bonn (D)

(sandwiches served)

Primary cilia are cellular antennae, orchestrating signal transduction in most mammalian cells. Cilia dysfunction leads to the development of severe human diseases, collectively termed ciliopathies. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are ill-defined. Cilia constitute a unique subcellular compartment. A diffusion barrier and the ciliary transport machinery maintain a protein composition that is distinct from the cell body. Although cAMP signaling components are enriched in the cilium, the role of ciliary cAMP signaling remains enigmatic. We have developed approaches that allows to specifically analyze cAMP signaling in motile and non-motile cilia using optogenetics and, thereby, shed light on ciliary signaling.

Academic qualifications
  • 2014 Habilitation: Molecular Biomedicine, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2006 Doctorate: Dr. rer. nat., Biology (Biochemistry), University of Cologne, Germany
  • 1998 - 2003 Diploma, Biology, University of Cologne, Germany

Postgraduate professional career
  • 2017 - pres. Professor (W2) for Biophysical Imaging at the Institute of Innate Immunity
  • 2014 - 2017 Max Planck Research Group Leader (W2), Minerva Max Planck Research Group “Molecular Physiology”, Research Center caesar, Bonn
  • 2009 - 2013 Project Group Leader, Research Group „Molecular Physiology“, caesar, an Institute of the Max Planck Society, Bonn
  • 2007 - 2009 Postdoctoral research fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Signaling, Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
  • 2006 Postdoc, Research Center Jülich, Germany
  • 2003 - 2006 PhD thesis, Institute for Biological Information Processing, Prof. U.B. Kaupp, Research Center Jülich, Germany

Zoom link for attending remotely: to be announced.
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IMX Seminar Series - Amyloid Fibrils: Once Pathological Agents, Today Building Blocks for the Future

Prof. Raffaele Mezzenga,ETH Zurich Switzerland

Protein fibrils are protein aggregates, which can be generated from food-grade proteins by unfolding and hydrolysis. The resulting protein fibrils can be used in a broad context of applications. At length scales above the well-established atomistic fingerprint of amyloid fibrils, these colloidal aggregates exhibit mesoscopic properties comparable to those of natural polyelectrolytes, yet with persistence lengths several orders of magnitude beyond the Debye length. This intrinsic rigidity, together with their chiral, polar and charged nature, provides these systems with some unique physical behavior. In this talk I will discuss our current understanding on the mesoscopic properties of amyloid fibrils at the single molecule level, the implication of their semiflexible nature on their liquid crystalline properties, and I will illustrate how this information prove useful in understanding their collective behavior in bulk and when adsorbed at liquid interfaces. By the careful exploitation of the physical properties of amyloid fibrils, the design of advanced materials with unprecedented physical properties become possible, and I will give a few examples on how these systems can ideally suit the design not only of complex food systems, but also of biosensors and biomaterials, catalytic and water purification membranes.

Bio: Raffaele Mezzenga received his PhD from EPFL Lausanne in 2001 and spent 2001-2002 as a postdoctoral scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara, working on the self-assembly of polymer colloids. In 2003 he moved to the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne as research scientist, working on the self-assembly of surfactants, natural amphiphiles and lyotropic liquid crystals. In 2005 he was hired as Associate Professor in the Physics Department of the University of Fribourg, and he then joined ETH Zurich on 2009 as Full Professor. His research focuses on the fundamental understanding of self-assembly processes in polymers, lyotropic liquid crystals, food and biological colloidal systems. Prof. Mezzenga has been recipient of several national and international distinctions such as the 2011 AOCS Young Scientist Research Award, the 2013 Dillon Medal and the 2017 Fellowship of the American Physical Society, the Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules 2013 Young Investigator Award of the American Chemical Society, the 2004 Swiss Science National Foundation Professorship Award and the 2019 Spark Award for the most innovative 2019 ETH invention.

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IGM Colloquium: Nano-optics gets practical

Prof. Romain Guidant, Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)

Twenty years of extensive research in the field of nanooptics have enabled us to considerably advance light control on the nanometer scale. Beyond the original peak of inflated expectation, the assets of nanooptics over other technologies became clearer along with its limitations. More recently, the field has entered into the slope of enlightenment in which its actual contribution to both basic research and novel technologies has been better identified. In this talk, following a general introduction on the main assets of nano-optics, we will review different aspects of our research where nano-optical resonators are used as an enabling technology that can benefit a wide range of scientific disciplines, all the way from reconfigurable planar optics to biomedicine.
The first part of the talk focuses on our recent efforts towards reconfigurable metasurfaces. Our approach relies on dynamically controlling the refractive index in the close vicinity of a silicon metalens by means of a resistor embedded in a thermo-optical polymer. We demonstrate precise and continuous tuneability of the focal length, and achieve focal length variations larger than the Rayleigh length for voltage as low as 10V and time-response in the 10ms range. We also demonstrate that by solving the inverse problem, we are able to deterministically achieve any desired phase front. In the second part of the talk, we discuss the use of both dielectric and metallic nanoresonators in the context of biosensing and lab-on-a-chip technology. The sensors are integrated into a state-of-the-art PDMS microfluidic environment and their surface functionalized to achieve specific detection of the targeted biomarkers. We directly compare the performance of gold and silicon nanosensors and discuss their respective advantages. Finally, we discuss our latest advances in the field of thermoplasmonics, presenting two new application in additive manufacturing (3D printing) and disinfection of surgical implants.
I received a PhD in Physics (2002) from the University of Dijon, in France. Right after defending my thesis, I joined ICFO as a postdoctoral researcher. This was the year of its creation and I was lucky enough to get actively involved into the early developments of the Institute. In 2006, I was appointed junior Professor (tenure-track) and group leader of the Plasmon NanoOptics group at ICFO. In 2009, I became tenure Professor both at ICFO and ICREA. While my core expertise is in fundamental nano-optics, I am very much interested in multidisciplinary research, interfacing physics with other disciplines of science, as well as in technology transfer. I am recipient of 4 ERC grants (StG2010, PoC2011, PoC2015 and CoG2015) and several international and national prizes (Fresnel2009, City of BCN2010, ICO2012, CAT2014, BS2017). Since 2014, I serve as an associate editor for ACSPhotonics (American Chemical Society).
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Dr. Silvano De Franceschi - IMT Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Silvano De Franceschi

Institute of Microengineering - Distinguished Lecture

Campus Lausanne SV 1717 (live)
Campus Microcity MC B0 302 (video)
Zoom Live Stream: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/982557518

Abstract and Bio to follow.

Note: The Seminar Series is eligible for ECTS credits in the EDMI doctoral program

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title to be announced

Prof. Jussi Taipale, Cambridge University (UK)

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

To be provided.

Zoom link for attending remotely:  https://epfl.zoom.us/j/855402627
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title to be announced

Prof. Julie Champion, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA (USA)

(sandwiches served)

To be provided.

  • Developing therapeutic protein materials, where the protein is both the drug and the delivery system
  • Engineering proteins to control and understand protein particle self-assembly
  • Repurposing and engineering pathogenic proteins for human therapeutics
  • Creating materials that mimic cell-cell interactions to modulate immunological functions for various applications, including inflammation, cancer, autoimmune disease, and vaccination
B.S.E 2001, University of Michigan Ph.D. 2007, University of California, Santa Barbara  

Zoom link for attending remotely: to be announced.
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IMX Seminar Series - Microsonics for communication and sensors

Prof. Paul Muralt, EPFL Switzerland

Microsonics has emerged as field in microsystems technology dealing with ultrasonic applications. Considering that typical sound velocities in solids are ranging from 4’000 to 10’000 m/s we conclude that a wavelength of a micrometer corresponds to frequencies of 4 to 10 GHz. This means that mechanical resonators with micrometer dimensions resonate in the lower GHz frequency range, the same range as the transmission bands of mobile telecommunication (between 0.4 and 3 GHz). Of course, we need a link between wireless transmission based on electromagnetic waves, and the ultrasonic waves in microsonic devices. The required transformation is provided by piezoelectric materials, either as single crystal or as thin film. Modern mobile communication owes its existence indeed to piezoelectric materials, because only electromechanical resonances in selected piezoelectrics yield high enough quality factors within reasonably small dimensions.
This talk focuses on piezoelectric thin film resonators, which in the simplest configuration are just thickness mode vibrators. We note again that a typical thin film thickness fits well the required half-wavelength thickness for communication bands in the lower GHz frequency bands. Microsonics developed in parallel to mainstream MEMS technology, focusing on integrating piezoelectric films, and improving dimensional precision. There are of course very high requirements as to the quality and stability of such films. The best material found so far is AlN, having a correct size of piezoelectric coupling, a large mechanical quality factor, and also a good thermal conductivity, which is important for filters in the transmit line to support the power in the sending mode. With the discovery of the extraordinary increase of piezoelectricity when alloying non-piezoelectric ScN into AlN by a Japanese group, the field got a new thrill. The larger piezoelectric coupling allows for larger communication bands, satisfying better the ever-increasing need for higher bit rates.  Moreover, other types of resonators having inherently lower coupling factors than the simple devices exploiting longitudinal bulk waves become now also interesting.
The talk will address some growth and microstructural issues in Al(1-x)ScxN thin films. The piezoelectric wurtzite phase is in fact a metastable phase, and its growth in a polarly oriented microstructure at relatively low temperatures (300 °C) is a typical achievement of sputter deposition. Nevertheless, there is a certain risk to obtain misaligned grains that are thought to be caused by secondary nucleation of ScN rich, nanometer sized rocksalt within grain boundaries at the surface of the growing wurtzite film. On the acoustic side we shall speak about a breakthrough in Lamb wave devices, for which a larger quality factor was achieved when having the wave-carrying plate not freely supported, but isolated by an acoustic Bragg mirror structure. Finally, another novel device is presented, a 3D machined micro transducer that couples bulk waves generated in periodic pillars into a surface wave that is travelling away on the substrate surface. When combined with a reflector grid at some distance, the wave comes back into the transducer and is detected as echo. Knowing the temperature coefficient of the surface wave, the travelling time reveals the temperature of the device. A wireless coupling between transducer and an antenna enables then a wireless temperature readout up to 600 °C in experiment, with prospects to reach 800 °C.

Bio: Paul Muralt is professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL at Lausanne, Switzerland. He leads a group working in electroceramic thin films within the Materials Science Institute, studying particularly piezoelectric and solid ionic MEMS and NEMS devices. Having a background (PhD) in solid state physics, he moved more and more into thin films, surface, and materials science for micro and nanotechnology. In his professional career he was working at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, the Free University of Berlin, and in a thin film coating industry (Balzers) before joining the Ceramics Laboratory at EPFL in 1993. His PhD studies dealt with incommensurate crystalline phases in an organic-inorganic layered perovskite structure. As a post-Doc, he pioneered scanning tunneling potentiometric imaging. Today, he is particularly known for his works in processing, characterization and applications of piezoelectric and pyroelectric thin films such as PbZrTiO3 and Al1-xScxN, including also works on materials integration, micro machining, and device physics. He teaches thin film deposition, micro and nano structuration, surface analysis and introduction to ceramics. He authored or co-authored over 250 scientific articles. He is IEEE Fellow, received the outstanding achievement award of the International Symposium of Integrated Ferroelectrics (ISIF) in 2005, and the C.B. Sawyer award from the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium in 2016. He acted as co-chair of the MRS spring meeting 2008, co-organized MRS and E-MRS symposia, served in program committees of the International IEEE Symposium on Applications for Ferroelectrics (ISAF) and ISIF conferences, and of the European Meeting on Ferroelectricity (EMF). He was co-founder of the International Workshops on PiezoMEMS (IWPM) in 2010. He was an IEEE distinguished lecturer in 2017. In 2019, he was general chair of the joint meeting including ISAF, EMF, the International Conference on Electroceramics (ICE), IWPM, and the Workshop on piezo-AFM (PFM).

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IGM Colloquium: Buffering by buckling: New wrinkles on Gauss’ Pizza Theorem

Prof. Dominic Vella, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

The deformations of thin elastic objects are familiar from everyday life, from a piece of paper or clothes crumpling, to vibrations of bridges and other structures. A guiding principle of such deformations is that the material chooses to bend, rather than change its length, whenever possible. I will describe some of the consequences of this desire to avoid stretching and Gauss’ Remarkable Theorem, which include everyday examples like the geometrical rigidification of pizza slices by curving the crust. However, I will show that these consequences can be subverted by buckling instabilities such as wrinkling. Finally, I will talk about how fast these deformations happen.

Dominic Vella is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute in the University of Oxford, as well as a tutorial fellow at Lincoln College. Within the Mathematical Institute, he is affiliated to both OCCAM and OCIAM. In earlier lives, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and did post-docs in Paris (supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851) and in Cambridge. His research is concerned with various aspects of solid and fluid mechanics in general but with particular focus on the wrinkling of thin elastic objects and surface tension effects.
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Hydrogel-based Electronics: Ultracompliant electrodes for neural interfaces and beyond

Prof Christopher J Bettinger, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Implantable neural interfaces underpin many technologies that rely on recording and stimulating neuronal activity from organs in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Reliable and stable chronic recording from excitable tissues using implantable multielectrode arrays has been elusive to date due, in part, to host tissue interactions that contribute to device failure. Local tissue damage and device failure is worsened by the mechanical mismatch between materials used to fabricated rigid silicon-based microfabricated multielectrode arrays (EMEA ~ 100 GPa) and tissues in the nervous system (EPNS ~ 10 kPa). Hydrogel-based electronics could reduce the mechanical mismatch across the tissue-device interface and enhance performance. Here we present materials and companion fabrication strategies to create ultracompliant electronic devices for use in peripheral nerve interfaces. Integrated strategies for polymer synthesis, processing, and microfabrication are described. Details regarding the in vitro and in vivo performance of these devices will also be presented.

Bio:  Christopher Bettinger is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He directs the laboratory for Biomaterials-based Microsystems and Electronics at CMU, which designs materials and interfaces to integrate medical devices with the human body. Chris has published over 80 articles and has been issued over 10 patents. Chris has received honors including the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research, the MIT Tech Review TR35 Top Young Innovator under 35, and the DARPA Young Investigator Award.  Prof. Bettinger is also a co-inventor on several patents and Co-Founder and CTO of Ancure, an early stage medical device company. Prof. Bettinger received an S.B. in Chemical Engineering, an M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering as a Charles Stark Draper Fellow, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in the Department of Chemical Engineering as an NIH Ruth Kirschstein Fellow.

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2019 Advanced Course: Introduction to scanning electron microscopy microanalysis techniques

Dr. Xavier Maeder; Dr. Johann Michler

Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) are the Swiss Army knives of materials analysis instruments. Modern SEMs in particular, when combined with focused ion beams (Dual beam FIBs), provide a larger number of multimodal imaging and different analytical methods.

The course format consists of introductory lectures in the morning, and then lectures on advanced techniques and practical work in the afternoon in front of SEMs. The following subjects will be presented during the course:

– Basics of the scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam instruments (construction principles, signals, interaction with the sample)
– Advanced imaging modes: STEM, low tension microscopy, high vacuum, ion channeling
– Advanced microstructure investigation with EBSD and transmission EBSD orientation mapping (EBSD strain and stress analyses with cross correlation technique)
– Chemical analyses with EDS, WDS and μ-XRF
– Chemical depth profile with FIB-TOF-SIMS
– Raman spectrometry for phase and strain/stress analyses

The techniques will be explored in small groups on real samples in front of SEMs. Full details can be found on the course website.

Target audience and registration
This course is open to participants with a basic background in materials science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, micro-technology or physics and is targeted towards both industrial and academic users of analytical SEMs. The course may be validated for 1 ECTS credit in the doctoral programmes of EPFL and ETH Zurich, after acceptance by the corresponding institution. In this case, full attendance and a final examination after the end of the course on the final day is required.

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IMX Seminar Series - Ultimately sensitive organic bioelectronic transistor sensors

Prof. Luisa Torsi, University of Bari Italy

Organic bioelectronic sensors are gaining momentum as they can combine high performance sensing level with flexible large-area processable materials. This opens to potentially highly performing biomarkers sensing systems for point-of-care health monitoring at low-cost. Prominent to detect biochemical recognition events are the Electrolyte-Gated Organic Field-Effect Transistors that have been recently shown capable of label-free single-molecule detections, even in blood serum.
Indeed, Label-free single-molecule detection has been achieved so far by funneling a large number of analyte molecules into a sequence of single-binding events with few recognition elements host on nanometric transducers. Such approaches are inherently unable to sense a cue in a bulk milieu. Conceptualizing cells’ ability to sense at the physical limit by means of a transducing interface comprising highly-packed recognition elements, a millimetric sized electrolyte-gated field-effect-transistor is used to detect a single molecule. To this end, the gate is bio-functionalized with a self-assembled-monolayer of trillions of capturing antibodies, endowed with a hydrogen-bonding network enabling cooperative-interactions. The selective and label-free single-molecule detection is strikingly demonstrated in diluted saliva while few tens of antigens are assayed in whole serum. The suggested sensing mechanism triggered by the affinity binding event, involves a work-function change that is assumed to propagate in the gating-field through the electrostatic hydrogen-bonding network. The proposed immunoassay platform is general and can revolutionize the current approach to protein detection.
Bio: Luisa Torsi received her PhD from the University of Bari and was post-doctoral fellow at Bell Labs and invited professor at the University of Anger and Paris 7. In 2005 she was appointed full professor of chemistry at the University of Bari and since 2017 she is adjunct professor at the Abo Academy University in Finland. In 2010 she was awarded with the Heinrich Emanuel Merck prize for analytical sciences, this marking the first time the award is given to a woman. Recent main awards are also the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry 2019 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering prize and the analytical chemistry division of the European Chemical Society Robert Kellner Lecturer 2019. She has been also elected 2017 Fellow of the Material Research Society, for pioneering work in the field of organic (bio) electronic sensors and their use for point-of-care testing.
In 2014 she has been appointed as member of the H2020 Program Committee by the Italian Minister for Education and Research and is still serving in this role. She is also the immediate past president of the European Material Research Society being the first women to serve on this role.
Awarded research funding for over 26 million euros in thirteen years, comprises several European contracts as well as national and regional projects. She is presently coordinating the SiMBiT project a H2020-ICT-2018-2020 research and innovation action. Torsi is also coordinating a PRIN-17 national project (“ACTUAL” 2017RHX2E4).
She has authored almost 200 ISI papers, including papers published in Science, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, PNAS, Advanced Materials, Scientific Reports and is co-inventor of several international awarded patents. Her works gathered almost 11.100 Google scholar citations resulting in an h-index of 50. She has given more than 170 invited lectures, including almost 25 plenary and key notes contributions to international conferences.

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Non-invasive brain stimulation and neurofeedback: from basic research to decoding motor intentions

Prof. Nici Wenderoth, ETH Zurich, CH.

Operant conditioning based on neurofeedback is increasingly used in both basic research and neurorehabilitation. Electroencephalography (EEG) is likely the most popular non-invasive modality for neurofeedback in humans, but applications are challenged by a low signal-to-noise ratio and poor anatomical and functional specificity. Here I will present an alternative approach where we apply transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in a non-invasive neurofeedback context. I will show (i) that healthy participants can learn to volitionally up- or down-regulate the state of their motor system and elucidate which neurophysiological mechanisms mediate this effect; (ii) how this approach can be extended to decoding intended finger and hand movements; and (iii) that TMS neurofeedback training is feasible in stroke patients. 

Bio. Professor Nici Wenderoth is full professor for Neural Control of Movement in the Department for Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Her main research focus is on human systems neuroscience. Additionally, she actively pursues translational research in animal models and clinical applications. She is currently Director of the Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, Director of the interdisciplinary Future Health Technologies research programme at the Singapore-ETH Campus and President of the Betty and David Koetser Foundation for Brain Research.

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2020 CCMX Winter School “Nanoparticles: from fundamentals to applications in life sciences”

Featured speakers include Paul Bowen (EPFL), Ruth Schmid (Sintef), Peter Wick (Empa), Cordula Hirsch (Empa), Matthias Rösslein (Empa), Neill Liptrott (University of Liverpool), Marco Siccardi (University of Liverpool), Fanny Caputo (Sintef), Christophe Studer (Vareala), Gerrit Borchard (University of Geneva), Adriele Prina-Mello (Trinity College Dublin), Beat Flühmann (Vifor Pharma), Christoph Geers (AMI/NanoLockin), Sofiya Matviykiv (Empa) and Inge Herrmann (Empa.) 

The CCMX Winter School will once again take place in Kandersteg, Switzerland and aims to bring together a group of no more than 24 PhD students from various research institutions. This course is designed to cover a series of important scientific aspects regarding the development, characterization and application of nanoparticles for medical applications and to provide an in-depth review of their corresponding fundamentals. It aims to offer a skill set relevant to the participants’ research projects and future careers.

Scientists highly recognized in their fields will cover important aspects, ranging from fundamentals in material synthesis and characterization via pre-clinical safety aspects and translational needs all the way to clinical challenges.

Presentations from small groups of participants and lectures will fill up the mornings and early evenings, while the afternoons are mostly left free for winter sports and networking. This course may be validated for 2 ECTS credits in the doctoral programs of EPFL, ETH Zurich and other universities after acceptance by the corresponding institution.


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Lecture Demonstrations in the age of YouTube

Ilya Eigenbrot

Demonstrations have been used to make lectures more interesting and accessible for a very long time – but is there any point in investing time and effort into demonstrations in the age of smartphones and instant YouTube clips? This workshop will discuss this question, as well as give practical tips on designing and using demonstrations in different settings. You will also get the chance to design one or more demos relevant to your own area of teaching expertise. Facilitated by Ilya Eigenbrot with 20 year experience in the popularisation of science.

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Development of a Cortical Visual Neuroprosthesis for the blind

Prof. Eduardo Fernandez, University Miguel Hernandez and CIBER BBN, SP.

Cortical prostheses are a subgroup of visual neuroprostheses capable of evoking visual percepts in profoundly blind people through direct electrical stimulation of the occipital cortex. This approach may be the only treatment available for blindness caused by glaucoma, end-stage retinal degenerations, optic atrophy or trauma to the retina and/or optic nerves. However, there are still a relevant number of open questions and more experiments should be done to achieve the clinical goals envisioned by this new technology.
We are now facing the challenge of creating a cortical visual neuroprosthesis, based on intracortical microelectrodes, which could allow to provide a limited but useful visual sense to profoundly blind.  We will introduce preliminary results of electrical stimulation of human visual areas and review some of the principles and difficulties related to the development of a cortical visual neuroprosthesis for the blind using intracortical microelectrodes. We will emphasize the need of customize the visual prosthetic device for the needs of each patient and the role of neural plasticity in order to achieve the desired results. Finally, we will discuss some of the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie in this intersection of neuroscience research, biomedical engineering, neuro-opthalmology and neurosurgery.

Bio. Dr. Fernandez received a M.D. degree from the University of Alicante (1986) and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience with honors in 1990. He is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Histology and Anatomy of the University Miguel Hernández (Spain), Director of the Neural Engineering Group of the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER) in the subject area of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN, Spain), and Adjunct Professor at John Moran Eye Center (University of Utah, USA). He is a qualified MD who combines biomedicine (molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and regenerative medicine) with the physical sciences and engineering to develop innovative solutions to the problems raised by interfacing the human nervous system. In the latest years he has been coordinating several National and International projects to demonstrate the feasibility of a visual neuroprosthesis, interfaced with the occipital cortex, as a means through which a limited but useful sense of vision could be restored to profoundly blind. Furthermore, he is also working on brain plasticity and brain reorganization in severe vision loss.

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Non-invasive neural inferfacing with high-information transfer with the human spinal cord

Dario Farina, Professor and Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Imperial College London, UK.

Alpha motor neurons receive synaptic input that they convert into the ultimate neural code of movement -- the neural drive to muscles. The study of the behaviour of motor neurons provides a window into the neural processing of movement. Recently, the interfacing (bioelectrodes) and processing methods for identifying the output of motor neuron pools from interference electromyogram (EMG) signals have been advanced substantially. In the past decade, these methods have indeed allowed the monitoring of the behaviour of tens to hundreds of motor neurons concurrently, with minimally invasive or non-invasive methods. This new population analysis has opened new perspectives in the study of neural control of movement. The talk will overview the technology for motor neuron interfacing as well as the potential of motor neuron recording technology for man-machine interfacing. Examples of closed-loop neural interfacing based on non-invasive decoding of spinal motor neuron behaviour will be discussed in relation to assistive and rehabilitation devices.

Dario Farina received Ph.D. degrees in automatic control and computer science and in electronics and communications engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France, and Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and an Honorary Doctorate degree in Medicine from Aalborg University, Denmark, in 2018. He is currently Full Professor and Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering at the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London, UK. He has previously been Full Professor at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark, (until 2010) and at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August University, Germany, where he founded and directed the Department of Neurorehabilitation Systems (2010-2016). Among other awards, he has been the recipient of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Early Career Achievement Award (2010), The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2016), and has been elected Distinguished Lecturer IEEE (2014). He has also received continuous funding by the European Research Council since 2011. His research focuses on biomedical signal processing, neurorehabilitation technology, and neural control of movement. Within these areas, he has (co)-authored >450 papers in peer-reviewed Journals, which have currently received >27,000 citations. Professor Farina has been the President of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK) (2012-2014) and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the official Journal of this Society, the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. He is also currently an Editor for Science Advances, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, Wearable Technologies, and the Journal of Physiology. Professor Farina has been elected Fellow IEEE, AIMBE, ISEK, EAMBES.

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Assessment Matters

Roland Tormey

To develop assessment techniques which are valid and objective, notably to test if students have met the required learning outcomes.

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Leveraging Labs for Learning

Siara Isaac

Explore ways to design lab experiments that help students develop a scientific approach which is transferable to real world complexity.

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