Upcoming Seminars and Events

e-Learning Course on the Application of Genetics in Precision Nutrition

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to share with you a new e-learning course on the “Application of Genetics in Precision Nutrition” by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The course aims to empower participants to comprehend and utilize genetic information towards targeted personalized nutritional advice. Leading experts on Genetics, Nutrition, and Obesity from Greece and the UK will share their knowledge, experience, advice, and insights on key aspects of precision nutrition. This unique and innovative online course provides insight into all the latest developments in the fields of nutrigenetics, genetics of eating behavior, and nutrient-microbiome interactions with a strong emphasis on translating this knowledge to practical nutritional and lifestyle advice.

Maximum flexibility through asynchronous learning.
Continuous interaction with the Course Faculty.
Award of Certificate of Continuing Education.
Course language: English

Start date: 25th January 2021

More information: https://elearninguoa.org/course/health/application-genetics-precision-nutrition

Thank you for your interest and kind attention.

Best wishes,
Vasiliki Bikia

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eSpace Webinar - Astrophysical dust measurements in our cosmic backyard, by Veerle Sterken - IPA ETHZ

Veerle Sterken

Interplanetary dust is measured in situ in the solar system since several decades, using dedicated cosmic dust instruments on-board spacecraft with a variety of orbits. Also interstellar dust from our neighbouring Local Interstellar Cloud passes through the solar system and was measured in situ for the first time almost 30 years ago. Such in situ measurements - only half a decade old - have revolutionised the field of astrophysical dust science. Besides in situ measurements, also meteor observations, sample return missions, and astronomical observations have shaped our current understanding of the astrophysical dust environment in our immediate cosmic neighbourhood.

This talk discusses the field of in situ cosmic dust science: we cover the fascinating facets of "fairly nearby" cosmic dust and its importance for our understanding of the solar system, from icy comets to atmosphereless bodies, active moons, and interstellar dust. Then we will focus on the different types of cosmic dust instruments that exist so far, their working principles, capabilities, and their limitations. Finally, we give an overview of future missions that are in the planning or under study, like the Interstellar Probe, and we elaborate on a few of the still existing gaps in our nearby-cosmic-dust knowledge. This way, we can tailor future mission and instrument designs towards bridging these gaps.

Veerle Sterken is originally from Belgium, studied Aerospace Engineering in the Netherlands, and did her PhD on cosmic dust science at the TU Braunschweig in Germany, while being a guest at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg. After her PhD studies, she moved to Switzerland where she was a post-doc in the International Space Science Institute. Now she is a senior research assistant at the ETH in Zürich, focusing on simulations and measurements of the dynamics of interstellar dust particles that move from the Local Interstellar Cloud through the heliosphere. She kicked off a major project in 2020 on this topic, supported by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant).

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IMX Seminar Series - Reversible Electrochemical Cells for Fuel to and from Electricity

Prof. Sossina Haile, Northwestern University, USA

Over the past decade, the availability of electricity from sustainable energy sources has risen dramatically while the cost has fallen steeply. These factors have driven a surge in activity in the development of energy storage technologies. While much of this effort has been directed towards photocatalytically generated solar fuels and grid-scale batteries, reversible hydrogen electrochemical cells offer untapped opportunities. In particular, electrochemical cells based on proton conducting ceramic oxides are attractive candidates for interconversion between hydrogen and electricity. The proton conducting nature of the electrolyte provides inherent advantages in the gas flow configuration over traditional solid oxide cells in which the electrolyte is an oxygen ion conductor. We describe here recent progress in reversible protonic ceramic cells achieved using a combination of three advances: a new electrolyte composition, a new air electrode, and processing methods to decrease the contact resistance between these two components. The resulting cells display exceptional performance in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes. In the latter case, conversion efficiency suffers a small penalty due to slight electronic leakage across the cell. The cells are extremely stable over hundreds of hours of operation and dozens of cycles between electricity generation and hydrogen production. As such, protonic ceramic electrochemical cells are likely to play a major role in a sustainable energy future.
Bio: Sossina M. Haile is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, a position she assumed in 2015 after serving 18 years on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. Haile’s research broadly encompasses materials, especially oxides, for sustainable electrochemical energy technologies. She has established a new class of fuel cells with record performance for clean and efficient electricity generation, and created new thermochemical approaches for harnessing sunlight to meet rising energy demands. Amongst her many awards, in 2008 Haile received an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship from the U.S. National Science Foundation in recognition of “her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels.” She is a fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramics Society, the African Academy of Sciences, and the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.


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EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Harnessing Evolutionarily Optimized Signaling Pathways for Therapeutic Benefits"

Prof. Anne Bertolotti, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge (UK)

(note that this talk is number one of a double-feature seminar - see details of the second talk here)

During optimal conditions, a majority of the cellular resources is dedicated to protein synthesis. To survive under challenging conditions, cells adapt by phosphorylating the translation initiation factor, eiF2 to reduce protein synthesis, thereby sparing their resources to neutralize the challenges. We have exploited this pathway pharmacologically and showed its benefits in diverse models of neurodegenerative diseases. eIF2 phosphorylation is believed to cause a global reduction in protein synthesis whilst enabling translation of few transcripts. A global reduction of protein synthesis comes with the life-threatening risk of depleting essential proteins. We found that translation attenuation following eIF2a phosphorylation is not as uniform as anticipated but preferentially targets long-lived proteins. This shows that protein stability buffers the cost of translational attenuation, establishing an evolutionary principle of cellular robustness.

Phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2a is a rapid and vital response to many forms of stress, including protein-misfolding stress in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress). It is believed to cause a general reduction in protein synthesis while enabling translation of few transcripts. Such a reduction of protein synthesis comes with the threat of depleting essential proteins, a risk thought to be mitigated by its transient nature. Here, we find that translation attenuation is not uniform, with cytosolic and mitochondrial ribosomal sub- units being prominently downregulated. Translation attenuation of these targets persists after translation recovery. Surprisingly, this occurs without a measurable decrease in ribosomal proteins. Explaining this conundrum, translation attenuation preferentially targets long-lived proteins, a finding not only demonstrated by ribosomal proteins but also observed at a global level. This shows that protein stability buffers the cost of translational attenuation, establishing an evolutionary principle of cellular robustness.

Since 2006: Group leader at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK
2014: Hooke medal
2013: EMBO member
2004: EMBO Young Investigator
2001-2006: Associate professor,
Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
1998-2000: Post-doctoral training with Prof. David Ron,
The Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, NYU Medical Center, New York, USA
EMBO long term fellowship
HFSP long term fellowship
1999: INSERM Position
1993-1998: PhD training with Dr. Laszlo Tora and Prof. Pierre Chambon,
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Illkirch, France.

Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, (following prior one-time registration through the link above).
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EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Protein Homeostasis at the Single Cell Level"

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


(note that this talk is number two of a double-feature seminar - see details of the first talk here)

Protein expression levels depend on their rate of synthesis and degradation. Quantitatively understanding protein expression regulation at the single cell level requires to measure both rates simultaneously. We have recently developed a fluorescent timer-based approach that provides a quantitative readout of both synthesis and degradation of proteins in single live cells. By applying this tool to dozens of different protein-expressing genes, we determined how these rates vary over the cell cycle. We also discovered that protein synthesis and degradation rates are correlated at the single cell level, which allows to buffer protein expression level variability. We are currently exploring how different steps of gene expression cross-talk to allow coordinating protein synthesis and degradation rates.

David Suter studied medicine at the University of Geneva and obtained his medical diploma in 2004. He then graduated in 2007 with a PhD on embryonic stem cell differentiation and transgenesis in the laboratory of Karl-Heinz Krause. In 2008, he joined the Laboratory of Ueli Schibler at the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva for a postdoctoral training. There, he developed a new technology allowing ultra-sensitive monitoring of transcriptional kinetics in single living cells by luminescence microscopy. In 2011, he became a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Xiaoliang Sunney Xie at Harvard University. Together with Christof Gebhardt, he developed a new technology allowing to visualize and measure the residence time of single molecules of transcription factors binding to DNA. In 2013 he became tenure track assistant professor at EPFL, and has been promoted to associate professor (with tenure) in 2020. David Suter's laboratory is developing quantitative approaches to study gene expression in single living cells, and applying those to understand the molecular bases of cell fate decisions.

Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, (following prior one-time registration through the link above).
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Specialized Master’s Days 2021

What are EPFL’s transdisciplinary Master’s programs? How to choose amongst the Specialized Masters EPFL offers?

Are you thinking about pursuing a transdisciplinary Master’s that opens your door to specialized fields? Then we welcome you to join our online sessions from March 9 to 11, 2021 to learn more about the Specialized Master’s programs EPFL offers and speak with program representatives. These degrees have been designed to meet the increasing demand for experts on the labor market and in specific research fields.

EPFL’s Specialized Master’s programs:
  • NEW!! Sustainable Management & Technology, (a collaboration between UNIL-HEC, IMD and EPFL)
  • Management, Technology and Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Engineering
  • Micro and Nanotechnologies for Integrated Systems (MNIS)
  • Computational Science & Engineering
  • Energy Science & Technology
  • Digital Humanities
  • Nuclear Engineering

Registration, practical information and program:
Due to the current situation, the sessions will be held on Zoom.

REGISTER HERE (mandatory) to receive the login details.

Further information and the program can be found on the webpage.
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Pizzas & Start-up

Meet the new start-ups at EPFL Innovation Park and join us for our next conference PIZZA & STARTUP on Tuesday 9 March 2021 from 12h to 12h40 online.

Participation is free but registration is mandatory on the event web page mentioned specially if you want to receive your voucher for a pizza by Dieci to get your pizza @home!  deadline March 4th noon.


  • 11:45  Doors open // connection starts
  • 12:00 Flybotix® is a leading drone technology maker in the indoor inspection industry helping customers inspect their industrial assets safely and efficiently
  • 12:10 Nagi Bioscience introduces the first Organism-on-Chip technology as sustainable alternative to traditional animal testing
  • 12:20  Eat & network online on the zoom chat while enjoying your pizza!
We look forward to seeing you!
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MechE Colloquium: Engineering the energy transition

Prof. François Maréchal, Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (IPESE) group, EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM)

Transforming the energy system to realise constraints and targets of the Paris agreement is not only a political challenge, it implies radical changes of the energy system design. The main objective is to replace fossil fuel tanks and technologies as well as the nuclear plants by integrating the use and the conversion of renewable energy resources to supply the system's energy services. In my talk, I will demonstrate the role of system engineering to identify options for the energy transition. System design means to choose and size the technologies and define the way they will be operated. A holistic and multidisciplinary approach is needed, considering in a systemic way the efficiency, the use of advanced technologies and their integration following a multi-energy perspective. Optimisation based decision support methods apply thermodynamic principles, process models and process integration techniques as well as superstructure models with optimal management techniques to systematically generate integrated energy system designs using appropriate life cycle based sustainability metrics. The method is illustrated by its application at different scales: from the development of technologies to their integration in complex large scale systems.

Prof. François Maréchal is professor in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Valais. He is conducting research in the field of computer  aided decision support for process and energy systems engineering. His activities are focussing on integrating rational use of energy, renewable energy resources and circular economy concepts in industrial processes and energy systems design. François Marechal is the founding member and the co-chair of the energy section of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering and is representative of Switzerland in the Working Party on the Use of Computers in Chemical Engineering of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering.
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Challenges in Smart Sensor Systems

Lucas Tschuor

Abstract: The trend towards smart sensor solutions requires a continuous product innovation striving to bring value to applications. The innovation is dominantly triggered by new physical parameters required in the market and by cost considerations. In order to remain successful Sensirion improves and enlarges the sensor portfolio continually. The challenges for the innovation and development of such smart sensor systems and examples for their implementation in cutting-edge applications are illustrated.
Bio: Mr. Lucas Tschuor is Head of Liquid Flow Products. He has joint Sensirion in 2012 and gained extensive experience in sensor technology and customer engineering for a wide range of markets such as automotive, medical and consumer business. He has a strong background in innovation, project and customer management and his interest spans from emerging technologies to novel sensor solutions. He received a master degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Lausanne in 2005. After his master degree he focused on the European Startup Network and build up a startup company in Madrid, Spain followed by a position as R&D Engineer at Siemens.

This seminar is part of the Master's class MICRO534, Advanced MEMS and Microsystems, and is open to the informed public.

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IMX Talks - X-ray scattering and imaging for hierarchical materials

Prof. Marianne Liebi, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Microscopy in scanning mode allows to image different contrasts from the sample, by probing not only absorption and phase contrast of the sample but for example a full X-ray fluorescence spectrum or a 2D scattering pattern. Small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) imaging is in particular valuable for heterogeneous samples, in which structural elements in the nano- or Ångström-scale change over macroscopic length scales, thus several millimeters or centimeters. The scattering patterns provide statistical information in each scan point, thus this method is complementary to high-resolution imaging techniques. The information extracted from each scattering pattern can be used to create images with different contrast, such as density of nano-scale features or orientation of nanostructures. These methods can also be combined with computed tomography to study the inside of three-dimensional samples, as shown on the example of bone in Figure 1. A range of applications will be shown from biological tissues to various soft-matter systems. Linking for example the structural layers induced by the injection-molding process in semi-crystalline polymers used in food packaging industry to their anisotropic mechanical properties. Combining SAXS imaging with microfluidics extends the method from imaging solid sample to mapping of nanostructures in flow.
Bio: Marianne Liebi is Adjunct Associate Professor in Materials Science in the Department of Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology, and Scientific Group Leader in the Center for X-ray Analytics at Empa, St.Gallen since August 2020. She started her own research group in 2017 as Assistant Professor at the Chalmers University of Technology and became Docent in Physics in spring 2020. The focus of her research is in the development of advanced X-ray imaging techniques and their application towards materials with hierarchical structures. Her main expertise is small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) imaging in 2D and 3D, but include other imaging modalities such as ptychographic nanotomography, X-ray fluorescence or phase contrast tomography. With a background in food science, she started using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) for the characterization of soft-matter, namely of magnetic alignable self-assembly structures during her PhD, received from ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 2013. As a Post Doc in the coherent X-ray scattering group at the Swiss Light Source (SLS), she worked from 2013-2016 on method development in SAXS imaging, and from 2016-2017  at the NanoMAX beamline at the MAX IV Laboratory, in Lund Sweden.

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Emergence of crack-like behavior of frictional rupture

Prof. Jean-François MOLINARI Computational Solid Mechanics Laboratory, EPFLCon

Abstract :
The process of frictional rupture, i.e., the failure of frictional systems, abounds in the technological and natural world around us, ranging from squealing car brake pads to earthquakes along geological faults. A general framework for understanding and interpreting frictional rupture commonly involves an analogy to ordinary crack propagation, with far-reaching implications for various disciplines from engineering tribology to geophysics. An important feature of the analogy to cracks is the existence of a reduction in the stress-bearing capacity of the ruptured interface, i.e., of a drop from the applied stress, realized far ahead of a propagating rupture, to the residual stress left behind it. Yet, how and under what conditions such finite and well-defined stress drops emerge from basic physics are not well understood.
In the first part of this talk, we show that for a rapid rupture a stress drop is directly related to wave radiation from the frictional interface to the bodies surrounding it and to long-range bulk elastodynamics and not exclusively to the physics of the contact interface. Furthermore, we show that the emergence of a stress drop is a transient effect, affected by the wave travel time in finite systems and by the decay of long-range elastic interactions. Finally, we supplement our results for rapid rupture with predictions for a slow rupture. All of the theoretical predictions are supported by available experimental data and by extensive computations.
In the second part, we show that for generic and realistic frictional constitutive relations, and once the necessary conditions for the emergence of an effective crack-like behavior are met, frictional rupture dynamics are approximately described by a crack-like, fracture mechanics energy balance equation. This is achieved by independently calculating the intensity of the crack-like singularity along with its associated elastic energy flux into the rupture edge region, and the frictional dissipation in the edge region. We further show that while the fracture mechanics energy balance equation provides an approximate, yet quantitative, description of frictional rupture dynamics, interesting deviations from the ordinary crack-like framework — associated with non-edge-localized dissipation — exist. Together with the results about the emergence of stress drops in frictional rupture, this work offers a comprehensive and basic understanding of why, how and to what extent frictional rupture might be viewed as an ordinary fracture process.

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A challenge of data and code archiving

Eliane Blumer and Micha d’Ans (EPFL Library)

This webinar is open to STI members only.

Do you need to archive the data from a past project? Are you leaving EPFL and you can not find any possibilities to archive your research data? Are you a PI and you want to make sure that your lab data are archived in the right way?

During this webinar, we will look at the process of data and code archiving and introduce the tools and processes that are available for the research community at EPFL. Experts from EPFL Library will talk about:
  • Long-term preservation of research outcomes and added value for your research
  • An EPFL approach to data archiving
    • ACOUA - a tool to archive
    • Process of data curation and archival
    • Available services and support
    • Real-life scenarios
  • Discussion on archival needs of STI research community

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Virtual MEchanics GAthering -MEGA- Seminar: Flexure pivot oscillators for mechanical watches

Etienne Thalmann (INSTANT-LAB, EPFL)

Abstract It appears that the concerted efforts of the watchmaking industry are leading towards a limit in mechanical watch accuracy. The general consensus in horology is that the time base's quality factor needs to be improved in order to significantly increase timekeeper accuracy. The solution appears to be flexure oscillators in silicon. Indeed, flexure oscillators eliminate contact friction by using the elastic deformation of slender beams to guide the motion of an inertial body and monocrystalline silicon minimizes internal friction. The results is a significant improvement in quality factor in comparison to the traditional balance and hairspring oscillator. It is however not sufficient to increase the quality factor to reach accurate timekeeping. The period of oscillation of the time base must stay as regular as possible regardless of changes in operating conditions such as amplitude of oscillation, orientation with respect to gravity, temperature and shocks. This research focuses on minimizing the effects of amplitude (i.e., isochronism defect) and gravity that arise from the use of flexures. The first technical contribution is to note that the isochronism defect is a second order phenomenon, and to deal with it by modifying the second order behavior of flexure spring stiffness or inertia. The second technical contribution is a design method to reduce the effect of gravity for all orientations of the time base by ingeniously placing the flexures and exploiting the position of the center of mass. These findings were embodied in two novel flexure pivot architecture. A silicon prototype satisfying typical mechanical watch specifications was manufactured and used to validate our concepts experimentally.

Bio Etienne Thalmann received the MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from EPFL in 2015. He conducted his Master’s thesis in control systems at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), for which he was awarded the Hilti Mechatronic Prize. He then joined the Patek Philippe Chair in Micromechanical and Horological Design (Instant-Lab) at EPFL, where he completed his PhD on flexure pivot oscillators for mechanical watches in 2020. He is currently continuing his research on flexure oscillators with Prof. Simon Henein as postdoctoral researcher at Instant-Lab.
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IMX Talks - Understanding the molecularly heterogeneous interfaces of nanoparticles

Dr. Zhi Luo, ETHZ

Interfaces, specifically solid-liquid interfaces, play important roles in many scientific fields. For example, protein functions rely largely on its complex surface structure, which is composed of nanoscale hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains. Likewise, the structured surface determines the self-assembly, molecular recognition, catalysis, and numerous other applications of nanomaterials. To date, the nanoscale interfacial structure-property relationship is still poorly understood. In this talk, I will focus on a specific type of nanoparticle that presents a molecularly heterogeneous surface through the self-organization of small molecules. A series of characterization techniques will first be introduced to reconstruct the 3D structure of these materials. With these tools, I will also explain some nonadditive interfacial properties of these nanoparticles, which deviates from the conventional continuum thermodynamic theories. Finally, the talk will end with discussions on how these results could help us better understand complex biological interfaces and regulate their solution behaviour.
Bio: Dr. Zhi Luo, born in China in 1991, received his bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2013. He then obtained his Ph.D. at the Materials Science Department of EPFL under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Stellacci. His doctoral thesis was focused on the physical chemistry and characterization of complex nanomaterial interfaces, which was awarded with the Thesis Distinction at EPFL in 2018. After that he decided to broaden the research scope and joined the group of Prof. Jean-​Christophe Leroux at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at ETH as a postdoc. By applying his understandings in material interfaces to drug delivery, he is dedicated in developing novel concepts for oral delivery of macromolecules using physical and mechanical principles. Dr. Luo has received several recognitions including the ETH Fellow, Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad, and most recently, the IPW Young Scientist Lecture Award at ETH.

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MARVEL March Junior Seminars

Sauradeep Majumdar (LSMO, EPFL) & Abhinav Jain (LAMMM, EPFL)

The seminar will be given online via Zoom: 
Password: 3417

The MARVEL Junior Seminars aim to intensify interactions between the MARVEL Junior scientists belonging to different research groups (i.e. PhD & Postdocs either directly funded by the NCCR, or as a matching contribution). The seminar consists of two 25-minute presentations, followed by time for discussion.
Enrichment of hypothetical metal-organic framework databases for high-throughput computational screening
Sauradeep Majumdar
Laboratory of Molecular Simulation (LSMO), EPFL, Sion 

Early stage solute clustering during natural ageing in Al-Mg-Si alloys
Abhinav Jain
Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics Modeling (LAMMM), EPFL 
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IMX Seminar Series - An Instagram View of the Nanoworld

Prof. Deb Kelly, Penn State University, USA

Biomedical research improves our understanding of human health and disease through the development of new technologies. High-resolution imaging is one technology that is transforming our view of the nanoworld – permitting us to study cells and molecules in exquisite detail. Structural information of dynamic components, however, reveals only an instant of their complex narrative.

Recent advances in the production of materials such as graphene and silicon nitride provide new opportunities for EM imaging in real-time. We use these materials to create environmental chambers and perform experiments in situ, or “inside”, the EM column. Together, with microfluidic technology, we can now view biological processes in a native liquid environment at the nanoscale (Fig. 1a). Other recent applications of in situ imaging include real-time recordings of nanoparticle therapies interacting with cancer stem cells and changes in the molecular intricacies of viral pathogens. These results complement our ongoing cryo-EM studies on tumor suppressor proteins (Fig. 1b, c) as we strive to analyze molecular events with high spatial and temporal resolution.
Bio: Deb Kelly completed her PhD in Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University and her post-doctoral training in Structural Biology at Harvard Medical School. During these pursuits, she developed technical breakthroughs in the field of cryo-EM that are now being used by the in situ TEM community. As interest in situ TEM has skyrocketed in recent years, the Kelly team has been on the leading-edge of adapting this technology for biomedical applications, in particular cancer research. Dr. Kelly is currently a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, where the holds the Lloyd and Dottie Foehr Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics and directs the Center for Structural Oncology (CSO). The CSO focuses on combating the molecular culprits that fuel human cancer while revealing the hidden enemies that cancer cells use to outsmart modern medicine. 


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KAUST & EPFL Blue Brain Project - Online Workshop 'Integrative Modeling of Brain Energy Metabolism'

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and EPFL Blue Brain Project Alliance was set up to focus on understanding the structural and biochemical basis of astrocyte-mediated neuronal energy metabolism in the mammalian brain.

The key objectives of this open workshop are to highlight and share the achievements of this Alliance and to gain insight from global experts in the field on future research directions.

Monday 15 March 2021

14:00 - 14:45    Session #1:
Chaired by Felix Schürmann (EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland)
Welcome and introduction
Keynote by Pierre Magistretti - KAUST, Smart Health Initiative, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
'Neuron-glia metabolic coupling: Relevance for neuronal plasticity, brain imaging and diseases'

14:45 - 17:15    Session #2:
Chaired by Jay Coggan (EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland)
Guest speakers 
  • L. Felipe Barros - Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs), Valdivia, Chile
    'Making lactate requires glucose: stimulation of astrocytic GLUT1 by extracellular K+'
  • Marja-Leena Linne - Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Finland
    'Modeling astrocyte signaling and astrocyte-mediated long-term plasticity'
  • Johanna Beyer - Visual Computing Group,
    Harvard University, Boston, USA
    'Interactive visualization for exploring nanoscale brain tissue'

15 min break

16:30 - 17:15
Panel Discussion with Pierre Magistretti, L. Felipe Barros, Marja-Leena Linne and Johanna Beyer
'The future of glia research'
Chaired by Corrado Cali (Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi, Department of Neuroscience, University of Torino, Torino, Italy)

17:15 - 18:00    Session #3:
Chaired by Pierre Magistretti (KAUST, Smart Health Initiative, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Keynote by Marcus Raichle - Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA
'Brain metabolism & brain function – Some reflections on the past, present and future'


Tuesday 16 March 2021

14:00 - 16:35
Felix Schürmann (EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland)
Welcome and introduction

14:10 - 15:10    Session #4:
Chaired by Dan Keller (EPFL BBP,  Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland)
Data and visualization, dedicated to the KAUST-BBP collaboration
  • Corrado Cali - Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi, Department of Neuroscience, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
    'Ultrastructural characterization of astrocytes and its morphological relevance to brain energy metabolism'
  • Marco Agus - College of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
    'Visual computing and virtual reality technologies for EM-based neuroscience investigations'
  • Marwan Abdellah - EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
    'Efficient reconstruction of high fidelity models with realistic geometries from raw data using Ultraliser'

15:10 break

15:25 - 16:25    Session #5
Chaired by Corrado Cali (University of Torino, Italy)
Modeling session, dedicated to the KAUST-BBP collaboration
  • Eleftherios Zisis -  EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
    'Structural architecture of the neuronal-glial-vascular system'
  • Polina Shichkova - EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
    'Reconstruction and simulation of neocortical energy metabolism'
  • Jay Coggan - EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
    'A secret language of cells: Ligand-receptor-cascade dynamics communicate through molecular phase transitions'

16:25 - 16:35
Dan Keller (EPFL BBP, Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland)
Summary and wrap-up

This workshop will be recorded. By registering and attending the workshop, you have confirmed your consent to be recorded.
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MechE Colloquium: How can we box up a star without melting the box?

Prof. Paolo Ricci, Swiss Plasma Center (SPC), EPFL School of Basic Sciences (SB)

In the edge region of a fusion device the temperature decreases, over only a few centimetres, from a value ten times higher than in the centre of the Sun, to the room temperature of the surrounding solid walls. This extreme gradient, probably the steepest in the Universe, drives highly complex phenomena, including strong turbulence, within the plasma fusion fuel. Turbulence is more complex in plasmas than other fluids due to the interaction of the charged plasma particles with the electromagnetic fields.

At the edge of a fusion device, turbulence can involve powerful nonlinear phenomena on spatial and temporal scales spanning ten orders of magnitude. Turbulence is, moreover, extremely anisotropic and includes the interaction of large-scale fluid and microscopic kinetic phenomena, atomic physics processes, and complex geometry. Turbulence in the edge region determines the heat load on the solid wall, which must remain within the materials limits. Current empirical extrapolations indicate these constraints may be exceeded in future fusion devices.

Therefore, understanding edge turbulence and disentangling its complexity becomes of crucial importance. In fact, this is now recognised as one of the greatest challenges for obtaining successful operation of future fusion reactors. The goal of this talk is to shine some light on the pertinent physics at the edge of a fusion device and illustrate some of our achievements with respect to the fusion program and beyond.

Paolo Ricci earned his master’s degree in nuclear engineering at the Politecnico di Torino, Turin (Italy) in 2000 and his doctoral studies were conducted at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Paolo spent two-and-a-half years as a postdoctoral researcher at Dartmouth College’'s Department of Physics and Astronomy. He joined the EPFL’'s Swiss Plasma Center (SPC), as a EURATOM fellow in 2006, was named Tenure Track Assistant Professor in 2010, and Associate Professor in 2016. He is at the head of the SPC theory group. Paolo is the recipient of the 2016 Teaching Prize of the EPFL Section de Physique.
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IMX Talks - Watching, Understanding, and Controlling the Formation of Functional Materials

Dr. Carolin M. Sutter-Fella, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States

Material synthesis is a very important aspect in human kinds endeavor to discover and create new materials for energy applications. In order to make materials with desired functions it is advantageous to know how these functions relate to structure, synthetic variables, arrangement of atoms and molecules and how functions evolve during synthesis.

The class of hybrid halide perovskite semiconductors has gained significant research attention due to its potential as highly efficient and cheap material for energy applications such as in photovoltaics, light emitting devices, and photodetectors. In this regard, the field of halide perovskites moves towards more and more complex compositions enabling improved device performance and stability. Most of the improvements however, are chemical intuition driven or achieved through empirical optimization of processing conditions. Establishing the relationships between synthesis condition and film properties will enable deliberate control of synthesis parameters and increase reproducibility. I will discuss the formation of halide perovskites from colloidal precursors including the initial stages of formation and the physicochemical evolution of properties via polydisperse nanocrystal nucleation and solvent-complexation. We identify for example how the Pb salt influences the crystallization pathway, how it can template morphology, and how additives can aid room temperature processing.

In this talk I will introduce a new multimodal in situ platform that we developed together with the Advanced Light Source (ALS) which allows for simultaneous optical as well as structural characterization of chemical solution synthesis. By correlating diffraction and photoluminescence (PL) measurements, I will show how in situ PL can reveal subtle changes throughout different synthetic steps of halide perovskites including nuclei formation, surface passivation, and the onset of film decomposition.
Bio: Carolin M. Sutter-Fella is a Staff Scientist in the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Before joining the Foundry Carolin built her research program enabled by LBNL’s Glenn Seaborg Early Career Fellowship (2017). Her research focuses on synthesis of functional materials and understanding synthesis-property relationships using multimodal in situ techniques as well as development of novel in situ capabilities. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, in 2014 where she worked on the synthesis of chalcogenide thin film solar cells. Before Carolin joined LBNL, she was a Swiss NSF postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley.

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Hydrogen Bond Network Rearrangement Dynamics in Water Clusters: Dramatic Effects of Librational Excitation on Hydrogen Bond Tunneling Rates

Prof. Richard J. SayKally University of California/UC Berkeley, USA

Prof. Richard J. SayKally
University of California/UC Berkeley, USA
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To be defined

Prof. Timothy Lodge, University of Minnesota, USA

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Laser-MEMS scanning mirror for ultra-miniature video projection

Dr. Nicolas Abelé

Abstract: MEMS mirror have been developed since the early 90’s, originally for telecom-switching application, but also in parallel for scanning-based laser projection systems with the great benefit of providing a projected image with very large color gamut, always-in-focus, ultra-small and low power. Originally Lemoptix was a spin-off from the EPFL Micro-Systems laboratory was one of the pioneers in this field and has develop in-house MEMS-based laser projection system for multiple markets, ranging from Head-Up Display in car, AR wearable glass, 3D sensing and pico-projector. The company has successfully been acquired by Intel in 2015 and developed the smallest AR glasses to date (https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/16966530/intel-vaunt-smart-glasses-announced-ar-video), then the team moved to MAGIC LEAP the leader in immersive AR glasses (www.magicleap.com). He is now co-CEO of Miraex (www.miraex.com), a MEMS-based photonics sensor and Quantum computing company. 

Bio: Nicolas Abelé, Director of HW at MAGIC LEAP, and former co-founder and CTO of Lemoptix, acquired in 2015 by Intel Corporation 8 years after its incorporation. Nicolas leads the hardware technology development from invention, to prototyping and up to production-ready at manufacturing partner lines. He holds 60 patents in the field of MEMS display and AR glass.

This seminar is part of the course 'MICRO-534 - Advanced MEMS and Microsystems'. The seminar is open to the interested public.

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Cryo-EM Symposium for EPFL Faculties

Henning Stahlberg, Responsible of DCI, Michael Unser, Chair of Imaging@EPFL, Laurène Donati, Coordinator of Imaging@EPFL

Note: this is an internal event for EPFL imaging faculties. If you would like to register, please contact Laurène Donati (laurene.donati@epfl.ch).

Moderation: Laurène Donati

09:00 Welcome (Laurène Donati)
09:05 Cryo-EM and future resources at EPFL (Henning Stahlberg) 
  • Cryo-EM technology and examples of application
  • Present requirements and limitations in cryo-EM 
  • New method developments on electron microscopes 
  • Current status of the future Dubochet Center for Imaging 
10:00 Break
10:15 Resources for cryo-EM processing at EPFL (Michael Unser)
10:30 Ongoing cryo-EM-related projects at EPFL: brief overviews (TBA)
11:00 Open discussion and questions with panel (Henning Stahlberg, Jan Hesthaven, Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Michael Unser)
11:30 End of symposium
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Innovators Forum: Setting Milestones in Medical Device Development // Advances in Nanoimmunotherapies

Dr. Ary Saaman, Dr. Abraham J.P. Teunissen

The Catalyze4Life Innovators Forum is a series of inspirational events where students, academia and industry meet, discuss and examine hot translational topics in various life sciences engineering domains and beyond. 

Every two months, speakers from industry, start-up, bodies etc will introduce the subject with 30min of presentation followed by an interactive QA session and round table discussion. 

As many of EPFL's graduates take up a job in industry, this Forum aims to discuss relevant subjects for students, PhD students, Postdocs and upcoming start-ups and guide toward a successful career in industry or as an entrepreneur.

Students are specially invited to join!

Setting Milestones in Medical Device Development (17:00 - 18:00)
Ary Saaman, PhD, Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, Switzerland Chapter

Advances in Nanoimmunotherapies (18:00 - 19:00)
Abraham J.P. Teunissen, PhD, Director of Radiochemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, United States 



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From Updates on Machine-Learned Potential Energy Surfaces to the Latest on Roaming in Formaldehyde

Prof. Joel M. Bowman Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Prof. Joel M. Bowman
Emory University, Atlanta, USA 
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To be defined

Prof. Moniek Tromp, Groningen University, The Netherlands

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CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Nicolas Boumal

Prof. Nicolas Boumel

Title: Pulling the thread of geometry and symmetry to unravel (bits of) benign non-convexity

We routinely model engineering tasks as optimization problems. These come in various forms. Some we know how to solve; some we know we cannot. Of particular interest are those problems it appears we can solve, yet we do not know for sure: our theory fails us. Can we use such models in critical applications where mistakes have consequences?
In continuous optimization, the known frontier of tractability is mostly defined by convexity. Yet, in recent years we have discovered many non-convex problems it appears we can solve. I will describe some of their frequent traits, specifically through geometry and symmetry. Understanding these traits may help us push the known frontier, effectively enabling us to use richer modelling tools with confidence.

Bio:Nicolas Boumal joined the Institute of Mathematics at EPFL in July 2020 as an assistant professor. He studies non-convex optimization, numerical analysis and statistical estimation. He is the author of a popular Riemannian optimization toolbox called Manopt, and of a book on this topic.

The CIS seminar will take place live on Zoom: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/87579137338 
Please connect to your zoom account using your "@epfl.ch" address, as this live event is only open to the EPFL community

Monday, March 29th, 2021 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm

NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages
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MechE Colloquium: Compound semiconductor nanostructures: synthesis & sustainability aspects

Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials (LMSC), EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Materials (IMX)

Some compound semiconductors such as GaAs and InGaAsP exhibit a high absorption coefficient in the photon energy of interest for solar energy conversion. Their commercial potential in terrestrial applications is reduced due to the scarcity (and thus high cost) of group III elements such as In and Ga. In this talk we present two approaches to render the use this kind of materials sustainable: a strong reduction in material use through nanostructures and the replacement of group III by group II such as zinc. We find nanostructures also provide a path to increase light collection [1]. We show how II-V compounds such as Zn3P2 exhibit one magnitude higher absorption coefficient than GaAs [2]. We explain how these materials can be fabricated with high crystal quality, opening the path for the creation of alternative and sustainable compound semiconductor solar cells [3-5].

[1] P. Krogstrup et al Nature Photon 7, 306 (2013)
[2] M.Y. Swinkels et al Phys. Rev. Appl. 14, 024045 (2020)
[3] S. Escobar Steinvall et al Nanoscale Horizons 5, 274-282 (2020)
[4] R. Paul et al, Crys. Growth. Des. 20, 3816–3825 (2020)
[5] S. Escobar Steinval et al. Nanoscale Adv. 3, 326 (2021)

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral received her Diploma in Physics at the University of Barcelona in 1997. She then moved to France where she obtained her PhD in Materials Science at Ecole Polytechnique in 2001. She then moved to the group of Harry Atwater at CalTech, where she also co-founded the company Aonex Technologies. Sponsored by a Marie Curie Excellence Grant she became team leader at the Walter Schottky Institute at Technical University of Munich in 2005, where she also habilitated in physics in 2009. In 2008, she joined the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering at EPFL first as a professor and director of the Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials. Since January 2021 she is associate vice-president of Centers and Platforms. Among her recognitions are ERC starting grant, the Emy Noether Prize in Physics and the Polysphere Prize (teaching prize given by undergraduate students).
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To be defined

Prof. Anubhav Jain, Lawrence Berkeley Nat. Lab., USA

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Reconstruction of Cryo-EM Images of Proteins to Atomic Resolution

Sjors Scheres, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK 

This event is part of the EPFL Seminar Series in Imaging (https://imagingseminars.org).

Abstract. The three-dimensional positions of atoms in protein molecules define their structure and their roles in biological processes. The more precisely atomic coordinates are determined, the more chemical information can be derived and the more mechanistic insights into protein function may be inferred. Electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle analysis has yielded protein structures with increasing levels of detail in recent years. However, it has proved difficult to obtain cryo-EM reconstructions with sufficient resolution to visualize individual atoms in proteins.

I will introduce the general principles of cryo-EM reconstruction and present how we recently used new electron microscopy hardware and software to calculate cryo-EM reconstructions of a test protein (apoferritin) to atomic resolution. Our technological advances, combined with further approaches to accelerate data acquisition and improve sample quality, provide a route towards routine application of cryo-EM in high-throughput screening of small molecule modulators and structure-based drug discovery.

Biography. Sjors Scheres is a Group Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biologoy, Cambridge. He is also joint Head of the Structural Studies division there. His main interests lie in the development of new methods for high-resolution cryo-EM structure determination, and their application to amyloid filaments.
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The tale of a pore: from structural biology to bioengineering

Matteo Dal Peraro

Biological complexity emerges from the organisation of matter at the atomic scale; therefore, understanding the molecular structure and dynamics of biological systems is fundamental to discover the physical principles that sustain life. Eventually, these same principles can be exploited to provide innovative biomedical and technological solutions. My laboratory approaches this problem using an integrative modelling approach, where theoretical and computational methods are combined with data originated from different experimental settings. In this seminar I will walk you through the different axes of research in the laboratory using as overarching example aerolysin, a pore-forming toxin that we have been studying for more than a decade. After having revealed its structure and pore-forming mechanism using integrative structural biology methods, we used molecular modelling and simulations to characterise the conduction properties of this pore at the membrane and understood its non-native ability to sense molecular entities such as DNA and peptides. Exploiting this fundamental knowledge we could then design and engineer mutant pores that showed enhanced single-molecule sensing properties for applications as diverse as (i) the detection of protein post-translational modifications for disease diagnosis and (ii) the reading of informational polymers for future data storage solutions.

Matteo Dal Peraro received his M.Sc. in Physics at the University of Padova and Ph.D. in Biophysics in 2004 at the  International  School for Advanced Studies in Trieste. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania before joining EPFL, where he is currently Associate Professor at the School of Life Sciences, leading the Laboratory for Biomolecular Modeling. He is also the director of the Doctoral Program in Computational and Quantitative Biology (EDCB) and the associate director of the Institute of Bioengineering (IBI).
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To be defined

Prof. Lucia Curri, University of Bari, Italy

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CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Sahand Jamal Rahi

Prof Sahand Jamal Rahi

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, STI and ENAC that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems.
In order to promote exchanges among researchers and encourage the creation of new, collaborative projects, CIS is organizing a "Get to know your neighbors" series. Each seminar will consist of one short overview presentation geared to the general public at EPFL.
The CIS seminar will take place live on Zoom: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/89910799721 
Please connect to your zoom account using your "@epfl.ch" address, as this live event is only open to the EPFL community
Monday,April 19th, 2021 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm

NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages

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To be defined

Prof. Laura Gagliardi, University of Chicago, USA

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CIS - Colloquium - by Prof Daniela Rus Director of MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab

Prof. Daniela Rus

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems. In June 2020, CIS has launched its CIS Colloquia featuring invited notable speakers.
More info https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/cis/center-for-intelligent-systems-cis/events/colloquia-2/prof-daniela-rus/
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Academia-Industry workshop on Advanced Polymer-Derived Ceramics

You are welcome to join our workshop on “High-precision micro-manufacturing of ceramics”. The two sessions will gather experts from academia and industry to present and discuss the latest trends in the field of polymer derived ceramic technology (PDC). The workshop is part of the Ceramic X.0 project that receives funding from the ETH Board via the Strategic Focus Area Advanced Manufacturing (SFA-AM). Participating partners come from EPFL, Empa and PSI.

The Ceramic X.0 project focuses on

  • PDC materials suitable for micro-meter precision
  • Preceramic polymers (PCPs) modification for property tuning
  • 3D shaping technologies for PDC materials
  • Micro-casting of PCPs into micro-molds
  • Pyrolysis
  • Characterization of the ceramic micro-parts, including by X-ray
  • Benchmark properties in view of selected applications, including biocompatibility

The agenda of the workshop is split into a morning and an afternoon session. Each session will be opened by an invited speaker, followed by presentations by the Ceramic X.0 project partners. To enable outreach and networking, we will set up at the end of the workshop pitches, where interested industry can present their activities in the field of high precision ceramics.

The workshop will be held online (by ZOOM), is free of charge to attend, but registration is required.

Wednesday, 28th of April 2021 by zoom

  • 10h20-10h30      Welcome and workshop opening from Prof. Juergen Brugger (EPFL-LMIS1)
  • 10h30-11h15      "Advanced Polymer-Derived Ceramics and Nanocomposites with Tailor-Made Structural and Functional Proper" presented by Dr. Emanual Ionescu (TU Darmstadt)
  • 11h15-11h30      Presentation from Empa-Dübendorf (to be defined later)    
  • 11h30-11h45      "Combining various synchrotron techniques for structural analysis of Polymer Derived Ceramics" presented by Dr. Malgorzata Grazyna Makowska (PSI)
  • 11h45-12h00      "Additive manufacturing by two-photon polymerization and ablation of PDCs" presented by Mrs. Konstantinou Georgia (EPFL-LO/LAPD)
  • 12h00-13h30     Lunch break
  • 13h30-14h15     "Additive Manufacturing of preceramic polymers" presented by Prof. Paolo Colombo (Universita’ di Padova)
  • 14h15-14h30     "PDC property tuning and dedicated platform for electrochemical characterization" presented by Mr. Lorenz Hagelüken and Dr. Pierrick Clement
  • 14h30-14h45     "Cytocompatibility evaluation of doped PDCs for pacemaker electrodes" presented by Dr. Yashoda Chandorkar (Empa-St Gallen)
  • 14h45-15h15     Industry 1, Industry 2, Industry 3 (tbc)
  • 15h15-15h30     Wrap-up and closing of workshop

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To be defined

Prof. Kevin Hemker, Johns Hopkins University, USA

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CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Devis Tuia

Prof. Devis Tuia

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, STI and ENAC that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems.
In order to promote exchanges among researchers and encourage the creation of new, collaborative projects, CIS is organizing a "Get to know your neighbors" series. Each seminar will consist of one short overview presentation geared to the general public at EPFL.   
The CIS seminar will take place live on Zoom: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/87271049931

Please connect to your zoom account using your "@epfl.ch" address, as this live event is only open to the EPFL community
Monday, May 3rd, 2021 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm
NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages

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MechE Colloquium: Time-deterministic situational awareness of power grids

Prof. Mario Paolone, Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory (DESL), EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL)

The secure and optimal operation of power transmission systems does require the knowledge of the system state (i.e., the state estimation – SE) since it is used by several critical functions such as: security assessment, voltage control and stability analysis. Traditionally, the SE has been performed at relatively low refresh rates (i.e., several minutes) in view of the technological limits of the so-called remote terminal units (RTUs). Nowadays, the emerging availability of phasor measurement units (PMUs) allows to acquire accurate and time-aligned phasors, called synchrophasors, with streaming rates in the order of several tens of measurements per second that are used to infer the system state in a time-deterministic way. This technology is experiencing a fast evolution and being associated to a number of applications. PMUs already compose the backbone of wide area monitoring systems of power transmission networks. However, this technology may be central even in the context of power distribution networks to optimally exploit these systems to maximize their hosting capacity of stochastic resources (i.e., photovoltaic and wind power generation, distributed energy storage systems, electrical vehicles). Within this context, the seminar illustrates the methodological aspects associated to recent developments in PMU-based time-deterministic situational awareness systems for the monitoring, control and protection of future power networks.

Prof. Mario Paolone received the M.Sc. (Hons.) and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 1998 and 2002. In 2005, he was an Assistant Professor in power systems with the University of Bologna, where he was with the Power Systems Laboratory until 2011. Since 2011, he has been with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, where he is currently a Full Professor and the Chair of the Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory. His research interests focus on power systems with particular reference to real-time monitoring and operational aspects, power system protections, dynamics and transients. Prof. Paolone has authored or co-authored over 300 papers published in mainstream journals and international conferences in the area of energy and power systems that received numerous awards including the IEEE EMC Technical Achievement Award, two IEEE Transactions on EMC best paper awards, the IEEE Power System Dynamic Performance Committee’s prize paper award and the Basil Papadias best paper award at the 2013 IEEE PowerTech. Prof. Paolone was the founder Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Sustainable Energy, Grids and Networks.
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APIX: NEMS-based gas chromatograph

Eric Colinet, R&D manager, APIX analytics, Grenoble, France

Abstract: Apix-Analytics, the leader in Nano-Sensor (NEMS) based gas chromatography (GC) system is a start-up company from CEA-LETI and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) founded in December 2011. The presentation will present why NEMS resonators offer a unique breakthrough technology in the GC field and will discuss how the key challenges such as industrialization, multi scale system integration combining mechanical, chemical and electronic sub-systems are addressed.

Bio: Eric Colinet graduated from INSA-Lyon France in 2002 and received a PhD from SUPELEC PARIS in 2005 and a HDR from INP- GRENOBLE in 2010. In 2011, he cofounded Apix-Analytics, a start-up company from CEA-LETI/CALTECH specialized in Nano-Sensor based gas analysis systems, where he is now managing the research and development activities. His field of expertise covers micro & nano electromechanical systems (MEMS-NEMS), sensors & actuators, control theory & signal processing, solid-state electronics & IC, MEMS-CMOS Integration. He is the author of more than 100 scientific papers and holds over 20 patents.

This seminar is part of the Master's class MICRO534, Advanced MEMS and Microsystems, and is open to the informed public.

Apix Analytics - Company Website

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To be defined

Dr Christian Serre, École Normale Supérieure, France

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To be defined

Prof. Neel Joshi, Northeastern University, USA

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Citation Best Practices

EPFL Library Teaching Team

Citing correctly requires the acquisition of the right habits. This workshop will walk you through various citation cases that you may encounter during the writing process of reports or publications. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to:
  • understand the stakes of citation,
  • reuse different types of content without committing plagiarism,
  • cite your sources correctly, within the text and in the bibliography.

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Packaging and Hybridization: the Valorization of MEMS Technologies

Dr. Michel Despont

Abstract: The integration of microsystems and, in particular, of MEMS devices continues to be a key element of many high technology application areas. If the devices themselves are crucial elements for innovation, their integration in a complete microsystem are essential for their successful commercialization. Hence development of 3D integration and packaging technologies are of the upmost importance. At CSEM we develop new solutions for wafer level hybridization and packaging solutions to respond to the demand of the industry active in microsystem technology. An overview of the packaging and hybridization technology will be presented along with some concrete examples such are biocompatible hermetic packaging for active implant, wafer level gas cell for atomic clock, wafer level hybridization for complex micromechanical components, heterogeneous integration of microdevices at wafer level, MEMS integration on soft micromodule.

Bio: Dr. Michel Despont received a Ph.D. in physics from the Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, in 1996. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the IBM Research - Zurich laboratory in 1996, he spent one year as a visiting scientist at the Seiko Instrument Research Laboratory in Japan. In 2005, he was appointed manager and led the nanofabrication group at IBM Research – Zurich Laboratory. Since 2013, Dr Despont is currently employed by the Swiss Centre of Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) as Vice-President of the MEMS program and manager of the Emerging Micro&Nano Technologies section in the Micro&Nano Systems division.

CSEM Website.

This seminar is part of the Master's class MICRO534, Advanced MEMS and Microsystems, and is open to the informed public.

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MechE Colloquium: Air mediates the impact of a compliant hemisphere on a rigid smooth surface

Prof. John Kolinski, Engineering Mechanics of Soft Interfaces Laboratory (EMSI), EPFL School of Engineering (STI), Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM)

Fleeting contact between solids immersed in a fluid medium governs the response of critically important materials. Indeed, the fluid layer mediating solid contact fundamentally alters the interaction between grains of soil or coffee, directly modifying the constitutive properties of suspensions; typically this interface is obscured, making direct study of its kinematics very challenging.

Here we directly image the interface between a soft elastic hemisphere and a flat rigid substrate during rapid impact over a wide range of impact velocities $V$ at high temporal resolution using the Virtual Frame Technique (VFT). In each experiment, a pocket of air is trapped between the impactor and the substrate, preventing direct solid-solid contact at the apex of the hemisphere, and altering the area of contact. The size of the air pocket varies non-monotonically with V and impactor stiffness, initially increasing in a regime where elastic stresses balance lubrication stresses. At sufficiently large V, the inertial stress dominates the elastic stress, and the air pocket size decreases as V continues to increase. Our measurements reveal an unanticipated, sudden transition of the air pocket's size as V increases beyond ~ 1.5 m/s. Several modalities of contact front advancement emerge, and these modalities appear to correlate with the ratio of the outward velocity of the front to the Rayleigh velocity c_R of the elastic impactor. When v_out/c_R > 1, the material ahead of the advancing contact front cannot deform, and little air is entrained; however, when v_{out}/c_R < 1 the material ahead of the contact front deforms and entrains air, leading to the emergence of a patchy contact texture arising from an elasto-lubricative instability. Using the unique capabilities of the VFT, we identify several V-dependent transitions of fluid-mediated soft contact that can inform engineering design in systems as diverse as car tires, soft robotic locomotion and suspensions such as soil and coffee.

Kolinski studied both engineering mechanics and mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and graduated with Bachelor's degrees in both subjects in 2008, before earning a Master's degree in applied mathematics (Sc.M.) and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. His Ph.D. thesis on "The role of air in droplet impact on a smooth, solid surface" was supervised by Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Shmuel Rubinstein.[3][4][5][6][7] Supported by a Fulbright-Israel post-doctoral fellowship, he moved in 2014 to Israel to work with Eran Sharon and Jay Fineberg at the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. There he studied the inter-facial instabilities in fluid and solid systems such as water bells and the fracture of hydrogels.[8][9][10]
Since May 2017, Kolinski has been a Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL and the head of the Laboratory of Engineering Mechanics of Soft Interfaces (EMSI) at EPFL's School of Engineering.
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MechE Colloquium

Coming soon...

Coming soon...
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CIS - Colloquium - by Prof. Prof Vijay Kumar, Dean School of Engineering and Applied Science University of Pennsylvania

  Prof Vijay Kumar

The Center for Intelligent Systems at EPFL (CIS) is a collaboration among IC, SB, and STI that brings together researchers working on different aspects of Intelligent Systems. In June 2020, CIS has launched its CIS Colloquia featuring invited notable speakers.
More info https://www.epfl.ch/research/domains/cis/center-for-intelligent-systems-cis/events/colloquia-2/prof-vijay-kumar/
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Summer School: "Foundations and mathematical guarantees of data-driven control"

Prof. Claudio De Persis, Prof. Frank Allgöwer, Prof. Niao He, Prof. Nicolas Boumal, Prof. Nikolai Matni, Prof. Pietro Tesi, Dr. Stephen Tu, Prof. Marco Campi & more

The ETHZ-EPFL Summer School on "Foundations and mathematical guarantees of data-driven control" will be held from Wednesday June 9th to Tuesday June 15th, 2021, at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
In this summer school we will bring together prominent researchers and students in the field of data-driven control, to discuss the latest theoretical techniques and open problems in the field, build research networks and open collaborative opportunities.
In this school you will learn from the following outstanding researchers:
Prof. Claudio De Persis, Prof. Frank Allgöwer, Prof. Niao He, Prof. Nicolas Boumal, Prof. Nikolai Matni, Prof. Pietro Tesi, Dr. Stephen Tu, Prof. Marco Campi & more.
For more information - regarding registration, the schedule, topics and more news - please visit the website

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Games on Campus – Rencontre UNIL-EPFL autour du jeu vidéo


L’objectif de ce rendez-vous régulier, né d’un intérêt conjoint d’étudiant·e·s et de chercheur·ses, est de proposer un état des lieux des activités de recherche et d’enseignement sur le campus. Qu’elles utilisent des technologies du jeu vidéo (moteurs de jeu, réalité virtuelle, gamification, etc.), ou se plongent dans l’étude de ces objets, nous souhaitons mettre en valeur les initiatives existantes et rassembler les actrices et acteurs de ce domaine présents sur le campus.

Il s'agit de la cinquième édition de l'événement. Rediffusion de la première édition. Rediffusion de la seconde édition.

Le jeu vidéo est aujourd’hui un bien culturel pratiqué ou « consommé » par une part majoritaire de la société, tous âges confondus. C’est également un savoir-faire et des technologies permettant de comprendre et maîtriser de nombreuses innovations apportées par le numérique (évolution des interfaces, intelligence artificielle, etc.), mais aussi d’appréhender les nouveaux enjeux soulevés par celui-ci. De nombreux projets en tirent parti, notamment sur le campus UNIL-EPFL (projet Collart-Palmyre, Immersive Interaction Research Group, etc.). Aujourd’hui, on trouve des centres d’étude du jeu vidéo dans des universités (Universités de Paris 8, Paris 13, Metz, CNAM-CEDRIC) comme dans des écoles polytechniques (à l’ETHZ, mais aussi à Polytechnique Paris, où une chaire « Science et jeu vidéo » a ouvert fin 2019). Lausanne étant un pôle de recherche de pointe dans les humanités numériques comme dans l’étude des nouveaux médias, il est selon nous important d’intégrer à cet ensemble le jeu vidéo, ce « média natif du numérique », et de mener une réflexion à ce propos grâce à l'organisation d'un tel événement.

Le programme sera disponible prochainement.

Cet événement a lieu uniquement en ligne.

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