News

EPFL scientists model the flight of dandelion seeds 17th July, 2019

EPFL scientists, working in association with colleagues at the University of Twente and the University of Pisa, have studied the link between the number of bristles on dandelion seeds and the ability of those seeds to travel long distances in a stable manner. 

New dual-propeller drone can fly twice as long 16th July, 2019

EPFL startup Flybotix has developed a novel drone with just two propellers and an advanced stabilization system that allow it to fly for twice as long as conventional models. That fact, together with its small size, makes it perfect for inspecting hard-to-reach parts of industrial facilities such as ducts.

Prof. Stellacci elected in the Academia Europeae 15th July, 2019

Francesco Stellacci, a professor at the EPFL School of Engineering (Institute of Materials) has been elected in the Academia Europeae.

Robot-ants that can jump, communicate and work together 11th July, 2019

A team of EPFL researchers has developed tiny 10-gram robots that are inspired by ants: they can communicate with each other, assign roles among themselves and complete complex tasks together. These reconfigurable robots are simple in structure, yet they can jump and crawl to explore uneven surfaces. The researchers have just published their work in Nature.

Important Results For Brain Machine Interfaces 8th July, 2019

Data from Mental Work project, conducted as an experimental artwork at EPFL's Artlab, indicates that BMI is robust and accessible to the general public, spurring new research collaborations in Switzerland on user experience.

New approach to energy strategy accounts for uncertainty 4th July, 2019

EPFL scientists have developed a model that can help policymakers factor in uncertainty when they map out their energy strategies. Today such strategies are based largely on forecasts of fuelprices, technology costs and energy demand. However, these forecasts are often incorrect and can lead to flawed decisions.

Researchers discover semiconducting nanotubes that form spontaneously 3rd July, 2019

EPFL researchers have discovered a way of making semiconducting, photoluminescent nanotubes form spontaneously in liquid solutions. The tubes, which consist of several walls that are perfectly uniform and just a few atoms thick, display optical properties that make them perfect for use as fluorophores or photocatalysts.

AI-designed heat pumps consume less energy 3rd July, 2019

Researchers at EPFL have developed a method that uses artificial intelligence to design next-generation heat-pump compressors. Their method can cut the pumps’ power requirement by around 25%.

What can Wikipedia tell us about human interaction? 1st July, 2019

EPFL researchers have studied the dynamics of network structures using one of the world’s most-visited websites: Wikipedia. In addition to a better understanding of online networks, their work brings exciting insights into human social behavior and collective memory.

Lunar mission deep in Zermatt's ice 27th June, 2019

On 17 June, students from EPFL and 12 other European universities headed to Zermatt as part of the IGLUNA project. Their mission? To build and demonstrate a prototype lunar habitat in the ice that could one day support human life on the Moon.

Full house at NMC Engineering workshop 21st June, 2019

The 16th International Workshop on Nanomechanical Sensors took place on June 19-21 2019. This workshop has been organized every year gathering the most prominent figures in the nanomechanical sensing community. This 2019 edition focused on two of the most promising fields: quantum and bio-sensing.

EPFLoop team unveils bold and ultralight capsule 18th June, 2019

On Wednesday, 29 May, a team of EPFL students – who qualified for this summer’s Hyperloop Pod Competition in Los Angeles – unveiled a prototype they hope will bring home a win.

A new 2D magnet draws future devices closer 18th June, 2019

EPFL scientists have discovered a new type of 2D magnetic material that can be integrated into spintronic devices.

A new approach to modeling tumors 17th June, 2019

Researchers at EPFL and the University of Lyon have developed a device for creating cell aggregates in a fully controlled manner. Their aim is to model tumors more accurately in order to test potential new treatments. 

Professor Emeritus Michel Rappaz received honorary doctoral degree 17th June, 2019

Professor Emeritus Michel Rappaz, of the Institute of Materials at EPFL, received an honorary doctorate from McMaster University. 

E3 – EPFL Excellence in Engineering Program 3rd June, 2019

Following a rigorous selection process, 35 outstanding students from over 2000 international applicants have been invited to spend three months this summer working in research laboratories and interacting with faculty members and Ph.D. students at EPFL’s School of Engineering.

Talk by President and CEO of IMEC : 5 June 2019 29th May, 2019

"Nano-electronics and digital technologies: addressing some of the future challenges": talk by Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of IMEC, June 5th.

EPFL researchers crack an enduring physics enigma 29th May, 2019

Researchers from EPFL have found the mechanism that lies behind a mysterious physics phenomenon in fluid mechanics: the fact that turbulence in fluids spontaneously self-organizes into parallel patterns of oblique turbulent bands – an example of order emerging spontaneously from chaos. In so doing, they solved a problem that had stumped generations of physicists.

A novel theory of heat, in the search for efficient thermoelectrics 27th May, 2019

EPFL and MARVEL researchers have developed a new theory for heat conduction that can finally describe and predict the thermal conductivity of any insulating material. This new formulation will let scientists make accurate predictions of thermal conductivity in a range of materials for critical engineering applications – from electronics to lasers to waste-heat recovery.

Swiss and Japanese students imagine the future together 27th May, 2019

During a study trip to Japan, third-year students from EPFL’s Bachelor’s program in microengineering worked with Japanese students at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) to develop ideas and intelligent design concepts for the future. Then it was the Japanese students’ turn to come to Switzerland for yet more collaborative projects.

Producing electricity at estuaries using light and osmosis 23rd May, 2019

Researchers at EPFL are working on a technology to exploit osmotic energy – a source of power that’s naturally available at estuaries, where fresh water comes into contact with seawater. In a laboratory experiment, the team reproduced the real-world conditions that occur where rivers meet the sea (pH and salt concentration) and showed that, by shining light on a system comprising salt, water and a membrane three atoms thick, it was possible to optimize electricity production.

A new non-invasive therapy for people with paraplegia 21st May, 2019

Researchers from the Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research Support (AASDAP) in Brazil, in collaboration with EPFL, have developed a non-invasive strategy that combines functional electrostimulation, a body weight support system and a brain-machine interface for the rehabilitation of people with paraplegia. This approach was tested on two patients, who showed an improvement in their motor skills and a partial neurological recovery.

New professor joins EPFL's School of Engineering 7th May, 2019

Giulia Tagliabue recently joined EPFL’s mechanical engineering department as a tenure track assistant professor. In her work, she aims to provide a better understanding of how light interacts with materials on a nanometric scale. This information will enable engineers to design more sustainable energy systems. Tagliabue will pursue her research at the School’s new Laboratory of Nanoscience for Energy Technologies.

Engineering PhD Summit: register before May 31st 6th May, 2019

Compete for the EPFL Engineering PhD Summit Prize, present your exceptional research work in Intelligent Systems, visit EPFL and interact with top engineering faculty. Travel and housing costs will be covered for all selected candidates. 

Three School of Engineering professors awarded ERC PoC Grants 2nd May, 2019

Professors Camille-Sophie Brès, Bruno Correia and Tobias Kippenberg have been awarded Proof of Concept Grants from the European Research Council. Five EPFL Professors have been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept grant. This year, the ERC has given 54 PoC grants.

Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight 1st May, 2019

EPFL researchers have created a smart device capable of producing large amounts of clean hydrogen. By concentrating sunlight, their device uses a smaller amount of the rare, costly materials that are required to produce hydrogen, yet it still maintains a high solar-to-fuel efficiency. Their research has been taken to the next scale with a pilot facility installed on the EPFL campus.

Lausanne Racing Team unveils an electric racing car 29th April, 2019

EPFL is set to make its debut in Formula Student this year, pitting a brand-new electric racing car developed by Lausanne Racing Team – and unveiled at an event at the Rolex Learning Center on Tuesday, 9 April – against other universities in races held across Europe.

Using 60% less water in paper production 26th April, 2019

An EPFL researcher has developed a mathematical model for optimizing heat transfer in factories and dramatically reducing water and energy consumption. The model could, in theory, cut water use by 60% at a Canadian paper mill and allow the facility to produce as much as six times more power.

Jamie Paik's robots took the stage at the TED conference 18th April, 2019

Jamie Paik, the head of EPFL’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab at the School of Engineering presented her reconfigurable robots at the TED2019 conference in Vancouver on 18 April. Her miniature, versatile devices stand to revolutionize the way robots are used.

EPFL students engineer societal solutions in India 17th April, 2019

Twelve student volunteers, including those from EPFL and the EPFL + ECAL Lab, spent 10 days developing and testing four solutions to everyday challenges facing Bangalore residents as part of the India Switzerland Social Innovation Camp (INSSINC) pilot program. But the fruits of the students’ labor go beyond the prototypes themselves.

The way people walk says a lot about how healthy they are 11th April, 2019

Gait characteristics are sometimes regarded as the sixth vital sign in humans. They serve as a valuable indicator of a person’s health, particularly in older adults – so why not measure them? A team of EPFL researchers is taking part in a major European project to design a device that can assess a person’s gait more accurately.

How understanding animal behavior can support wildlife conservation 8th April, 2019

Researchers from EPFL and the University of Zurich have developed a model that uses data from sensors worn by meerkats to gain a more detailed picture of how animals behave in the wild.

Detecting pollution with a compact laser source 8th April, 2019

Researchers at EPFL have developed a simple mid-infrared laser source that can be used to detect pollution in the air or molecules in someone’s breath. Their system takes up considerably less space than the large ones typically used for such tasks.

Harnessing photonics for at-home disease detection 2nd April, 2019

With nothing more than a photonic chip and an ordinary camera, EPFL researchers have managed to count biomolecules one by one in a small sample and determine their position. Their tiny device – a marriage of optics and smart image analysis – is even able to detect a graphene sheet only a single atom thick. This type of sensor could one day play a key role in personalized medicine.

Professor Tobias J. Kippenberg awarded ERC Advanced Grant 2nd April, 2019

Tobias J. Kippenberg, a Professor at the EPFL School of Engineering and at the School of Basic Sciences, as well as Professors Pierre Gönczy and Douglas Hanahan (School of Life Sciences), have been awarded ERC Advanced Grant.

Engineering Industry Day a great success 1st April, 2019

The third edition of the Engineering Industry Day was attended by 150 companies, over 250 Master’s and PhD students, and 130 professors and researchers from EPFL. The event was organized by the EPFL School of Engineering in order to foster links – and create opportunities – among key players in research and innovation.

Engineering PhD Summit: register before May 31st 6th May, 2019

Compete for the EPFL Engineering PhD Summit Prize, present your exceptional research work in Intelligent Systems, visit EPFL and interact with top engineering faculty. Travel and housing costs will be covered for all selected candidates. 

Apply for the Piaget Scientific Award and do cutting-edge research 28th March, 2019

This prestigious award, organized by EPFL and sponsored by Piaget, gives a young scientist the chance to pursue their own research in an EPFL lab during a one-year postdoctoral fellowship. The next deadline for applications is 31 May 2019.

Combating fatigue with a smartwatch application 26th March, 2019

Scientists from EPFL, UNIL and local startup be.care have developed a system that uses heart rate variability to detect fatigue and identify what kind it is. The system then uses the results to suggest lifestyle changes that can make a difference. An initial test has been carried out on university students under real-world conditions.

NCCR MARVEL and NCCR Robotics get next phase fully funded 26th March, 2019

The Swiss National Science Foundation has awarded the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) MARVEL full funding of 18 million Swiss francs for its second phase, which will run until April 2022. The National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics gets the maximum possible funding level - more than 11 million Swiss francs - for its third and final phase, which will run until the end of 2022.

Google Faculty Research Award for Professor Volkan Cevher 26th March, 2019

Google awarded Professor Volkan Cevher from the LIONS lab with the Google Faculty Research Award for 2018.

Engineering cellular function without living cells 25th March, 2019

EPFL scientists have come up with a systematic method for studying and even predicting gene expression – without using cells. Using their innovative, quantitative approach, they measured important parameters governing gene regulation. This allowed them to design and construct a synthetic biological logic gate, which could one day be used to introduce new functions into cells. Their research has just been published in PNAS.

Robots enable bees and fish to talk to each other 21st March, 2019

Through an imaginative experiment, researchers were able to get two extremely different animal species located far apart to interact with each other and reach a shared decision with the help of robots.

Virtual time-lapse photos can capture ultrafast phenomena 13th March, 2019

EPFL scientists have developed a new image-processing method that can capture extremely rapid phenomena using any type of camera. Their method, called Virtual Frame Technique, delivers better performance than any commercial high-speed camera and is affordable and accessible to anyone.

MT180: First place for the artificial ligaments of Alvaro Charlet 11th March, 2019

The winner of the fourth annual My Thesis in 180 Seconds competition, held last night at the Rolex Forum, was Alvaro Charlet – a PhD student in materials science. In just three minutes he explained to the 600 people in the audience how his hydrogels receipes could one day replace ligaments in the human body. His presentation – perfectly orchestrated and seasoned with humor – won over the jury.

Turning buildings into energy producers 11th March, 2019

EPFL has become the coordinator of Be-Smart, an EU research project that aims to step up the deployment of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and cut their costs by 75% between now and 2030. The project was launched in response to EU regulations that require new buildings to be nearly zero-energy by 2020.

A self-healing composite 7th March, 2019

Researchers from EPFL's Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites have developed a material that can easily heal after being damaged. This cutting-edge composite could be used in aircraft, wind turbines, cars and sports equipment.

Coordinating the movements of mother and baby to facilitate delivery 6th March, 2019

A team of researchers from EPFL and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) has been awarded one of two Fondation Leenaards 2019 science prizes for its research into the biomechanics of labor. The aim of the project is to determine the best position for each mother to adopt in order to make vaginal delivery easier. 

EPFLoop in the running again 6th March, 2019

The EPFLoop team – which took home third place in last year’s Hyperloop Pod Competition – has been selected to compete again, making it one of around 20 short-listed teams that will head to California this summer.

Several programs in EPFL Engineering move up in the rankings 1st March, 2019

Two programs are now ranked in the top ten worldwide. According to the most recent QS World University Rankings, the Institute of Materials Science is now ranked #6 up from #10, and the Institute of Electrical Engineering is now ranked #9 up from #16. The Institute of Mechanical Engineering has moved up 9 positions to #18 from #27. Overall, EPFL is ranked #11 under Engineering and Technology.