Projects for students

Masters or SIE project – Assessment of low cost sensor technologies for spatially-resolved air quality indices in the City of Lausanne


The goal for this project is to evaluate the capability of low cost sensors for estimating particulate and gas-phase pollutant concentrations and to provide the best estimate of air quality affecting residents in Lausanne. The project involves characterization of sensor-specific and environment-specific conditions that lead to variations in sensor response to target pollutants, and build predictive models that take into account these effects. Sensors have been deployed by the Ville de Lausanne, and reference measurements for calibration and validation are provided by Federal and Cantonal monitoring network stations. Finally, air quality indices (AQIs) combining particulate and gas-phase pollutants should be derived and compared against those obtained with reference measurements to assess the quality of AQI predictions.


  • Project duration: Fall semester 2023, Masters or SIE project
  • Location: Laboratory for Atmospheric Processes and Their Impacts, EPFL
  • Supervisor: [email protected]

Masters project – Molecular Structure Reconstruction

Mass spectrometry is a valuable tool that allows scientists to break down molecules into smaller fragments and determine their structures. While traditional methods involve manually investigating possible arrangements of fragments, modern algorithms are being investigated to automate this process. These algorithms can be divided into two categories: combinatorial-based methods and learning-based methods. Combinatorial-based methods use puzzle-solving approaches, resulting in exponential running times as the problem size increases. Learning-based methods, such as deep learning, utilize large databases and can provide results in a timely manner. However, these methods may lack interpretability, making it difficult to understand how they generate the structure of molecules.
In this master thesis project, we aim to implement and improve upon various algorithms for molecule structure reconstruction. Our focus will be on testing these algorithms using measurements from a tandem chromatogram-mass spectrometer located at Jungfraujoch, operated by the laboratory of climate gases of Empa (Swiss Federal Institute of Material Science and Technology). This instrument measures halogenated compounds, which are small molecules responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and ozone layer depletion. The algorithms developed during this project will be integrated into the laboratory’s existing program for identifying new pollutants. Currently, the program can predict the molecular formula of a compound, and our project aims to expand its capabilities to predict the structure of unknown compounds as well.

• Duration: 6 months during the Fall 2023 semester
• Location: Dübendorf (Empa facilities)
• EPFL supervisor: [email protected]
• Empa contacts: [email protected], [email protected]
• Empa laboratory: