Master/Semester Projects

Are you looking for a cool semester/diploma project?
Are you interested in RFIC design, communication systems, microcontrollers, FPGAs?

If so, please check out the projects we are currently offering, and feel free to contact us.

The projects are offered to EPFL students.

Open Projects

 

Contact persons:

  • Catherine Dehollain, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Sandro Carrara, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Andreas Burg, EPFL, Switzerland

 

Technical field:

The technical field of the project relates to sensors, such as wireless and battery-free sensors, for Remote Monitoring of Human Metabolism (HM).

 

Taking advantage of their wireless communication capability, sensors in a wireless sensor network (WSN) may be positioned in places which are uncomfortable to reach, because no cables can be used for data communication and power supply. In some cases, no batteries are allowed to be used, as in the case of the sensors working in very high temperature environment or human body sensors. Despite the extensive activity in the area, further improved solutions are desirable.

 

Project Description:

In this context, solutions are desirable wherein a Human Body Metabolism function to be monitored, may provide at the same time power supply and measurement functionality of the specific Human Metabolism parameters to be measured (e.g. Glucose, Lactate, Cholesterol, etc.).

 

This suggests to explore the feasibility of a measurement system of HM parameters, with the following characteristics:

  • Battery-free, as it is self‑sustained, from the energy point of view, by harvesting the energy developed during the Human Metabolism.
  • Has a time domain readout of the measurements. It is able to transmit the information (Human Metabolism parameters) through an Internet of Things (IoT) approach.

 

 

Supervision:

This master project will be co-supervised by Prof. Catherine Dehollain (RF IC group, EPFL), by Dr. MER Sandro Carrara (ICLAB, EPFL) and by Prof. Andreas Burg (TCL, EPFL). It will be in close collaboration with Mr. Roberto La Rosa (STMicroelectronics, Italy).

 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Basic knowledge on sensors
  • Basic knowledge of Power Management
  • Basic knowledge of simulations/modelling systems (e.g., MatLab, C-programming)
  • Interest, Motivation, and Commitment to the project

References:

  • Baj-Rossi, G. De Micheli & S. Carrara, “A linear approach to multi-panel sensing in personalized therapy for cancer treatment”. IEEE Sensors Journal, 13(2013), 4860-4865: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6568871
  • A. Ghanad, M.M. Green, C. Dehollain, “A 30 uW Remotely Powered Local Temperature Monitoring Implantable System”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, vol. 11, no. 1, Feb. 2017, pp.54-63.
  • Constantin, A. Dogan, O. Andersson, P. Meinerzhagen, J. N. Rodrigues, A. Atienza, A. Burg, “TamaRISC-CS: An ultra-low-power application-specific processor for compressed sensing”. IEEE/IFIP 20th International Conference on VLSI and System-on-Chip (VLSI-SoC)
  • La Rosa, P. Livreri, C. Trigona, L. Di Donato, G. Sorbello, “Strategies and Techniques for Powering Wireless, Sensor Nodes through Energy Harvesting and Wireless Power Transfer”, MDPI Sensors Journal, 19, 2660; doi:10.3390/s19122660, year 2019.

Category: Circuit design and simulation

Project for: 1 M.Sc. diploma student / 2 M.Sc. semester project students.

Description: The advancements in design methods and improvements in fabrication techniques makes the technology as an essential part of daily life. Especially the miniaturization of the technology enables the implantable and wearable devices which can be very useful in many applications such as medical, entertainment, security, and commercial fields. Recently, there is a large demand especially on medical applications of implantable systems. By means of medical implantable systems, it is possible to acquire information about several parameters such as patients body temperature, heart rate, brain activity, and other physical and chemical data. As a result of these measurements, the cause of the illness can be investigated, the recovery process can be monitored, early detection and prevention of diseases becomes possible.

This project aims to design an integrated CMOS readout circuit for an implantable inductive sensor developed by our group. The sensor detects the changes inside the body and gives an output in terms of the inductance shift. The main task of the project is to design the ultra-low-power CMOS circuit to translate the inductance value of the sensor to voltage or current verify its performance by simulations. The student(s) will gain considerable hands-on experience in the ultra-low-power microelectronics design and Cadence environment.

Prerequisites:

Acquaintance with analog circuit design.

Project breakdown:

10% Literature review

80% Circuit design and verification

10% Reporting results

Supervisors:

Dr. Kerim Ture ([email protected])

Prof. Catherine Dehollain

Category: System design and measurement

Project for: 1 M.Sc. diploma student / 2 M.Sc. semester project students.

Description: The advancements in design methods and improvements in fabrication techniques makes the technology as an essential part of daily life. Especially the miniaturization of the technology enables the implantable and wearable devices which can be very useful in many applications such as medical, entertainment, security, and commercial fields. Recently, there is a large demand especially on medical applications of implantable systems. By means of medical implantable systems, it is possible to acquire information about several parameters such as patients body temperature, heart rate, brain activity, and other physical and chemical data. As a result of these measurements, the cause of the illness can be investigated, the recovery process can be monitored, early detection and prevention of diseases becomes possible. Wireless power transmission methods can provide the electrical power needed by these measurements, and powering through ultrasound is the best candidate for deeply implanted medical devices.

This project aims to design the external base station composed of FPGA, power amplifier, and an array of piezoelectric transducers to power implanted system with ultrasonic waves. The study includes ultrasound simulation, FPGA programming, and printed circuit board (PCB) design. The student(s) will gain considerable hands-on experience in electronics design and ex-vivo experimental setup.

Prerequisites:

Acquaintance with FPGA/MCU programming and PCB design.

Project breakdown:

10% Literature review

60% FPGA programming and PCB design

20% System integration and verification

10% Reporting results

Supervisors:

Dr. Kerim Ture ([email protected])

Prof. Catherine Dehollain

Astrocast is building a network of leading-edge nanosatellites in Low Earth Orbit to provide cost-effective IoT services.


Astrocast low cost modems collect and transmit data from sensors or other customer assets and transmit them to our satellite network. The collected data is stored on the satellite and then forwarded to ground stations located around the globe. The ground stations forward the data to the cloud database, which is easily accessible to clients.


For this project, we like to design several filters that will be integrated in satellite RF communication systems. The filters will be implemented using microstrip technology and the project include all the design, implementation and measurement steps.

Project process and duties:


● Study different filter topologies
● Design and simulate microstrip filters using electromagnetic simulation software
● PCB implementation
● Measurements
● Project report


Qualifications:


● Electronic or Electrical engineering student at EPFL
● Basic knowledge of RF system and filter design


Working conditions:


● Start Date: February 2020
● Project type: Semester/Master project
● Location: EPFL, RFIC group
● Contact: Prof. Catherine Dehollain: [email protected] or Mehrdad Ghanad: [email protected]

Description and objective:

 

CSEM in Neuchatel, Switzerland, offers a Master’s project within its Systems Division. One of the core competences of the Systems Division is technology development for medical devices. Emerging precision technologies has become a driving force in the adaptation of robotic tools into surgeries. In the last two decades, several robotic surgery equipments have been admitted to the operation rooms. It is envisaged that providing meaningful inputs to the surgeons by means of multi-modal sensing will strengthen the acceptance of these tools in clinical practice.

 

This Master project is a part of an advanced surgical robot development, which is to be used in spinal cord surgeries. It involves a system which can characterize tissue transitions by means of electrical impedance spectroscopy. The Master project aims for developing a geometry-independent measurement method which yields tissue conductivity values.

 

The Master student is expected to be located in CSEM Neuchâtel during this Master project.

 

Required skills:

 

A suitable candidate is expected to have experience or at least knowledge in most, if not all, of the following topics:

  • Impedance measurement concepts (monopolar, bipolar, tetra-polar)
  • Conformal mapping
  • Maxwell equations (particularly Gauss’ law)
  • Numerical analysis (finite-element analysis)
  • Analog electronic design

 

How to apply:

If you would like to contribute to this technology development effort for future medical devices, please contact [email protected] or [email protected] with your CV and a maximum 1-page summary of your experience and/or knowledge around the keywords given above

 

Remark:

Depending on the profile of the candidate, this position is also available as an internship, i.e. without thesis writing requirement.

Category: System design and measurement

Project for: 1 M.Sc. diploma student / 2 M.Sc. semester project students.

Description: Wireless data transfer for neural implants require large bandwidth yet they are constrained with stringent power requirements to prevent thermal and electromagnetic hazards. Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a promising technology that achieves both these requirements for short distance communication and with data-dependent low power operation.

This project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a learning-based neural data compression algorithm in terms of communication power efficiency. The student will first study UWB technology and neural data compression techniques. The main task of the project is to control and test transmitter and receiver boards based on the Decawave IC that simulates the wireless link between the implant and the short-range target. The student(s) will gain considerable hands-on experience in electronics design and test environment.

Prerequisites:

Acquaintance with FPGA/MCU programming.

Project breakdown:

40% Transmitter and receiver board setup

20% Compression algorithm study

30% Measurements

10% Reporting results

Supervisors:

Arda Uran ([email protected])

Dr. Kerim Ture ([email protected])

Prof. Catherine Dehollain

Category: Circuit design and simulation

 

Project for: 1 M.Sc. diploma student / 2 M.Sc. semester project students.

 

Description: Wireless data transfer for neural implants require large bandwidth yet they are constrained with stringent power requirements to prevent thermal and electromagnetic hazards. Ultra-wideband (UWB) is a promising technology that achieves both these requirements for short distance communication and with data-dependent low power operation.

 

This project aims to design an integrated CMOS UWB receiver. The student will first study UWB technology and do a literature review. The main task of the project is to design the receiver at transistor level and verify its performance by simulations. The student(s) will gain considerable hands-on experience in the radio frequency (RF) microelectronics design and Cadence environment.

 

Prerequisites:

 

Acquaintance with analog circuit design.

 

Project breakdown:

 

10% Literature review

80% Circuit design and verification

10% Reporting results

 

Supervisors:

 

Dr. Kerim Ture ([email protected])

Prof. Catherine Dehollain