Education at MINATEC: 2019 achievements
Changes to Grenoble Institute of Technology SICOM major
The SICOM (Signal, Image, Communication, and Multimedia) major common to Grenoble Institute of Technology schools Phelma and Ense3 prepares future engineers capable of developing projects that involve signal processing, electronics, and IT.
The curriculum, which has been around for a decade, was recently updated to incorporate additional course content on data science and artificial intelligence. Two new modules have been created: Data Science for Image, Multimedia, Audio & Communication (in French for the time being) and Data Science for Energy, the Environment & Healthcare (in English).
The new courses reflect the program’s unique positioning, with an approach “from sensor to decision” that is much more holistic than conventional programs, which tend to focus on IT and math only. SICOM gives students a big-picture view that responds to the real-world needs of industrial companies.
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Grenoble team does well at iGEM
A team of engineering students from Grenoble headed to Boston in late November compete in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. The team, which included four students from Grenoble Institute of Technology-Phelma, entered their invention, the Neurodrop teardrop test kit for Parkinson’s disease, into the contest.
Neurodrop was nominated for track awards in three categories: Best Diagnostic Project, Best Composite Part, and Best Software Tool. It was also one of 163 projects out of a total of 340 to win a gold medal for effectively responding to all contest specifications.
The team from Grenoble is not currently planning to develop its technology further. However, the team has published its research online, providing open access to anyone that would like to do so.
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IRIG and Tsukuba collaborate on another PhD dissertation
IRIG and Japan’s University of Tsukuba recently kicked off their second joint PhD research project on the ultra-rapid displacement of magnetic walls using the spin-transfer effect in manganese nitride (Mn4N). The conclusions of an earlier PhD dissertation were promising. Samples produced in Japan were sent to Grenoble, where they were used to reproducibly displace walls at speeds of 700 m/s to 800 m/s.
Researchers around the world investigated single spin transfer effects on walls from 2000 to 2010, when the focus shifted to spin-orbit coupling. The crystalline properties of the Mn4N obtained by epitaxial growth at Tsukuba have brought single spin transfer back. Ultimately, the research could be used to develop new magnetic memory technologies.
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Théano Karatsori leads the way for young women in science
Théano Karatsori authored nine articles and five conference papers during her PhD research alone. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she also won the EEA* Best Dissertation Award for her work. This bright young woman, now a post-doc at Leti, is certainly doing something right!
Her award-winning research on the characterization and modeling of nano-scale (28 nm and 14 nm) SOI MOSFETs—and specifically, her models and variability and reliability tests—turned out to be extremely valuable to the microelectronics industry.
After completing her PhD at IMEP-LaHC, Ms. Karatsori went on to a one-year post-doc on the characterization of a 3D integration technology. She came to Leti in August, where she is working on modelling a silicon qubit that could power tomorrow’s quantum computers.
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Grenoble Institute of Technology-Phelma increasingly international
Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Phelma engineering school is aiming for 100% international mobility. To achieve this goal, the school is actively and rapidly expanding its network of international partners. Several new dual-degree programs will be available starting in September 2019 with China (IFCEN*-Sun Yat-Sen), Tunisia (National Engineering School of Tunis), and Lebanon (Lebanese University-Beirut). These new dual-degree programs will bring the total offered by Phelma to more than 70. In addition, the number of exchange programs with new destinations like Malaysia (UT-Petronas) and Russia (ETU-St. Petersburg) is also growing. Finally, Phelma is also engaged in other types of partnerships that include exchange programs. For example, the school is coordinating Brafisat, a new Franco-Brazilian scientific cooperation on micro and nanosatellites.
*IFCEN: Sino-French Institute for Nuclear Energy
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Student entrepreneurs: Phelma engineering school home to four projects
The French government created a special “student entrepreneur” status in 2014, and students at Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Phelma engineering school continue to take advantage of it! This year, the school is home to four projects led by five second- and third-year students. The student entrepreneurs are receiving support from OZER, an organization set up specifically for this purpose. They also benefit from modified course loads and academic tutoring.
The most mature of the projects is Reveho, a modular, self-amplifying guitar that can be disassembled for travel. Project lead Alexandre Albisser is now on his second prototype. Another project, Solar Solution, is developing a self-powering solar drone. Culture Jo’ is developing an arts-themed board game with an associated app. Finally, Glob’Ems is an electronic system to centralize motorcycle operating parameters (RPM, temperature, etc.) and functions.
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Phelma climbs five slots in the 2019 L’Étudiant college rankings
Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Phelma engineering school came in nineteenth in the overall rankings in L’Étudiant magazine’s 2019 survey of 174 engineering schools, climbing five slots over the previous year.
Phelma tied with the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in the academic excellence category. The school’s stellar results were due in part to the large number of faculty members that hold state-sanctioned research directorships.
The school’s international activities have also expanded. The student body counted 98 international students, up from 70 the previous year. A total of 124 students earned dual degrees from international partner schools up from 94 in 2018.
And, in terms of career placement, Phelma came in second in the ICT and energy industries, with median annual salaries between €36K and €40K. Finally, the school has also increased diversity and strengthened corporate relations through non-traditional admissions processes and work-study programs.
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