Education at MINATEC: 2020 achievements
What’s new in the AMIS Masters program
EIT* Raw Materials recently renewed the EIT seal for the five-partner international AMIS (Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability) Masters program coordinated by Grenoble INP-Phelma. And there are several notable additions to the curriculum.
The program now includes classes on the materials lifecycle and on electric vehicles. These totally new classes will provide students with both theoretical and practical knowledge of sustainable design and approaches that factor in supply chain issues and critical materials. And, while the classes and special sessions on innovation and entrepreneurship are not new, they have been substantially enriched by contributions from the industrial companies partnering with the program.
*European Institute of Innovation and Technology
Hardware security expert Brice Colombier joins Grenoble INP-Phelma faculty
Grenoble INP-Phelma’s newest faculty member is an expert in hardware security. Brice Colombier joined the TIMA lab’s AMfoRS* group in September. His research focuses on attacks targeting integrated circuits and the associated countermeasures. Some attacks measure a circuit’s electrical consumption to extract data, for example. And the most sophisticated attacks use laser injection devices whose sole purpose is to hack into circuits.
Colombier will also be teaching a 20-hour lab class to third-year embedded systems and connected devices majors. Students in this emerging field, which is about where the smart card was 20 years ago in terms of security, will need to explore vulnerabilities and learn to protect them.
*Architectures and Methods for Resilient Systems
Unprecedented start to 2020-2021 school year at Phelma
Phelma was able to physically welcome first-year students to school on campus on September 11. With social distancing and other Covid-19 measures in effect, the first day of school was unlike any other.
Three auditoriums were prepared (with every other seat left open) to welcome the incoming first-year class. The students may have missed out on the usual “first day” excitement, but they did get a chance to meet other new students like them and see what the coming year will be like.
Because the entrance exams were disrupted by the pandemic, admissions were not completed until early September, almost four weeks later than usual. Despite the reigning uncertainty, 360 new students enrolled, similar to previous years.
Some international students still stuck in their home countries
Around 50 international students from all classes and majors are still stuck in their home countries due to border closings and have not yet made it to Grenoble.
And, with classroom capacity cut in half, managing student schedules and classroom occupancy is a conundrum. School officials will have to continue to think on their feet to ensure that students keep learning and that everyone stays safe.
Most of the new student orientation activities have been cancelled. A few outdoor activities, including a trip in very small groups up to the Bastille overlooking Grenoble, will be maintained. Back at the school, activities like foosball are prohibited and the Foyer cafeteria is closed until further notice. Student club offices are also closed.
Remote-control for micro-objects
Victor Vieille, a Phelma alum who did his PhD at G2Elab and who is now conducting post-doc research with CNRS, is making a name for himself with research to magnetically remote-control micro and nano-objects. He also won a Grenoble-Alpes University Best Dissertation Award in the innovation category in 2020, has filed two patents, and is planning to found a startup.
The solutions he is developing are simple, compact, and affordable. They consist of a magnet mounted on a motor with micro magnets. When the micro magnets are activated, they generate very localized magnetic fields used to move and deform nanobeads, a microlens, micro-tweezers, and a micro-pump. Victor helped developed the technology behind startup MagIA Diagnostics and is interested in other healthcare innovations like labs on chip and organs on chip.