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MASSENA project: UL and LIST work together in materials research

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Publié le vendredi 11 novembre 2016

The University of Luxembourg (UL) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) have recently launched the inter-institutional Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) on “Materials for Sensing and Energy Harvesting (MASSENA)”. The DTU will train doctoral candidates to master all the skills needed for tomorrow’s materials research and development.

In our daily life, there are more and more connected autonomous devices monitoring parameters related to objects around us such as temperature in cars, pressure in tyres, humidity in houses, energy consumption in buildings and even internal blood pressure or glycaemia level in our bodies. Most sensors are powered by batteries which need to be frequently replaced. A desirable alternative is to have efficient sensors associated with renewable energy harvesters.

The objectives of the research programme are, in the short term, to improve the understanding and the performances of materials used in sensing and energy harvesting and, in the long term, to develop new applications.

The DTU gathers 22 PhD candidates supervised by 23 recognised principal investigators (PI) from the two institutions and is organised in four thematic clusters:

1. Strain sensors and energy harvesters

2. Electronic sensors and energy harvesters

3. Bio-sensing 

4. Electronic structure theory

Elected by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) under the PRIDE programme, the DTU MASSENA highlights the high-level expertise in materials research of the two institutions and especially of the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit (PhyMS) at UL and the Materials Research and Technology Department (MRT) at LIST.

For Susanne Siebentritt (UL) and Emmanuel Defay (LIST) who initiated and lead the project, this programme is really ambitious: “It will consolidate our existing research strength and infrastructures and will intensify the cooperation between UL and LIST. By working together and speaking with the same voice, we will facilitate synergies and efficient use of infrastructures, we will attract more doctoral candidates, we will create a vibrant community of scientists and we will gain more visibility at international level.”

Most of the PIs of the project, during the kick-off meeting

By educating young researchers in the field of advanced materials and nanotechnology, the Doctoral Training Unit MASSENA will generate skilled resources for Luxembourg’s industrial ecosystem which can take advantage of the created talent.