Electrical Engineering Technology (ESAT), Bruges Campus
The TC Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Bruges Campus is part of the M-Group (Mechatronics Group) at KU Leuven, Bruges Campus. The M-Group is focused on the growing demand, by builders and users, for machines and systems to more advanced and fully integrated mechatronic systems. Competences on mechatronics at the Bruges Campus were brought together to in a group of broad and highly complementary expertise. The M-Group addresses the rising unmet market need for more innovative and practical targeted mechatronic developments. This in close contact with the companies through (i) small consultancy assignments, (ii) longer-term innovation projects towards implementation of technology or (iii) more fundamental research projects. The group is true to the mechatronic approach, in which interdisciplinary design takes place with a view to the whole, and not just the sub-aspects - holistic design, in which the part to be designed is seen as part of a larger system.
Within the M-Group, the TC Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Bruges Campus focuses on dependable electical and electronic systems.
We're witnessing how the amount of electronics is exploding in an increasing number of applications. Sensors, communication and control systems are becoming ubiquitous. Vehicles, medical devices, machines, etc. are made more intelligent and connected to the internet. While this trend - denoted with terms like “Industry 4.0” and "Internet-of-Things" - clearly provides huge benefits, it also presents major challenges as there will be more reliance on both hard- and software to operate complex systems safely and reliably under all possible conditions and over the entire life-cycle. The functionality of mechatronic components can be degraded by many different environmental conditions, which may accelerate aging as well as cause acute failures. Unfortunately, all electronics-based devices are increasingly vulnerable to environmental stresses, thereby warranting concerns about the combined short- and long-term effects of high/low temperatures, vibrations, humidity, electromagnetic interference, etc.
Therefore, as one of its key pillars, the M-Group of KU Leuven wants to focus on the design, development and validation of dependable electrical/electronic/programmable electronic systems. Here, “dependability” is defined as the ability of a system to provide its services in a way that can defensibly be trusted. This includes, amongst others, reliability, availability, robustness & safety. More concrete research topics include: EMC/EMI, System Safety, Highly Accelerated Lifetime Testing or HALT, virtual and physical reliability testing, mission- and safety-critical electronic systems, fault-tolerant and fail-operational hardware design, risk-and-hazard analysis and management.