The BEAMS (Bio-, Electro- And Mechanical Systems) department has emerged, in 2006, from the grouping of three departments of the Ecole Polytechnique of ULB: the CAD-CAM department, the electronics and micro-electronics department and the electrical engineering department. Today, 4 main research domains exist (microtechnologies, biomedical group, embedded systems and electrical engineering).
The researches in microtechnologies aim at studying the miniaturization of mechanical functions: guiding, actuation, valves, gripping and assembly. The main domain of expertise is the modeling and simulation of surface forces which play a role of the utmost importance due to the scaling. The applicative fields are microassembly, microrobotics, microfluidics, mechanical design, medical devices.
The biomedical axis is focused on the design, modeling and development of biomechanical devices for mini-invasive surgery: implantable pumps for drug delivery, laparoscopic tools for hepatic surgery, surgical station for endoscopic interventions, modeling of human organs, biomechanics, experimental and numerical analysis of the human joints and patient specific modeling.
The embedded systems activity is focused on the following topics:
- digital electronics based on micro-controllers, DSP and FPGA and specially aimed at the control of power electronics and medical instrumentation
- complex embedded processors (SoC : System on Chip; MPSoC : Multi Processor System on Chip) in deep sub-micron technology and coarse-grain architecture, including an interconnection network (NoC : Network on Chip). Accent is placed on the methods for modeling, specification and implementation of such systems and particularly multi-criteria optimization, taking into accounts constraints related to performance, surface of silicon and power dissipation.
- real-time networks (field busses) for industrial monitoring and control
The research activities of electrical engineering axis are focused on different aspects of operation, monitoring and protection of power systems including power stations and large electrical motors. In particular, this group has a large expertise in the design of numerical protection relays for HV lines, transformers, generators and motors, and in the design of monitoring systems for Power Quality analysis. The methodology starts with the development of models either analytical or numerical, based on finite element simulations. Advanced signal processing is used to extract the useful information from the electrical signals and different artificial intelligence techniques allow deriving the conclusions. The electrical engineering group is also active in power electronics.
The research activities of Qalinca are focused on the fields of logistics, transport management, quality control and supply chain management. In particular, based on an integrated management system oriented approach, this unit aims at developing simulation and analysis models as well as management and evaluation tools. These developments would be helpful for industrial, economic and institutional sectors in the design and the implementation of efficient and environmental-friendly logistics solutions creating added value. Are also included in the research activities range of this unit the study of the logistics processes cross-link, the technological watch and the benchmarking approaches.