Meet some of the staff who'll be teaching you
Getting to the heart of a subject, understanding it deeply and explaining it clearly is what we are about. This applies to our teaching as well as our research. Our staff are researching at the forefront of their subjects and sharing what they do with a new generation of engineers.
Let us show you some of the connections between our research and our teaching..
Professor Pier Luigi Dragotti
Pier Luigi’s motto is “the world is analogue, but computation is digital” and his research is about improving the process that converts real-life signals such as sound, voice, video to digital form, sometimes known as the sampling process, which has been instrumental to the digital revolution of the past sixty years.
The sampling process is also used in MRI or ultrasound machines, multimedia, sensor networks and digital microscopes. With the help of Imperial College students, Pier Luigi has been able to obtain high-quality digital images from cheap cameras on mobile phones and prototype a low-cost device to obtain high quality images of the eye for medical purposes.
In Pier Luigi’s second year module you’ll study ways to model and analyse real-life signals in order to devise processing techniques to improve their quality.
Professor Yiannis Demiris
Yiannis’ research in personal robotics examines how intelligent robots can assist humans in their daily activities. Using machine learning algorithms, novel interactive methods for programming robots are designed to enable robots to learn a task, for example through a human demonstration. This increases the accessibility of robots to inexperienced users.
His fourth-year module will introduce you to the theory of human-centred robotics, their control and applications. Lectures introduce the theoretical approaches to designing interactive robots. You'll work in a small group to design and build a robot interface that is aware of humans, such as a charity collector, or barista.
Professor Esther Rodrigues Villegas
Esther is researching tiny electronic devices that can be worn by people without interfering with their everyday lives, in order to continuously monitor health-related body parameters such as heart rate, breathing and neural activity.
Her fourth year module will teach you how to design the important blocks which are required in most electronic devices, with a focus on minimum power consumption and size. This course provides the foundations for a career in analogue or mixed signal microchip design.
The next generation
Professor Tim Green
Tim’s research examines where the long established AC power system is going to change to DC. Harnessing the huge potential for wind energy generation in the North Sea is going to need new forms of sub-sea DC electricity transmission. Converting between AC and DC on gigawatt-scale has huge challenges in transistor, circuit and control system design.
Tim’s second year module examines how we generate electrical energy, run national-scale transmission systems and design power supplies. This is the foundation for advanced modules in power electronics and sustainable energy.
Dr Tim Constandinou
Tim’s research applies integrated circuit technology to create new devices for interfacing to the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Such devices can bypass damaged or dysfunctional elements in the neural pathway to restore lost function to people with sensory impairments (e.g. deafness, blindness) and motor impairments (e.g. paralysis, amputees). Tim is currently leading a team including several Imperial students to develop millimetre-scale brain implants for observing the activity of 1000s of neurons. These can be used to "decipher" the users intent such that external devices can be controlled naturally through thought.
In Tim’s second year module you’ll learn the fundamentals of designing and analysing transistor level circuits in silicon microchips. Such chips can be applied virtually everywhere, from highly specialised medical devices to mainstream consumer electronics such as mobile phones and cameras.
Mission to Mars
Professor Tom Pike
Tom was part of NASA’s successful Phoenix mission to Mars, leading the building of the microscope that examined the planet’s soil, and also finding the ice that was present just under the surface.
His first year module introduces you to the electron physics that forms the basis of understanding transistor behaviour. This is key to other first year courses on circuit design and third and fourth year modules which expand into optoelectronics and the type of micro fabrication used in the Phoenix instruments.