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Distinguished Lecturer Program

The I&M Society Distinguished Lecturer Program (DLP) is one of the most exciting programs offered to our chapters, I&M members, and IEEE members. It provides I&M chapters around the world with talks by experts on topics of interest and importance to the I&M community. It, along with our conferences and publications, is the way we use to disseminate knowledge in the I&M field. Our lecturers are among the most qualified experts in their own field, and we offer our members a first-hand chance to interact with these experts during their lectures. The I&M Society aids chapters financially so that they might use this program.

All distinguished lecturers are outstanding in their fields of specialty. Collectively, the Distinguished Lecturers possess a broad range of expertise within the area of I&M. Thus, the chapters are encouraged to use this program as a means to make their local I&M community aware of the most recent scientific and technological trends and to enhance their member benefits. Although lectures are mainly organized to benefit existing members and Chapters, they can also be effective in generating membership and encouraging new chapter formation. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the I&M DLP Chair regarding this type of activity.

Please review the DL reports and take a peek at the pictures by sending a request to the DLP Chair.

DLP Chair:

    I&M AdCom (2012-2015); Distinguished Lecturer Program Chair

Distinguished Lecturers

Reza Zoughi Headshot Photo
Distinguished Lecturer (2014 to 2017)

Talk Title: Evolution of Microwave and Millimeter Wave Imaging for NDE Applications

Abstract:  Millimeter-wave signals span the frequency range of 30 GHz to 300 GHz, corresponding to a wavelength range of 10 mm to 1 mm. Signals at these frequencies can easily penetrate inside dielectric materials and composites and interact with their inner structures. The relatively small wavelengths and wide bandwidths associated with these signals enable the production of high spatial-resolution images of materials and structures. Incorporating imaging techniques such as lens-focused and near-field techniques, synthetic aperture focusing, holographical methods based on robust back-propagation algorithms with more advanced and unique millimeter wave imaging systems have brought upon a flurry of activities in this area and in particular for nondestructive evaluation (NDE) applications. These imaging systems and techniques have been successfully applied for a wide range of critical NDE-related applications. 

Although, near-field techniques have also been prominently used for these applications in the past, undesired issues related to changing standoff distance have resulted in several innovative and automatic standoff distance variation removal techniques. Ultimately, imaging techniques must produce high-resolution (in 3D) holographical images, become real-time, and be implemented using portable systems. To this end and to expedite the imaging process while providing a high-resolution images of a structure, recently the design and demonstration of a 6” by 6” one-shot, rapid and portable imaging system (Microwave Camera), consisting of 576 resonant slot elements, was completed. Subsequently, efforts have been expended to design and implement several different variations of this imaging system to accommodate one-sided and mono-static imaging, while enabling 3D image production using non-uniform rapid scanning of an object, as well as increasing the operating frequency into higher millimeter wave frequencies. This presentation provides an overview of these techniques, along with illustration of several typical examples where these imaging techniques have effectively provided viable solutions to many critical NDE problems.

Distinguished Lecturer (2014 to 2017)

Talk Title: Unobtrusive Smart Sensing and Pervasive Computing for Healthcare

Abstract:  The world’s population is ageing fast. According to the United Nations the median age for all world countries will rise from 28 now to 38 by 2050. Also, is estimated that by 2050, the population over 60 years will increase worldwide from 11% to 22%, a higher percentage (33%) of elderly population will be in developed countries. In this context, governments and private investors, in addition to work for increase efficiency and quality of healthcare, are searching for sustainable solutions to prevent increase expenditure on healthcare related with higher care demands of elderly people. As such, instrumented environments, pervasive computing and deployment of a seemingly invisible infrastructure of various wired and/or wireless communication networks, intelligent, real-time interactions between different players such as health professionals, informal caregiver and assessed people, are created and developed in various research institutions and healthcare system.

This presentation reviews the recent advances in the development of sensing solutions for vital signals and daily activity monitoring. Will be highlighted:

- Vital signals acquisition and processing by embedded devices in clothes and/or accessories (e.g. smart wrist worn) or in walking aids and transportation equipment such as walker or manual wheelchair. The strength and drawbacks regarding cardiac and respiratory assessment capabilities, the studies on cardiac sensing accuracy estimation and artefacts influence on cardiac function sensing through capacitive coupled electrocardiography, electromechanical film sensor and microwave Doppler radar ballistocardiography, reflective photoplethismography will be discussed. Blood pressure, heart rate variability and autonomous nervous system activity estimation based on virtual sensors included in wearable or object embedded devices will also be presented.

- Daily activity signals acquisition and processing through microwave motion sensor, MEMS inertial measurement units, infrared multi-point and Laser motion sensors. Acquisition and conditioning of signals for motion assessment and theragames based on motion sensing and recognition will be presented. Using a set of metrics that are calculated using the information delivered by the unobtrusive sensors for motion capture, objective evaluation of rehabilitation session effectiveness can be performed. Several methods for diagnosis and therapy monitoring, as time frequency analysis, principal component analysis and pattern recognition of motion signals with application to gait rehabilitation evaluation will described. The work under project Electronic Health Record for Physiotherapy promoted by Fundação para Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal, for developing serious games for physiotherapy based on Kinect technology will be presented.

Concerning the embedded processing, communication and interoperability requirements for smart sensing devices a critical analysis of the existent solutions and a proposed innovatory solutions are discussed. Special attention is granted to wireless sensor network, M2M and IoT as so as to ubiquitous computing particularly smartphone apps applications for healthcare. A fast prototyping vital signs and motor activity monitor as so as the usage of IEEE1451.X smart sensor standards for biomedical applications are included in the presentation.

The creation of novel smart environments including remote vital signs and motor activity monitoring devices for health monitoring and physiotherapy interventions promote preventive, personalized and participative medicine, as in-home rehabilitation that can provide more comfort to the patients, better efficiency of treatments, and lower recovery periods and healthcare costs. The use of unobtrusive smart sensing and pervasive computing for health monitoring and physiotherapy interventions allow better assessment and communication between health professionals and clients, and increase likelihood of development and adoption of best practice based on adopting recognized research-based techniques and technologies, and sharing knowledge and expertise.

Robert X. Gao Photo
Distinguished Lecturer (2014 to 2017)

Talk Title: Advanced Sensing for Intelligent Manufacturing

Advanced sensing presents the prerequisite for realizing intelligent manufacturing. Sensors monitorproduction operations in real-time, often in harsh environment, provide input for diagnosing the root cause of quality degradation and fault progression such that subsequent corrective measures can be formulated and executed online to control a machine’s deviation from its optimal state.  With the increasing convergence among measurement science, information technology, wireless communication, and system miniaturization, sensing has continually expanded the contribution of mechatronics to intelligent manufacturing, enabling functionalities that were not feasible before in terms of in-situ state monitoring and process control. New sensors not only acquire higher resolution data at faster rates, but also provide local computing resources for autonomously analyzing the acquired data for intelligent decision support.

This talk presents research on advanced sensing for improved observability in manufacturing process monitoring, using polymer injection molding and sheet metal microrolling as two examples. The design, characterization, and realization of multivariate sensing and acoustic-based wireless data transmission techniques in RF-shielded environment are first introduced. Next, computational methods for solving an ill-posed problem in data reconstruction are described.  The talk highlights the significance of advanced sensing and data analytics for advancing the science base and state-of-the-technology to fully realize the potential of intelligent manufacturing.

Wuqiang Yang Headshot Photo
Distinguished Lecturer (2013 to 2016)

Talk Title: Electrical capacitance tomography for imaging industrial processes

Electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) is an imaging technique for industrial applications. ECT is based on measuring capacitance from a multi-electrode capacitance sensor and reconstructing cross-sectional images, aiming to visualise the distribution of dielectric materials, such as gas/oil flows in an oil pipeline and gas/solids distribution in a fluidised bed. The internal information is valuable for understanding complicated phenomena, verifying computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models, measurement and control of industrial processes, which are difficult with conventional process instruments. Compared with other tomography modalities, ECT is the most mature and offers advantages of no radiation, rapid response, non-intrusive and non-invasive, withstanding high temperature and high pressure and low-cost.

Research into ECT involves sensor and electronic circuit design, data acquisition, computer interface, mathematics, finite element analysis, software programming, and general knowledge in process engineering. Because of extremely small capacitance to be measured (down to 0.0001 pF) and the nature of soft-field, ECT presents challenges in engineering and mathematics. The University of Manchester (formerly UMIST) pioneered research into ECT. The latest ACECT system presents the state-of-the-art technology, which can generate on-line images at 100 frames per second with 73 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and has been used for many challenging industrial applications, such as gas-oil-water flows in oil pipelines, wet gas separators, pneumatic conveyors, cyclone separators and fluidised bed dryers. It is foreseen that ECT will make major contributions to the gas/oil, pharmaceutical, power and other industries. In this Lecture, the principle of ECT, capacitance measuring circuits, image reconstruction algorithms and some applications will be discussed, together with a demonstration of an ACECT system.


Pawel Niewczas
Distinguished Lecturer (2013 to 2016)

Talk Title: Advanced Photonic Sensors for Power and Energy Industries

Optical sensors and photonic devices have technically matured to the point that they are increasingly considered as alternatives for their electronic counterparts in numerous applications across the industry. In particular, the utilization of optical sensors has been considered for harsh, high-voltage or explosive environments where conventional transducers are difficult to deploy or where their operation is compromised by electromagnetic interference.

This prospective talk will explain the motivation for research on fiber-optic sensors, highlight the basic theories underlying their operation, and present selected examples of R&D projects carried out within the Advanced Sensors Team in the Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, targeting a range of industrial applications. The goal is to highlight great potential of optical sensors and to enrich recipients’ experience in instrumentation and measurement using alternative, non-electronic methods.

Alternatively, for audiences with greater photonics sensors awareness, the presentation can be tailored to solely focus on reporting the most recent progress in fiber sensing research for power and energy industries carried out within the team. In this instance, it will highlight specific examples of the measurement needs within the power and energy sectors and report on the novel approaches in fiber sensing to address these needs. In particular, it will illustrate such applications as downhole and subsea electrical plant monitoring; voltage and current measurement for power system metering and protection in the context of distributed generation; force and magnetic field monitoring in the context of thermonuclear fusion research; and, measurement of the loss of loading within concrete prestressing steel tendons in nuclear power plant applications. As the potential good solutions to these respective measurement needs, this talk will introduce such emerging technologies as the hybrid fiber Bragg grating (FBG) voltage and current sensors; novel solid-state FBG interrogation schemes utilizing wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and time domain multiplexing (TDM) architectures (not requiring tunable spectral filters or lasers); and novel FBG sensors and interrogation schemes utilizing some promising intrinsic sensing mechanisms capable of measuring such quantities as magnetic and electric fields or bend.

Gourab Sen Gupta Headshot Photo
Distinguished Lecturer (2012 to 2015)

Talk Title: Sensors and Measurements for Robotics

Robots have changed the way we work, play, live and unfortunately fight wars. Robots invaded the workplace many decades ago, initially for factory automation. They are increasing their presence in the home at a very rapid pace, primarily for assisted living. Wars are being fought using robots on the ground, above and below the waters and in the air. In the next decade, the world will witness the largest growth of robots in the service industry. From the days of industrial automation using monstrous robots, the world has advanced to micro and nano robots traversing the veins of a human body to deliver drugs.

What makes the robots so capable and versatile as they are today? Will they ever be able to attain the full functionality, intelligence and versatility of human beings? Or is it a wishful thinking? What will be the breakthrough technology that will enable the robots to make that quantum jump in their capabilities?

For successful completion of tasks, robots have to perceive the world around them, the workspace in which they operate. At the heart of this perception are the inputs from a gamut of sensors. Accurate measurement of physical parameters and fusion of sensory data has a profound influence on the accuracy of the perception model. While a lot of energy and resources are still being expended for research into robot locomotion and actuators for motion, it is the advancement in sensors and measurement technology that will catapult the robots to the next level of versatility and acceptance. Miniaturisation of sensors and precision measurement will be the flavour of research in the next decade which will make a career in instrumentation and measurement a very attractive proposition for young scientists and researchers.

This presentation will -
•    highlight the importance of sensing and measurement in the world of robotics
•    give an overview of the various sensors and sensing technologies that are in vogue in robotics
•    discuss future direction of research and development of sensors for robotics – MEMS, biological sensors etc.
•    Illustrate case studies of advanced sensing and instrumentation in autonomous robots such as a swarm of super intelligent Nano Quadrocopters, a robot to inspect plant health and growth in a laboratory, and a manually operated robot to move hospital beds.

This presentation will be informative for industry and academicians and enthuse engineers and students to take up a career in sensors and instrumentation.

Yong Yan Headshot Photo
Distinguished Lecturer (2012 to 2015)

Talk Title: Advanced measurement and monitoring techniques for coal and biomass fired power plant optimization

Despite the growing deployment of other energy sources, coal and biomass use is increasing worldwide to meet the rising global demand for electricity, which is predicted to rise by 2.6% per annum in the next 20 years. Global fluctuations in coal price and logistic uncertainties in coal supply mean that many power stations are burning a diverse range of coals (indigenous and imported) and the type and quality of coal being fired at any moment is often unknown for various practical reasons. Although biomass can be used to generate energy in different ways, co-firing with coal at existing power stations remains a practical option available to power plant operators, and is widely adopted as one of the main technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power generation. Biomass originates from a diverse range of sources in a wide variety of forms. In general, biomass has a higher moisture content and higher volatile matter than coal, but its density and calorific value are lower than coal. The inherent differences in combustion properties between biomass and coal and the unknown changes in the type and quality of coals and fluctuations in electricity demand have posed significant challenges to the power generation industry. Measurement and monitoring techniques have an important part to play in tackling the challenges.

This presentation reviews the recent advances in the development and applications of measurement and monitoring techniques to optimize the operation of coal and biomass fired power plants. The techniques that are covered in this presentation include pulverized fuel flow metering, on-line particle sizing, flame imaging, flame stability monitoring, and on-line fuel tracking. Fundamental principles of the measurement and monitoring techniques along with the design and implementation of prototype sensors and instruments will be introduced. Results from recent practical evaluations on industrial-scale combustion test facilities and demonstration trials on full-scale power plants will be reported.