Micro and Nano Systems

Male in protective clothing operating equipment

The Micro Systems Engineering Centre (MISEC) at Heriot-Watt University is a multi-disciplinary research team combining a range of technical expertise covering Electrical Engineering, Micro-mechanics,Sensor Technology, Microwave and Antenna Engineering and Microfluidics. In addition to training high quality graduates, MISEC can provide solutions for the modelling, design and packaging of micro-systems, consultancy services and access to state of the art testing and development facilities. MISEC welcomes research & development programmes at all levels ranging from international collaborations with multiple partners to short term consultancy and testing with local SME companies and individuals.

The MISEC facilities include a large fully equipped clean room for non-silicon manufacturing and processing, a Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) manufacturing facility, bonding equipment (die bonder, wire bonder, flip-chip bonding machine), a fully equipped analytical laboratory that includes white light interferometry for optical profiling, FIB and SEM microscopy, as well as a state-of-the-art microwave and antenna measurement facility.

MISEC has around 25 members of staff and PhD students and is the sole partners of the Centre of Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence led by Loughborough University. The Centre also co-ordinates the Erasmus Mundus in Smart Systems Integration. Overall the Centre has around £3M of currently active research grants from the EPSRC, EEC and from industry.

Research groups within MISEC

Micro Systems Engineering Centre

The group was established by Prof. Desmulliez in 2000 alongside the creation of a 300 square feet class 1,000 clean room facilities. Recent projects range from microwave sensing, biomedical applications, advanced manufacturing technologies. Recently the group has been involved in the manufacturing of miniaturised ultrasonic transducers for medical applications.

The group is also involved with the Integrated Project AQUAVALENS under the EEC-funded programme FP7 for the manufacturing of automated systems for safer drinking water.

Companies involved with activities related to MEMS include Macphie, Renishaw, Moredun Scientific Limited and Merlin Circuit Technology Ltd.

For more information please see the MISEC website

Microwave and Antenna Engineering Group

The Microwave and Antenna Engineering Group at Heriot-Watt University is pioneering the analysis design and testing of active and passive high frequency electronic components, subsystems and systems that provide innovative solutions in wireless terrestrial and satellite communication systems, electromagnetic imaging and sensing systems as well as medical, industrial and scientific applications of microwaves.

The group was established in 1971 by Prof. Joseph Helszjan and Prof. Alan Sangster who delivered key innovations in areas that include ferrite circulators as well as travelling wave antennas. The group is presently led by Prof. Jia-Sheng Hong and over the past few years has delivered significant advances in the areas of microwave filters, frequency selective surfaces and antennas.

Presently the group is performing research in collaboration with several leading industrial partners (SELEX, EADS Astrium, Thales Alenia Space, Huwaei, Bell Labs Alacatel-Lucent, BSC Filters, Space Engineering and others) supported by average annual grant income in excess of £1M from various governmental agencies (EPSRC, FP7, ESA, Royal Academy of Engineering) and the industry.

Staff Members in Microwaves are led by Prof Jia-Sheng Hong.

For more information please see the Microwaves website.

Prognostics and Health Management Group

The focus of the PHM group is to provide new visbility and understanding of the remaining useful life of assets. High value assets are deployed in harsh environments across a myriad of industrial sectors, ranging from aviation, space, subsea and energy. These environments are exposed to high temperature, pressure, radiation, shock values, as well as chemically corrosive conditions. Assets in such environments present significant challenges in terms of their design, operation and maintenance due to limitations in the visibility of the asset within the harsh environment. The ability to monitor these assets is impeded by the thermal limits of materials, aggressive ambient conditions influencing sensor drift and failure, power management and communication issues. The research vision of this group is to design, manufacture, package and test novel smart microsystems that are reliable, robust, adaptable and impervious to harsh environments to support the intelligent management of high value assets.

The PHM group is led by Dr David Flynn

Key information

Marc Desmulliez