2019-2020 / ELEN0074-1

Sensors, microsensors and instrumentation


30h Th, 20h Labo.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Biomedical Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Electrical Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Electromechanical Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Physics5 crédits 


Philippe Vanderbemden

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Physical principles of resistive, inductive, capacitive, piezoelectric, magnetic, thermoelectric, ultrasonic and optoelectronic (micro)sensors. Interface electronic circuits.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand the physical principles of a range of sensors as well as their technical characteristics;
  • design and analyse appropriate interface circuits for a sensor with given characteristics;
  • appreciate various sources of noise and errors using sensors (e.g. industrial / biomedical applications or severe environmental conditions) and explain how to minimize them;
  • demonstrate practical skills as well as the ability to conduct a physical variable measurement experiment using sensors.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

An optional update session at the beginning of the term (i.e. beginning of February) will be organized primarily for the group of people who has never followed the "electrical measurements" course (ELEC 0052) but will be open to everybody.
A half-day (4 hours) is enough for this update session. The aim is to introduce (or remind) the electricity notions that will be useful for the "Sensors" course. Slides will be available. Since this represents additional work, the students who have never followed the "electrical measurements" course (ELEC 0052) will be exempt from a few parts of ELEN0074 involving certain electronic concepts.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is based on "ex-cathedra" lectures (30 hours) and practical courses (20 hours).
The "ex-cathedra" lectures describe in detail the theoretical concepts involved in sensor physical principles and technical characteristics.
The practical courses involve 3 mandatory laboratory sessions.
During the laboratory sessions (1/2 day each), the students are in teams of (ideally) 3 people and carry out a number of electrical measurement experiments illustrating and aiming at understanding in detail the theoretical and practical concepts described in the theoretical lectures.
An optional "questions & answers" session is proposed at the end of the quadrimester.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)


Recommended or required readings

Slides + course book (the latter will be available at the "Centrale des cours de l'AEES"), both in English.

Assessment methods and criteria

Throughout the year : written tests during laboratory sessions (weight 15%) June : oral exam (theory 60% + laboratory 25%).
Important remarks:
Each of the laboratory sessions is mandatory and should be prepared in advance by reading carefully the corresponding section of the "laboratory" files.
The laboratory sessions cannot be dissociated from the course and are mandatory; the laboratory sessions are organized only once throughout the academic year.
Students who have not attended all laboratory sessions are NOT eligible for the oral exam and will be considered as "absent" for the whole course. This rule applies both for 1st sitting (May-June) and for 2nd sitting (August - September).

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

Theoretical lectures (30 hours) : 2nd semester. Practical courses (20 hours) : schedule to be determined depending on the measurement lab vacancies.
1. Exams and tests are taken without access to course material, calculators or equivalent. 2. The oral exam (theoretical part + practical part) takes place in the S101 room (Montefiore Institute B28) and lasts 1/2 day. Maximum 6 students per 1/2 day. Morning : 8:30, Afternoon : 13:30.


Philippe Vanderbemden Tel : 04 366 26 70 Philippe.Vanderbemden@uliege.be
Lab sessions : Sébastien Brialmont and Clara Sanchez