Gabriel Abedrabbo received his Mechanical Engineer degree in 2006 from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Quito, Ecuador. Before he started his PhD, he worked in a plastics industry for four years. At this work, he oversaw the development of new products and the production process.
In 2017, he obtained a PhD degree from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve. During his thesis, he developed a clinical protocol, based on experimental data and a multibody model of the upper body, to quantify the intervertebral efforts for idiopathic scoliotic adolescents, during moderate gait.
He is currently working on a Spin-Off project financed by INNOVIRIS. This project aims at developing a software that will assist physicians in the surgical planning of the spine.
Guillaume Beckers obtained a Master degree in Electromechanical Engineering, with a specialization in mechatronics, from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in 2011.
In February 2018, he obtained his PhD degree with his thesis entitled "Modelling of electromagnetic and piezoelectric peristaltic micropumps".
It was dedicated to the development of an efficient tool for modelling two new design of peristaltic micropumps. The main goal was to obtain a good approximation of the displacement of the diaphragm, but also of the stresses and electric field, at low computational price. For this purpose two theories have been tested, one based on Euler-Bernoulli beam assumptions and another on Kirchhoff-Love plate assumptions. The last one was the more effective and the dynamics of plates which bend under the action of Lorentz force or of a piezoelectric effect and possibly enter in contact with a rigid obstacle has been developed.
A finite element discretization has been proposed and a primal-dual active set strategy has been added to handle frictionless contact constraint. The established numerical scheme compared well to three dimensional models in several case studies and a huge saving in computational time and memory was noticed.
Marine Bion works on the AVATAR² project since September 2015 as a research assistant in Meed. The team realizes a medical device which removes the calcified aortic valve. Appointed for 2 years on the project, her contract has been prolonged until December 2017.
She comes from France where she obtained her engineering diploma in 2015 (ESIGELEC, Rouen).
Xavier Bollen obtained his master's degree in electromechanical engineering, with specialization in mechatronics in 2011 from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. In 2016, he obtained his PhD degree from the UCL.
During his thesis, under the supervision of Pr. Benoît Raucent and Pr. Parla Astarci (Cliniques universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels), he developed a new device for minimally aortic valve resection. The device was used on patients undergoing open heart surgery in order to validate its design and its functional principle.
Now he still works on the design of the device and he also works on additive manufacturing inside the IMAP department. Since September 2015, he is invited lecturer at the Polytechnic School of Louvain where he teaches technical drawing to the first year bachelor's students in engineering.
François Heremans obtained his master in Electromechanical Engineering at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in 2015 and then started a PhD with iMMC/MEED/Louvain Bionics on the design of energy efficient prostheses.
Nature has evolved over millions of years to achieve the highly efficient and powerful "machine" that we are. Understanding and replicating the human body is a fascinating and definitely a challenging task. Our research focuses on the development of a lower limb, transfemoral prosthesis for amputees. The use of smart materials is combined with advanced mechatronics to produce a novel device being light, energy efficient and highly performing. The ultimate goal is to help patients regaining normal mobility in daily life activities.
Benoît Martin obtained his master degree in electromechanical engineering from Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium in 2012. He worked 13 months in the field of energy in the building sector. In January 2014, he started a PhD at the CEREM under the supervision of Prof E. De Jaeger and F. Glineur (CORE, UCL). His research is mainly focused on the planning of active distribution networks, with particular emphasis on autonomous networks, that is local networks that have the ability to be operated without any connection to the main network.
Thomas Mercier received the Master’s degree in electromechanical engineering, energy, from Université catholique de Louvain, in 2013, and the Master’s degree in economics, from the same university, in 2016. He also graduated with a Master’s degree in energy and markets, from IFP School, in 2015. From 2013 to 2014, he has been an Optimisation Engineer at Ecometering Smart Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of ENGIE. Since 2015, he is a Research Assistant with the department of Mechatronic, Electrical Energy and Dynamic Systems at Université catholique de Louvain, where he is working on the techno-economics of variable-speed pumped-storage hydropower. His research interests include energy storage and economics, optimisation and forecasting in the field of energy, and modelling and control of electromechanical systems. Mr. Mercier has been awarded the 2016 R&D prize of the Royal Belgian Society of Electricians (SRBE-KBVE).
Hamed Rahimi Nohooji
Hamed Rahimi Nohooji received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Curtin University, Australia, in 2018. Before joining Curtin University, he was a lecturer at the Azad University of Damavand, Iran, and also a researcher at the University of Pisa, Italy. He was also a visiting research scholar with the University of Birmingham, U.K., in 2017. During his doctoral research, Hamed focused on the control of robotic systems having close interaction with humans, i.e., rehabilitation and assistive robots. He co-authored publications in robot’s dynamics, path planning, and control. He serves as a leading guest editor for International Journal of Advanced Robotics Systems for a special issue on "Barrier Lyapunov Functions in Constrained Control of Robotic Systems".
He was a post-doctoral research fellow with MEED. His project was to extend the ongoing EU-H2020 CYBERLEGs Plus Plus (CLs++) collaborative project, whose overarching goal is to develop assistive devices targeting the enhancement of mobility of trans-femoral amputees in order to perform various locomotion tasks. During his project, he developed new assistive control methodologies for locomotion assistance, and putting them to test with the series of powered robotic ortho-prosthesis devices developed in the framework of CLs++. A combination of movement generation, impedance model and on-line adaption was the core ingredients of the developed approach.
Matthias Tummers graduated as a biomedical engineer at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium in 2016. He then spent some time in France where he obtained ski patroller and rescuer diplomas. In March 2017, he came back to MEED division to work as a research assistant on the AVATAR² project.
Aortic stenosis is a heart disease that consists in a hardening of the aortic valve, reducing its capabilities. The current treatment is a very traumatic surgery and is thus inaccessible to one part of the patients. Yet, some new mini-invasive technologies allow for a larger portion of patients to be operated. However, these very promising new techniques have some disadvantages because the native valve is not resected.
The AVATAR² project aims to develop a new medical device that will allow to resect the native valve before placing the new one. This new medical device will permit to these new techniques to reach the performances of the open-heart surgery with a reduction of the per- and post-operative traumatisms.
Maxence Van Beneden obtained his master's degree in electromechanical engineering, with specialization in energy in 2012 from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. In 2014, he joined iMMC/MEED to start his PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Bruno Dehez.
His thesis is linked to a research project ECOPTINE supported by the Wallonia region in collaboration with Alstom, Citius engineering, Ateliers de la Meuse, Infrabel and Université Libre de Bruxelles. The project concerns flywheel energy storage system for railway application. Since September 2017, he is teaching assistant at UCL.
His research focuses on passive magnetic bearings more precisely on the design, optimization and comparison of permanent magnet thrust bearings.
Nicolas Van der Noot was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1990. He received the Engineering MS degree (electromechanical orientation, with specialization in mechatronics) in 2013 from Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. In 2017, he obtained a PhD degree, as the result of a joint PhD thesis between UCL and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
During his thesis, he developed controllers for humanoid robots to achieve human-like locomotion. More precisely, his purpose was to take inspiration from the impressive human walking capabilities to design bio-inspired controllers capable of generating fast, human-like and energetically efficient gaits.
This was tested on torque-controlled biped robots, both in simulation and on real hardware. In particular, gait robustness and richness were two key aspects of this work. In other words, the gaits developed could be steered by an external operator, while being resistant to external perturbations.
Léna Vanthournhout obtained her master's degree in electromechanical engineering, with specialization in mechatronics in 2013 from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. Then, she joined iMMC/MEED to start her PhD thesis and research activities in collaboration with St-Luc hospital and under the supervision of Prof. Benoît Raucent.
Her project is focused on the design of an adaptive robotic assistance for microsurgery. The targeted gesture is the microanastomosis - a connection by suture between two very small blood vessels (diameter < 1 mm), used in procedures such as breast reconstruction, face allograft, or torn member saving. However, this gesture requires a precision that goes beyond human dexterity.
Her project aims at providing an ergonomic robotic assistance that would be integrated transparently and intuitively into standard procedures performed under a microscope. The objective is to push back the current frontiers of microsurgery and scale it down to the sub-millimeter scale of so-called super-microsurgery. The main scientific goal is to propose adaptive teleoperation schemes that enables the surgeon to be both fast and accurate, and to compare the experimental performances of these smart interfaces on a tailor-made robot prototype.