Course: Industrial Automation at EPFL, Switzerland (2013-)

Industrial Automation comprises the control, command and communication in real-time systems: factories, energy production and distribution, vehicles and other embedded systems. This course gives an overview over the whole chain from sensors, motors, controllers, communication networks, operator visualization, archiving and up to manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource management. It addresses reliability and fault-tolerance against hardware and software faults and their evaluation methods. This application-oriented course does not require previous knowledge in control theory. It complements communication systems courses with a focus on industrial application. The course is open to master and phd students of all engineering sections of EPFL. Link

Project: Homophily and the Glass Ceiling Effect in Social Networks (2012-2014)

The glass ceiling may be defined as “the unseen, yet unbreakable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements”. Although undesirable, it is well documented that many societies and organizations exhibit a glass ceiling. In this paper we formally define and study the glass ceiling effect in social networks and provide a natural mathematical model that (partially) explains it. We propose a biased preferential attachment model that has two type of nodes, and is based on three well known social phenomena: i) minority of females in the network, ii) rich get richer (preferential attachment) and iii) homophily (liking those who are the same). We prove that our model exhibits a strong class ceiling effect and that all three conditions are necessary, i.e., removing any one of them, will cause the model not to exhibit glass ceiling. Additionally we present empirical evidence of a student-mentor network of researchers (based on DBLP data) that exhibits all the above properties: female minority, preferential attachment, homophily and glass ceiling. Link

Project: Future Internet for Smart Energy (2011-2013)

Planning of the future energy supply means defining optimum trade-offs between reliability, sustainability and costs. The increasing use of renewable energy sources is creating new challenges for energy providers. Peaks in energy generation are happening more frequently and require new solutions to maintain the reliability of the supply. At the same time, users are being empowered to take an active role in the energy arena as prosumers and operators of micro-grids. ICT will play a critical role in the development of Smart Energy infrastructures, enabling new functionality while reducing costs. The goals of this project are to identify the ICT requirements of Smart Energy Systems, define a suitable ICT architecture and define large scale pan-European Smart Energy trial. Project results will contribute to the emergence of a sustainable Smart Energy infrastructure, based on new products and services, to the benefit of all European citizens and the environment. As part of the FI-PPP programme, FINSENY will analyse energy-specific requirements, develop solutions to address these requirements, and prepare for a Smart Energy trial in phase two of the programme. Link