“Meet the faces of REVOLUTION”: Episode 6 IMEC

Andrea Martos

Imec is an independent research centre in microelectronics founded in 1984 by the Flemish Government. Imec’s mission is “To perform R&D, ahead of industrial needs by 3 to 10 years, in microelectronics, nanotechnology, design methods and technologies for ICT systems”.

Imec has objectives to be an “international centre of excellence”, reinforce the local industry, cooperate intensely with Flemish universities, and provide industrial training in ICT. Imec’s activities include new chips production processes, microsystems and electronic components, development of solar cells and plastic electronics, new design methodologies focusing on embedded systems design for wireless and multimedia tools, and new packaging technologies.

In this project, IMEC participates with the research group CMST (Centre for Microsystems Technology), located at the University of Gent. CMST is designing and developing microsystems such as implantable devices, smart contact lenses, optical sensors or devices for IoT, making use of a number of technology platforms such as flexible and stretchable electronics, optoelectronics packaging, polymer waveguides, liquid crystal technology, microfluidics, ASIC design or thin chip packaging, bringing together expertise from electronics, mechanics, physics and chemistry.

Dr. Ir. Frederick Bossuyt was born in Kortrijk, Belgium, on September 15, 1983. He received a degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, in 2006 and 2011, respectively. Since 2006, he has been part of the IMEC-CMST group, where he is involved in research on stretchable electronics technologies. As team leader of Smart Objects for IoT, he is/was involved in a number of international and national projects on the subject of integration of micro-electronics in wearables, plastics, etc. He is (co)author of more than 50 peer-reviewed and conference papers.

Hello, Frederick. Nice to meet with you. You have extensive experience on international projects. From your point of view, are you learning thanks to REVOLUTION? Do you still improve your career?

“Hi, Andrea. Thanks for this interview. As an electronics engineer working on projects related to the development of microsystems for integration in different types of applications, the developments within Revolution on materials, manufacturing processes and end-of-life strategies for automotive parts are new to me and very interesting to follow. Becoming aware of the challenges to introduce recycled polymers in the production chains of car parts is really an eye-opener. Within Revolution, we also work together with partners we haven’t cooperated with before, which is enriching for our network and opens possibilities for new projects.”

Do you think that REVOLUTION will be part of the progress in the EVs?

“I’m sure that the developments within Revolution to increase the use of recycled and lighter materials will one day find its way to the EV car industry, as EV cars are currently the way to reduce CO2 emissions within the automotive industry. Within this green mindset, the use of recycled polymers and end-of-life strategies fits very well to further reduce the impact on the environment. A key condition, of course, is that recycled materials have the same performance compared to regular materials. And that’s what Revolution is investigating and developing.”

And what’s about the wellbeing of the citizens?

“More and more people are aware that something needs to be done regarding the climate change, as we are more and more confronted with the change in weather conditions, also within European countries (very hot summers, flooding, storms, etc.). As a result, more and more people choose products with a lower carbon footprint and are willing to pay an extra cost for this. In the long term, Revolution will make it possible that people can choose (electric) cars with reduced carbon footprint, where most materials can be recycled or have already been recycled. It can also be expected that the governments will one day make it obliged for car manufacturers that a certain percentage of used materials needs to be from a recycled origin. This should have finally an impact on the environment leading to less pollution, less CO2 emissions,.. and finally better health and wellbeing.”