Low-energy purification of drinking water by engineering liquid-vapor phase transition using
nanoporous graphene (water_for_all)

Kumar Varoon Agrawal  (LAS / SB)

This project proposes to develop a novel nanoporous graphene-based water-purification membrane, operating at a feed pressure of 1 bar, and requiring much smaller energy compared to the reverse osmosis membranes. The water purification will take place by the liquid-vapor transition at the water/graphene-pore/air interface. We estimate that the energy required for this transition is lower than the latent heat of vaporization, and propose to probe the effect by experiments (EPFL) as well as molecular dynamics simulations (IISC Bangalore, India).

Harvesting Solar Energy and avoiding Evaporation from Water reservoirs by Reconfigurable POwer Modules (RoPoM) 

Jamie Paik (RRL / STI)

Water shortage is an eminent world-wide problem: 1/10 of world population have no immediate access to
clean water. We propose to develop a reconfigurable soft modules that will 1. control the water evaporation rate from a reservoir and 2. harvest solar energy. These modules will be in a platform of buoyant tiles that self assemble on top of water using magnetic dipole interaction and soft actuation. This goal will require an interdisciplinary research effort from Switzerland and Chile, where EPFL’s group will supply the expertise in soft robotics and control and the Chilean group will focus on the magnetic interactions and fluid interactions of the platform. This initial proposal will allow the subsequent collaboration efforts to reach diverse funding agencies to scale up this collaboration.

OPTioneering Study on Sewage Sludge Treatment in Metro Manila (OPTi-Sludge)

Christian Ludwig  (ENAC/GR-LUD)

This project initiates a collaboration between the Chemical Process and Materials (CPM) (GR-LUD) group from EPFL/PSI (EPFL/PSI Joint Professorship) in the field of Biological and Thermal Sewage Sludge Treatment for energy generation, resource recovery and bio-products formation with the Process Systems Engineering (PSE) group at De La Salle University (DLSU). The complimentary experimental and modelling project aims to promote researcher exchanges, site visits, knowledge transfer, workshops and network building activities.


Shake table testing of retrofitted unreinforced masonry school buildings of Iran (SAFESchools)

Katrin Beyer (EESD / ENAC)

School buildings in rural Iran are mainly constructed as unreinforced masonry structures, which are very
vulnerable to seismic loadings, and several of these schools were severely damaged during the recent earthquake in November 2017. In order to develop economically viable retrofitting strategies for such buildings, shake table tests will be conducted at Sharif University of Technology. The first few tests will be conducted on the unreinforced specimen. The specimen will then be retrofitted and tested again.

Insulin Delivery and Glucose Evolution Micro-Systems (InDeGEMS)

Ardemis Boghossian (LNB / SB)

In collaboration with partners in India, the researchers aim to develop an autonomous diabetes management device by combining a glucose sensor developed at EPFL with an insulin delivery system that was invented by the partners. Awareness and timely management of diabetes can help patients lead a healthy, prolonged life while reducing the number of deaths caused by diabetes-related complications. We aim to develop an autonomous glucose management system for diabetes treatment and to increase global awareness of new technologies that can improve the quality of life of people suffering from diabetes.

Monitoring geomorphological changes due to debris flows in mountain rivers using UAV:
exploiting similarities between Alpine and Andean regions.

Christophe Ancey (LHE / ENAC)

Definition of proper methodologies for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to monitor debris flows
will be done in two workshops: one in each participant institution. The objective is to do field
demonstrations and measurements to exploit similarities between Alpine and Andean
mountain regions. Results will involve digital elevation models of two mountain rivers to be
used in further monitoring and modelling of actual debris flow events.