PitchD – The PhD’s Pitch

PitchD Logo

The initiative is named ‘PitchD – the PhD’s pitch‘ and is addressed to all PoliTo PhD candidates. It consists of series of seminars in which PhD students present their research work, mainly from a scientific point of view, but also giving a glimpse of their experience so far (conferences, abroad periods, publications and so on). The aim is to present to a broad audience the research carried out in our university, perhaps motivating students to undertake this path in their future career.

Are you a PhD student? What are you waiting for?! Apply now to be one of the speakers!

Call for contribution 2020 and detailed information: LINK

List of 2020 PitchDs

PhD Candidate Date Title Abstract Youtube
Francesco Giordano 10 June 2020 A Possible Solution to Stabilize the Future Power Grid and Enabling Electric Vehicle Integration Abstract
Luciano Prono 10 June 2020 An Optimized Compressed Sensing Decoder based on Deep Neural Support Prediction Abstract
German Sviridov 29 April 2020 Can AI improve your cloud gaming experience? Abstract Youtube
Farid Elsehrawy 29 April 2020 Light-trapping enhanced thin-film III-V quantum dot solar cells Abstract Youtube
Umberto Garlando 25 March 2020 CAD tools for Field Coupled Nanocomputing: from the development to a Live Demo Abstract Youtube
Fabio Mandrile 25 March 2020 Towards 100% Renewable Generation with Virtual Synchronous Generators Abstract Youtube
Alejandro Rojas David Martinez 29 January 2020 CMOS Electronics readout for radiation detector at cryogenic temperature Abstract
Osama Bin Tariq 29 January 2020 Tag-Less Indoor Localization with AI and Capacitive Sensors Abstract Youtube
Kristjane Koleci 29 January 2020 Low Density Parity Check Codes for Post-quantum Cryptography Abstract Youtube
Pedro Leite Correia 11 December 2019 Nanoscale Digital-Based Analog Processing: How to Design Analog Building Blocks Using Only Digital Gates Abstract Youtube
Andon Bano 11 December 2019 Use of Optical Fiber for Potable Water Monitoring Abstract Youtube

List of 2019 PitchDs

PhD Candidate Date Title Abstract Youtube
Lee Bar-On 12 June 2019 Plant Electronics for Biosensors and Communication Abstract
Ivan Ny Hanitra 12 June 2019 Electrochemical Sensing Platforms for Wearable Physiology Abstract Youtube
Annunziata Paviglianiti 5 June 2019 SoCNNet: An Optimized Sobel Filter based Convolutional Neural Network for SEM images Classification of Nanomaterials Abstract Youtube
Barbara Capello 5 June 2019 Metasurfaces for Mantle Cloaking Applications and Scattering Reduction Abstract Youtube
Gunnar Riemenschneider 8 May 2019 Gravitational Waves: understanding Black Holes, Neutron Stars, and exotic phenomena in the observable universe Abstract Youtube
Alessandra Neri 8 May 2019 Beyond the PhD: what’s your next step? Abstract Youtube
Alex Minetto 16 April 2019 Navigating a Ph.D. – Squeezing the last drop of information from the Global Navigation Satellite Systems Abstract Youtube
Marco Caruso 16 April 2019 Measuring human movement using magneto-inertial sensors: is it possible to assess our motor ability outside the clinic? Abstract Youtube
Daniele Torsello 26 March 2019 Combined microwave and Eliashberg analysis of the effects of disorder in Iron Based Superconductors Abstract Youtube
Stefano Bottigliero 26 March 2019 Embedded Radar Prototyping for Collision Avoidance and Real-Time Localization Abstract Youtube

Embedded Radar Prototyping for Collision Avoidance and Real-Time Localization (Stefano Bottigliero)

×

The purpose of my presentation is to exhibit my present and future work as PhD student in the field of embedded radar system prototyping.
The focus is on the design and prototyping of a collision avoidance system for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) based on a Time Of Flight sensor and of a Real Time Localization System (RTLS) based on Ultra Wide Band (UWB) signals. It is shown how these two systems can be used in an integrated Simultaneous Locating and Mapping (SLAM) system.
The presentation then deals with the activity I carried on for automotive radar applications and other radar systems. An overview of the different radar systems developed by the radar group is also presented.

Combined microwave and Eliashberg analysis of the effects of disorder in Iron Based Superconductors (Daniele Torsello)

×

In this seminar I will present a combined experimental and theoretical approach toward reaching new insights into the mechanisms of superconductivity through the analysis of the effects of disorder in Iron Based Superconductors (IBS). We investigate the critical temperature, penetration depth, quasiparticle conductivity and surface impedance of high-quality IBS single crystals by a planar waveguide resonator technique, in a cavity perturbation approach. The experimental method and data analysis are described, showing that this technique is reliable for the study of small crystals and, since the measurement technique is non-destructive and does not alter the crystals, the very same samples can be measured before and after irradiation, making the analysis of the effects of additional defects more reliable. The absolute values of the penetration depth are accessible by the experiment, showing a fairly good agreement with literature data.
The experimental data is compared to calculations based on the Eliashberg equations within the s± wave model, giving a remarkable agreement. This overall consistency validates the model itself, thus allowing us to estimate parameters that are missing in literature. The calculations are also able to explain in a consistent way the effects of disorder both on the critical temperature and on penetration depth, by suitably accounting for the impurity scattering due to the defects created by irradiation. This combined approach has allowed the identification of the disorder induced s± to s++ order parameter symmetry transition in Rh-doped crystals.

Measuring human movement using magneto-inertial sensors: is it possible to assess our motor ability outside the clinic? (Marco Caruso)

×

During my presentation I will focus on the interesting theme of human movement analysis by means of wearable magneto-inertial sensors (IMU). The aim of my research activity is to design and validate advanced algorithms of signal processing (also known as sensor fusion algorithms, e.g. Kalman filter and complementary filter) to estimate the joint kinematics starting from the inertial and magnetic data collected by IMUs. At the end of my presentation, I will introduce the main projects in which our research group is involved. In particular, we are focusing on a tele-rehabilitation project and European research in the Horizon 2020 framework to assess the digital mobility of population with and without motor impairments in real-world settings. Master thesis proposals and open research themes will be also presented.

Beyond the PhD: what’s your next step? (Alessandra Neri)

×

My experience in GM
Eng. Alessandra Neri received her doctoral degree in Metrology from PoliTo with a thesis entitled ‘Development of innovative low cost sensors based on optical technologies’. She has been working in General Motors for almost 6 years, first as Hardware Electrical Architecture Development Engineer and now as Technology System Engineer, dealing with connected vehicles and big data. She will present her professional experience, providing an interesting insight on opportunities and challenges facing PhD students after the degree.

Gravitational Waves: understanding Black Holes, Neutron Stars, and exotic phenomena in the observable universe (Gunnar Riemenschneider)

×

With the first detection of Gravitational Waves on September 14th, 2015 a new era of Astronomy has begun. The LIGO detectors observed the merger of two Black Holes several 10-times heavier then the sun clashing into each other at more then half the speed of light over a billion light-years and over a billion years ago. Since then the efforts by the LIGO scientific collaboration have been pushed forward and large international effort has begun to build a global network of more and better Gravitational Wave detectors and to understand what we can learn from studying Gravitational Waves.
But why are Gravitational Waves so interesting to physicists? Or what are they to begin with? What kind of events produce gravitational waves that can be detected on earth? How can they be detected? What kind of detectors are currently operating? What kind of detectors are planned?
In my talk I will discuss these questions and give a brief overview of the field of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. I will discuss the basic ideas of what are Gravitational Waves, how can they be detected, how can they be generated by Black Holes, Neutron Stars and other more exotic phenomena in the observable universe, and what can be understood from studying them.

Metasurfaces for Mantle Cloaking Applications and Scattering Reduction (Barbara Capello)

×

My research activity is focused on the study of electromagnetic metamaterials and especially on their application to electromagnetic invisibility. Metamaterials are artificial periodic structures able to control and bend the propagation path of the electromagnetic waves in unprecedented ways. Among the different applications of metamaterials, cloaking is one of the most fascinating. In particular, mantle cloaking, differently from other techniques, has the advantage of suppressing the scattered field from the target object by using a 2D thin patterned metasurface, therefore reducing the cloak weight and thickness. In this seminar I will present an overview of electromagnetic metamaterials and cloaking problems, showing the design and analysis of a particular metasurface based on a width modulated microstrip line.

SoCNNet: An Optimized Sobel Filter based Convolutional Neural Network for SEM images Classification of Nanomaterials (Annunziata Paviglianiti)

×

This presentation aims at providing an illustration of my research about an optimized deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) for the automatic classification of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of homogeneous nanofibers (HNF) and nonhomogeneous nanofibers (NHNF) produced by electrospinnig process. Specifically, SEM images are used as input of a Deep Learning (DL) framework consisting of a Sobel filter based pre-processing stage followed by a CNN classifier (SoCNNet). Experimental results of this study demonstrate the potential effectiveness of proposed SoCNNet in the industrial chain of nanofibers production.

Electrochemical Sensing Platforms (Ivan Ny Hanitra)

×

Wearable electrochemical sensors play a significant role in physiology and health status monitoring since they are capable of continuously collecting biological data from human body in the field. In sports applications, it is crucial to assess muscle fatigue, mineral loss, dehydration in order to foresee muscle cramping or other physiological dysfunction. The biological compounds enabling such physiological status monitoring belong to different families of biomarkers, hence, necessitating a general purpose and multi-sensing platform. Moreover, within a multi-sensing context, efficient data processing tools are needed to predict reliably the concentration of each biomarker and to cope with interference. In this talk, electrochemical sensing platforms dedicated to wearable physiology applications are presented. The electronic front-end interfaces developed are described and characterized for endogenous metabolites, electrolytes and exogenous compounds monitoring. The programmability and versatility of the sensing front-end enables its use for broader biomedical applications. In addition, some insights on processing tools for multi-ion sensing are also presented.

Plant Electronics for Biosensors and Communication (Lee Bar-On)

×

The concepts of a complete plant “Internet of Things” with direct data collection from the plant, is a novel approach. Extensive plant research is available. However, study of plants in terms of electronics and electrical conduction mechanisms are not well defined. Here would like to establish an improved understanding of the electronic conduction within the plant and deploy it for sensing and communication applications. Using this new approach, we seek to establish whether a measurable electrical change, will allow detection of biological and physiological changes within the plant.

Use of Optical Fiber for Potable Water Monitoring (Andon Bano)

×

Nowadays, optical fibers are quite well known for their great telecommunication capabilities, but recently they have gained a lot of attention for their sensing capabilities. Small size, high sensitivity, electromagnetic compatibility and the low cost are some of their most important key features and the main reason why so much research is going on in the field. My research focuses on plasmonic based optical fiber sensors aimed to monitor the quality of potable water. The plasmonic phenomenon allows an analysis based on stable high-resolution refractive index sensing. According to UN, more than 40% of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity problems, which in a lot of cases does not mean total lack of water, but rather means having not sanitized water supply. The necessity for monitoring the quality of such water before using (either for washing or drinking), is an emergency, and in most of the cases it needs to be done actively on the spot, in order to prevent the consumption. Plasmonic optical fiber sensors seem to be a very promising solution for such an emergent problem.

Nanoscale Digital-Based Analog Processing: How to Design Analog Building Blocks Using Only Digital Gates (Pedro Leite Correia)

×

While digital Integrated Circuits (IC) have been taking the advantage of CMOS technology scaling in terms of speed, power consumption, and cost, the techniques running behind the analog signal processing are still lagging behind. In other words, it is clear that overtime there have been significant improvements (and it is expected to) in digital circuits performance when compared with analog building blocks. To mitigate this, there has been an increasing trend in finding alternative IC design strategies to implement analog functions exploiting digital-in-concept design methodologies. In addition to the advantage of using the well-established fully-automated EDA digital tools, the idea of re-thinking analog functions in digital terms would make the Analog IC blocks also suitable to avail energy efficiency and the feature-size shrinking of new technologies. In this context, this presentation will cover the current status of the state-of-art digital-based analog building blocks results including circuits such as OTA, comparators and converters, as well as their impact over the emerging applications and technologies. Put differently, are you a digital guy ? Would you like to know how to design OpAmp (analog stuff) only using logical gates ? This talk is for you.

Low Density Parity Check Codes for Post-quantum Cryptography (Kristjane Koleci)

×

The current technological progress in the field of quantum computing poses serious problems for the security of widely adopted asymmetric cryptosystems as RSA and ECC. The asymmetric encryption requires to rely on different algorithms, such as Code-based cryptography. The topic of my research is the McEliece cryptosystem based on Error Correcting Codes, in particular a version that adopts QC-LDPC codes. The codes are structured and sparse, thus they have key of small size even if the dimensions of the inner variables are huge. I am mainly working on the hardware implementation of the decryption system in order to make the computation of the quantities faster and include the possibility to have a scalable architecture that is able to match the needs of a particular application or the limitations of a device.

Tag-Less Indoor Localization with AI and Capacitive Sensors (Osama Bin Tariq)

×

Low cost, ubiquitous, tag-less, and privacy-aware indoor monitoring is essential to many applications, such as home automation and assisted living of elderly persons. Capacitive sensors can be inconspicuous, cost and power-effective solution, but afflicted by noise especially at ranges much longer than their plate diameter. Here, we explore how well different Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques can extract location and movement information from noisy experimental data (with both high-pitch and slow drift noise) obtained from capacitive sensors operating in load mode at long ranges. For a 3 m x 3 m space equipped with four 16 cm x 16 cm capacitive sensors, we investigate first how well Machine Learning (ML) can localize a person in 16 predefined positions, then how well continuous human walking trajectories can be reconstructed by various types of Neural Network architectures. We discuss how the experimental data was obtained, preprocessed, and the outcome of the various ML and AI techniques. The key result is the ability to locate and track a person in the above setting with an average accuracy of 93% for location classification and a mean error of 28 cm for trajectory reconstruction using sensors with an estimated SNR of about 3-4 dB.

CMOS Electronics readout for radiation detector at cryogenic temperature (Alejandro Rojas David Martinez)

×

Cryogenic CMOS electronic could provide an important impact in the current conventional electronic applications, since this can offer important device performance improvements, in term of RMS noise, power consumption and speed. In the nuclear physics area, the underground astroparticle physics experiments require the usage of the cold electronics due its structure (LAr and LXe Time Projection Chamber). In this presentation, the behavior of 110 nm CMOS transistor parameters (gm, Vth, µo, rSD, q) between 300 K and 77 K and the integrated front-end electronic design for readout a sensor area of 24 cm2 are presented. The experimental result of the cryogenic electronic front-end for DarkSide20K, using a SiPM as sensor and Liquid Nitrogen, are described. This research is on behalf of DarkSide collaboration.

Towards 100% Renewable Generation with Virtual Synchronous Generators (Fabio Mandrile)

×

Power electronics-based energy conversion is making the exploitation of Renewable Energy Sources, such as sun and wind, more and more attractive and the amount of renewable energy generation is expected to rise exponentially all over the world in the next 20 years. However, this comes at a price: the power system was designed to operate with a prevalence of synchronous generators. Therefore, changes in the design of power electronics and control will be mandatory to reach a 100% renewable-based power system. In particular, electronic converters will have to guarantee the so called “ancillary services” in order to maintain the stability and the correct operation of the power grid. A promising solution is the concept of Virtual Synchronous Generator, that makes the converter behave as a synchronous machine. This talk will introduce the issues related to power generation from renewables and describe how Virtual Synchronous Generators can solve them.

CAD tools for Field Coupled Nanocomputing: from the development to a Live Demo (Umberto Garlando)

×

The Moore’s law states the number of transistors inside a single chip doubles every eighteen months thanks to dimensions scaling. However, this trend is reaching an end due to technological limits and power density. For these reasons new technologies are being studied in order to find possible alternatives. In particular, magnetic QCA (quantum-dot cellular automata) technologies are the most promising. No current flows inside the technological elements, and information propagation is achieved through magnetic fields: they are part of the Field Coupled Nanocomputing (FCN) technologies. Technologists focus on the design of the single device and its characteristics. A circuit level exploration needs CAD (Computer Aided Design) tools in order to speed up the process. The ToPoliNano (Torino Politecnico Nanotechnologies) framework enables the design and simulation of digital circuits based on FCN technologies. The framework and the supported technologies will be described and a Live Demo of the tools will be performed.

Light-trapping enhanced thin-film III-V quantum dot solar cells (Farid Elsehrawy)

×

The demand for a source of renewable energy has been the driving force to achieve significant advancements in the field of photovoltaic energy generation during the past decades. III-V quantum dot (QD) solar cells hold promising potential for the realization of multiple novel photovoltaic concepts. However, one of their essential limitations arises from the weak absorption coefficient of the QD layers as well as the difficulty to grow active regions with high in-plane QD density and to stack many QD layers. Light trapping allows overcoming limitations faced by QD solar cells and Intermediate Band (IB) solar cells that generally suffer from weak QD interband and intraband photo-generation. It can be used to increase the effective optical path length of the QD layers, thereby resulting in higher photogeneration and overall efficiency. Moreover, light trapping concepts allow the use of a thin active region while maintaining constant short-circuit current, thereby minimizing volume recombination losses and enabling a higher open circuit voltage. Thin-film solar cells are associated with a high power-to-weight ratio, an essential requirement in space applications.

Can AI improve your cloud gaming experience? (German Sviridov)

×

Quality of Experience (QoE) assessment for video games is known for being a long and expensive process, typically requiring the active involvement of several human players under different network conditions while ultimately bringing limited transferability across different games. Noteworthy, QoE is correlated with the achieved in-game score, as player frustration will arise whenever their performance is far from what is expected.
Taking inspiration from this observation, we question ourselves if it is possible to simplify the QoE assessment task by substituting human players with artificial agents trained to play the same game under varying network conditions.
To answer this question we let our artificial agents play a set of retro games with different types of interaction, showing that the observed score degradation curves can be exploited in networking devices (e.g., by prioritizing scheduling decisions), reinforcing fairness across games, and thus enhancing the overall quality of gaming experience.

An Optimized Compressed Sensing Decoder based on Deep Neural Support Prediction (Luciano Prono)

×

Compressed Sensing (CS) is a widely researched technique employed to lower energy consumption of signal acquisition. It is especially suited for naturally sparse signals such as human body biosignals. These type of signals can be linearly mapped on a lower dimensional space through a simple vector-matrix multiplication. From this, the recovery of these signals can be partitioned in two steps: support estimation phase (i.e., the retrieval of the positions of the coefficients in the sparse vector) and coefficient estimation phase. Support estimation can be performed with an oracle based approach on a deep neural network. The output of the oracle can be then used to estimate the coefficient by solving the Least Mean Square (LMS) problem. This approach allows the definition of an encoder-decoder pair with state-of-the-art recovery capabilities when applied to biological signals such as ECG and EEG.

A Possible Solution to Stabilize the Future Power Grid and Enabling Electric Vehicle Integration (Francesco Giordano)

×

The power grid is assisting a huge transformation thanks to the adoption of renewable resources. which have enabled bidirectional power flows, no longer only from high and medium voltages to low voltage but also vice versa. This phenomenon, together with the fact that wind and solar energies are not easily foreseeable and programmable, leads to the need to rethink a more flexible electricity network able to store a greater electricity capacity. On the other hand, another revolution is increasingly making its way. The transport sector is destined to converge rapidly towards electricity. The combination of these two revolutions can represent a risk for the stability of the electricity grid but also a crucial opportunity not to be missed.