Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a medium-sized university, with some 9000 registered students of whom one fifth are from outside Belgium. It was created in the nineteen-sixties through division of the Free University of Belgium, founded in 1834, into two separate universities, one being the Flemish-language VUB. The VUB has two campuses, one close to the heart of Brussels, where the Applied Science faculty is situated, the other farther out of the city associated with the academic hospital. The large Applied Science faculty comprises a wide range of Departments, spanning across the fields of computing, telecommunication, electro-technology and electronics, chemistry, mechanics, metallurgy, hydrology, architecture and applied mathematics.

The Department of Electronics and Informatics (

ETRO consists of more than 100 members, including 7 full professors, 8 part-time professors, 2 adjunct assistant professor, 8 educational assistants, 2 technicians, 2 secretaries, 1 research coordinator, 4 IMEC researchers, a network manager, PhD grant holders, and a number of researchers appointed on a project basis.

The primary roles of ETRO are:
Education in electronics and digital signal processing, comprising circuit design, microelectronic component models and technology, hardware/software co-development, CAD and implementation techniques, digital signal processing, digital image processing and computer vision, pattern recognition, medical imaging and medical image processing.

Research and Development in three major fields spanning micro- and photonelectronic circuits, devices and technology (LAMI), digital signal and speech processing (DSSP) and digital image and video processing (IRIS). Together, these three fields cover a wide range of generic technologies in Information Processing which cannot be dealt with separately if “real-world” applications in “the information society” are envisaged.

The Laboratory of Micro- and Photonelectronics (LAMI), started from research in the 1980s into CMOS chemical sensors (ISFETs). It rapidly expanded its research and development role through optical computing developments into intra- and inter-chip optical communication, field emission devices, gas sensors, CO2 laser modulation, millimeter wave monitoring, and established an advance group to promote the development of revolutionary computational techniques.

The Living Systems Group (LIFE) was initially formed in 1991 to develop optical computer architectures. This activity developed into the design of hierarchical less-than-formally rational computational systems and the investigation of “lifelike” information processing. Its activities are currently focused on the transfer of state-of-the-art theories of neural computation, biological co-evolution, consciousness and hierarchical complex systems into the design of both integrated digitally-interfaced lifelike computation for ULSI “systems-on-a-chip” and self-organizing global processing networks for the second decade of the 21st century. It has an international reputation in the theories of hierarchical complex systems, computational neuroscience, emergent processing, natural semiotics and anticipatory computation.

Current Research Topics

Hierarchical Complex Systems
Theoretical Biology
Intelligent and Sapient Systems
Awareness and Conscious Systems
Genetic and Cancerous Systems

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