Looking back at 2018 (2/2)
A 3D brain atlas, patients with chronic paraplegia walking on electrical stimuli, a cancer research centre, a water purifying material, a new experimental unit dedicated to sustainable technologies... Some of the EPFL's research and milestones that marked the year 2018.
23.07.18 - EPFL’s entry in Hyperloop Pod Competition in California raced to a third-place finish. This was an extraordinary result for EPFLoop, which squared off against 18 teams from around the world in its first-ever Hyperloop competition. EPFLoop was one of just two teams to be selected for this competition without having taken part in any of the previous editions.
25.07.18 - EPFL scientists will spend at least the next four years studying some of the world’s biggest glacier-fed streams. By collecting microorganisms from the streams and extracting their DNA, they hope to better understand how these creatures have adapted to their extreme environments. The project is the inaugural research program for the Alpine and Polar Environment Research Center (Alpole) at the EPFL Valais Wallis campus in Sion.
25.07.18 - EPFL researchers have developed a transistor based on excitons – a type of particle most people have not heard of – that is able to function at room temperature. This breakthrough could lead to a new breed of faster, more energy efficient and smaller electronics.
03.08.18 - Drawing on the fact that the snow in an avalanche can behave like both a solid and a fluid, a young researcher at EPFL and WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research has managed to simulate a snow slab avalanche with unrivaled precision. His work, which offers unprecedented insight into how avalanches work, could be used to improve risk management in the mountains.
10.09.18 - A total of 28 teams made up of students from 15 countries competed in the fifth edition of the HydroContest in Saint-Tropez. The team of EPFL students came in second place with their lightweight boat behind HES Fribourg. Their heavyweight boat won the innovation prize.
24.09.18 - EPFL’s SolAce pilot unit was inaugurated at the NEST R&D center on the Empa campus in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Researchers at this solar-powered unit will test out new technology designed to make buildings energy positive and carbon neutral – while providing maximum comfort for their occupants.
09.10.18 - The AGORA building, inaugurated at the beginning of October in front of the CHUV, houses the new Translational Cancer Research Centre with researchers and clinicians from different medical and scientific disciplines. EPFL is a partner in the project.
24.10.18 - Switzerland’s second annual Digital Day – an initiative of digitalswitzerland – has taken place on Thursday, 25 October, with events held at various train stations across the country. In addition to participating in activities at the Zurich train station, EPFL has run a series of free, public events on its Lausanne campus.
31.10.18 - Three patients with chronic paraplegia were able to walk over ground thanks to precise electrical stimulation of their spinal cords via a wireless implant. The scientists Grégoire Courtine (EPFL and CHUV/Unil) and Jocelyne Bloch (CHUV/Unil) show that, after a few months of training, the patients were able to control previously paralyzed leg muscles even in the absence of electrical stimulation.
05.11.18 - Researchers at EPFL’s Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering have developed a photocatalytic system based on a material in the class of metal-organic frameworks. The system can be used to degrade pollutants present in water while simultaneously producing hydrogen that can be captured and used further.
06.11.18 - The new version of the TWIICE walking-assistance system is not only lighter, more comfortable and more powerful, but patients can also put it on and use it themselves – giving them greater independence. This exoskeleton developped by scientists at EPFL’s Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO) can fully support the weight of a human body and guide the person’s steps.
21.11.18 - EPFL’s Euler Course – the only one of its kind in Switzerland – is designed to help junior-high and high-school students with a high aptitude in mathematics fulfill their potential. 110 students are currently enrolled in the course, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary on 21 November.
28.11.18 - Like “going from hand-drawn maps to Google Earth,” the Blue Brain Cell Atlas allows anyone to visualize every region in the mouse brain, cell-by-cell – and freely download data for new analyses and modelling.
30.11.18 - Switzerland’s very first Certificates of Open Studies (COSs) were handed out at a ceremony at EPFL. These certificates were granted to participants who completed a new continuing education program that the school has made available to anyone, with no previous degrees required.