Two EPFL scientists shortlisted for the A F Harvey Prize

© 2020 EPFL

© 2020 EPFL

EPFL professors Grégoire Courtine and Stéphanie P. Lacour have been included among the five shortlisted candidates for the 2020 edition of the A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize from the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET).

The A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize is awarded annually to an innovative researcher by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to recognize “the outstanding research achievements of the recipient, from anywhere in the world”. According the IET, the Prize is their “most valuable prize fund, awarded to phenomenal researchers working in the fields of radar and microwave, lasers and optoelectronics, or medical engineering.”

The Prize has been awarded since 2011, following a three-year cycle between the three competing fields. Winners are selected by panels of international experts, and since 2016 the Prize money has been £350,000.

This year, the A F Harvey Prize will be awarded in the field of medical engineering. Of the five shortlisted scientists from across the world two candidates are from EPFL’s Center for Neuroprosthetics: Grégoire Courtine and Stéphanie Lacour.

Professor Courtine works on neurotechnologies that restore motor functions after central nervous system disorders, especially spinal cord injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, derived from a systematic investigation of the targeted neural mechanisms. This mechanism-based approach relies on synergies between multiple experimental models including in silico simulations and long-lasting in vivo experiments in rodent and nonhuman primate models of neurological disorders, as well as clinical studies. Read more

Professor Lacour works on bioelectronics, which integrates principles of materials science and electrical engineering to biology, medicine and ultimately health. Her lab challenges and seeks to advance our fundamental concepts in man-made electronic systems destined to interface the human body and the nervous system. The group designs and manufactures transducers with mechanical properties close to those of the host biological tissue so that long-term reliability and minimal perturbation are induced in vivo and/or truly wearable systems become possible. The soft bioelectronic interfaces, such as soft neural electrodes and electronic skins, are validated in advanced multimodal characterization tools and are ultimately tested in vivo. Read more

The A F Harvey Prize winner will be chosen from a shortlist of five candidates and announced in December 2020. The winning researcher will deliver a keynote lecture on their research at IET London: Savoy Place in the spring of 2021.