A journey through the exciting world of waves


Event details

Date 30.09.2021 17:1521:00  
Speaker Prof. Rüdiger Urbanke, Prof. Jean-Dominique Decotignie, Prof. Martin Vetterli
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language French

From the Trojan War to non-intrusive medical monitoring, from potato harvesting to machine tools, waves are omnipresent. If it is undeniable that some people are more sensitive than others to waves and that their effects are debated, in the field of very low consumption there are many applications that would not be able to operate without them.

During my presentation, we’ll see that it is possible to communicate quickly while consuming less than the leakage current of the batteries. The number of applications in which the battery is no longer necessary is constantly growing. Finally, healthcare is an area where waves are already and increasingly becoming important. This ranges from wearable medical devices to advanced cancer detection, not to mention medical monitoring of patients and elderly people without the need for them to wear devices.

Program :

  • 17:15: Introduction by Prof. Rüdiger Urbanke, Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences
  • 17:30: Honorary Lecture of Prof. Jean-Dominique Decotignie - « A journey through the exciting world of waves »
  • 18:25: Presentation of the Honorary Lesson Diploma by Prof. Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL
  • 18:30: Cocktail aperitif 
Registration is required and entry will only be permitted upon presentation of the COVID Certificate with QR code. Please bring your identitiy card and a mask, and present yourself at least 30 mins before the start of the event at the entrance.  

After studying electrical engineering at EPFL, Jean-Dominique Decotignie obtained a scholarship at the University of Tokyo where he started his PhD research on optical fibers. He finished his PhD at EPFL in the Laboratory of Electromagnetism and Acoustics directed by Professor Gardiol. He then joined the newly created Laboratory of Technical Informatics directed by Professor Nussbaumer. There he conducted research on industrial local area networks and more particularly on field buses, which earned him the title of Fellow of the IEEE. From 1988 to 1991, at EPFL, he directed the School Project "numerical control of machines" and then the Laboratory of Productics. These two entities group together 13 laboratories in 5 departments in the field that we would call "Industry 3.0" today. He was appointed adjunct professor in 1990 and assistant professor in 1992. He played a pioneering role in the Swiss participation in European projects (COMETT II, ESPRIT II and III) from 1987.

From 1992 to 1996, Jean-Dominique Decotignie was co-director of the Technical Computing Laboratory, whose director Henri Nussbaumer played a key role in the creation of the Communications Systems section. The members of this laboratory defended more than 10% of the EPFL theses in 1996. In 1995 and 1996, he took a sabbatical at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Maryland at College Park, and the IBM La Gaude Study and Research Center in France.

In early 1997, he joined the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in Neuchâtel where he created and managed the "real time and protocols" sector while remaining a adjunct professor and lecturer at EPFL.  At CSEM, his team conducts research on communication networks subject to hard constraints such as response time, power consumption or reliability. Since 1999, it has focused on short-range wireless networks, playing a pioneering role in the Internet of Things. The protocols developed by the group are among the best according to international studies. From 1997 to 2019, the group has participated in more than 25 European projects and transferred its technology to numerous industrial partners. During this time, Jean-Dominique Decotignie continues to supervise theses and has widely participated in the scientific activity in his field through participation in the program committees of major conferences and as a reviewer for journals in the field.

In addition to his professional activity, Jean-Dominique Decotignie has served in various associations: Chairman of the IEEE Swiss Section, IEEE Region 8 (Europe) representative on the IEEE Board of Directors, Treasurer and Vice President of A3E2PL (predecessor of EPFL alumni), A3 Foundation. He is also the Vice-President of the municipal council of his commune, Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Registration required


  • The School of Computer and Communication Sciences



Honorary Lecture

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