Ever smaller, ever more efficient! This is the motto of producers and of the general public where mobile telephones, digital photography, or laptops are concerned. If we can meet these twin objectives, it is largely thanks to microengineering.
Program presentation and study plan
Please note that the information regarding the programs’ structure as well as details of the study plan may be subject to change.
Video: Introduction to Microengineering
Houssem Ben Salem
Bachelor and Master degrees in Microengineering(2012)
Applied Optical Engineer at TESA, Switzerland.
… EPFL labs have great Master’s projects for students, closely related to the industrial world. It’s the opportunity for us to show the skills we have learned: I worked on an industrial project for my Master’s thesis, the mission went well and they hired me.
Since then, I have been working for TESA, a company that produces and sells precision measuring tools, from micrometers to 3D measuring machines. I’m responsible for developing photosensors and integrating them in the machine/tool. Sensors are the heart of it and it’s crucial to develop and master them.
I have always been very interested in technology, with a particular interest for light. For my Master degree in Microengineering, I chose to specialize in applied optics. When miniaturization is combined with light, many possibilities occur, such as suppressing and combining light, playing with cameras, developing non-contact sensors… It’s fascinating to work with state-of-the-art technologies that allow us to achieve cool and interesting things. Everything is possible in our miniaturized optical world related to metrology.
Working in the development area is part of my every day routine. And I’m not working with abstract equations anymore! Light obeys very specific equations that we have to combine to find solutions, depending on the tool (laser, camera) used. To deeply investigate the problems, I work in collaboration with the mechanical and the electronics teams. When the theoretical part is started, it needs to be tested in the lab. And it takes time: developing a practical device that matches the theory is a real challenge.
For managers, an EPFL diploma means high quality studies. I don’t recall any unemployed graduate from my former classmates. One thing I use every day and that I learned at EPFL is how to deal with problems. Listening, analyzing, not rushing, being systematic and meticulous. Our analytical mind and global view make the difference. Actually, I‘m interested in project management, in order to use those strong analytical assets more and learn how to manage properly a product cycle from A to Z.
Bachelor and Master degrees in Microengineering (2012, Applied Optics, Minor in Biomedical Technologies)
Consultant in technical support and training for Medtronic Diabetes.
… and the next day, I’m at Geneva hospital to analyze glucose sensors. As a consultant in technical support and training for Medtronic Diabetes, my role is to train people living with diabetes how to use our technology (insulin pumps, glucose sensors and a data analysis software). I help them, as well as the health care professionals, to solve potential problems. It’s a very flexible job, but that also implies irregular hours and visits to clients every day and everywhere in Switzerland.
Thanks to my EPFL Master’s degree, I learn very fast and I very quickly understand technological systems: how the devices work, how to solve problems, how to interpret glucose data on our software. I don’t really use the formulas learned in books, but mostly the methodology and the rigorous working method I acquired during my studies. I could therefore adapt easily to my new job, to the pace and the language (Swiss-German).
I always wanted to have a meaningful job that contributes to society. I was interested in the medical field or the energy sector, and as I like interacting with people, I chose the medical field. For my Master’s degree, I decided to go for a minor in biomedical technologies. I had specific classes and I could work on different projects in the EPFL Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement, that are today closely related to my current job tasks.
I studied Microengineering because it’s a multidisciplinary field that has allowed me to study various subjects and to keep an overview on projects. This criteria was very important to me, as I always had many interests, maybe too many, and I couldn’t pick up only one field of study. I would really recommend to students, if possible, to already have a first professional experience (internship, student job) during their studies, to develop their soft skills (foreign languages, management), create their network and understand what kind of jobs are available on the market! As at the end of my Master degree, I needed to have a lot of patience to find the exact job I was looking for… I found myself confronted to a saturated job market, and was hurt by my lack of non-academic experience. Unfortunately, it’s a situation most young graduates are not really prepared for.
Video: Student Testimonial (in French)
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