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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Electronics

Undergraduate Course: Sensors and Instrumentation 5 (ELEE11109)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe Sensors and Instrumentation course examines the methods used to interface sensors with electronic instrumentation. One focus will be on transducers, meaning devices which convert information from one form of energy to another. In this case the final form for the information will be an electrical signal but the transducers themselves could be optical, mechanical, etc., and operate in a number of different ways (eg., capacitive, potentiometric, photonic). Examples from the state of the art in sensor research will be provided and guest lectures from active researchers in this field will provide context.
Course description Typically two lectures per week with subjects covered in 1-3 lectures. 1-2 guest lectures on active research activity will be planned with topics to be determined. Main assessment by examination and feedback opportunities will include submission of example exam questions adapted from a previous version of the course.
Main Topics (subject to revision):

1. Transducer Basics: Sensors and Actuators
2. Metrology - Measurement in detail
3. Sensor Amplification: Revision of op-amps and basic circuits
4. Instrumentation for Electrochemistry: Potentiostats, impedance measurements, bridge circuits
5. Temperature measurement techniques
6. Microelectromechanical sensor (MEMS) instrumentation: Strain gauges, piezoelectric sensors and actuators, capacitive sensor interfaces
7. FET based sensors: MOSFET revision, FET based biological and chemical sensors, nano-wire sensors.
8. Overview of optical sensors: Fibre-optic sensors, fluorescence, photonic sensors
9. Neural sensors and actuators: Microelectrode arrays, neural interfaces
10. Implantable medical devices: Biofouling, materials and regulation
11. Wireless sensor interfaces: Sensor networks and wireless power
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBasic electronics knowledge, other physical sciences/engineering background. Previous version of the course has been taught to biology and chemistry graduates.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 60 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam %: 100%
Practical Exam %: 0
Coursework %: 0
Feedback Students will have regular self study questions, some through online quizzes, WooClap etc. to test their understanding. They will also be invited to submit an answer to an exam question for feedback.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the concept of transduction and methods of extracting information from sensors;
  2. Analyse sensor outputs through the use of analogue circuit concepts;
  3. Understand typical electronic instrumentation for sensors and important concepts such as calibration and references;
  4. Demonstrate knowledge in the state of the art of sensors for a wide range of applications in research and commercial products;
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of sensors and instrumentation from electrochemical to optical.
Reading List
'Introductory Bioelectronics: for Engineers and Physical Scientists', R. Pethig and S. Smith, Wiley, 2012, ISBN: 978-1119970873

Background reading:
'Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry', Southampton Electrochemistry Group, Ellis Horwood or Halsted Press.
'Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design', John G. Webster, Wiley, (4th Edition)
'Ultra Low Power Capacitive Sensor Interfaces'; W. Bracke, R. Puers & C. Van Hoof; Springer.
'Biomedical Instruments - Theory and Design'; W. Welkowitz, S. Deutsch, M. Akay; Academic Press Inc.
'Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics'; R. Sarpeshkar; Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSensors,Transducers,Instrumentation,Integration,Micro-electro-mechanical systems
Course organiserDr Stewart Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7471
Course secretaryMs Brunori Viola
Tel: (0131 6)50 5687
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