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KAUST Associate Professor Jürgen Kosel was recently named as a distinguished lecturer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Sensors Council for 2020 to 2022. File photo.
By David Murphy, KAUST News
Jürgen Kosel, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering in the University's Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering division, has been appointed as a distinguished lecturer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Sensors Council for the period of 2020 to 2022. Kosel was selected from several outstanding candidates based on his reputation, experience and the relevance of his proposed topics for the sensors community.
As distinguished lecturer, he will promote the field of interest of the Council over the coming three years. He will also begin seeking out lecturing opportunities in relevant communities, as per the Council's Distinguished Lecturer Program Policies.
Kosel stated he feels honored to have received a high level of acknowledgement from such a large technical community—a community that also appreciates the relevance of the work from his Sensing, Magnetism and Microsystems (SMM) research group and its collaborators. "It is great to receive recognition by my peers in IEEE and in general," he said. "More important, though, is to move the field forward by developing sensor solutions that eventually make a positive difference in people's lives.""A Distinguished Lecturer is an ambassador of the field of sensors, the Sensors Council and the IEEE, with the mission to give talks on important and 'hot' sensor topics," Kosel continued. "One particular goal is to attract young professionals and students to this vibrant field in order to generate an influx of innovative and energetic researchers who have new ideas and are helping to drive technological advances."
Associate Professor Jürgen Kosel is pictured here (back row, first on right) with members of his Sensing, Magnetism and Microsystems research group on campus. Photo by Sarah Munshi.
Kosel's research at KAUST focuses on sensors and transducers, and it spans across different disciplines, covering a wide range of applications. At present, he is working on sensors for animal monitoring, precision farming, Formula One racing and biomedical instruments. One of the most significant projects the SMM group currently works on is the development of magnetic devices for high-density data storage, cancer treatment, magnetic resonance imaging, drug and cell delivery and combined theranostic (providing therapy and diagnosis) approaches. The research has the potential to positively impact Saudi Arabia, and the devices created could also have an unparalleled impact in the developing world—for example, in areas where people suffer from limited or non-existent access to the latest in medical care and equipment.
New magnetic sensing technologies developed in Associate Professor Jürgen Kosel's KAUST lab may help avoid preterm babies' exposure to X-rays used to assist in intravenous feeding procedures. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
"Unfortunately, radiation sensitivity is highest during the newborn period and so is the risk of cancer induction," Kosel explained. "With the magnetic sensing technologies developed in my lab, we can address this issue and considerably reduce or completely avoid harmful X-ray exposure of these babies with a simple and affordable handheld device. However, the solution must take into account medical and regulatory considerations. To this end, our collaboration with an experienced pediatrician in South Africa is extremely beneficial to guide our research and development and ensure the device will be accepted by his community.""Saudi Arabia has an above-average birth rate and therefore benefits a lot from such a project," he added. "However, its impact goes way beyond one country....In underdeveloped areas, access to the current X-ray-based method is often limited or non-exist[ent], and such a device could make a safe and affordable method available."
Kosel feels that the majority of work carried out by his SMM research group has reached a level where it may transition to the next stage of its development.
KAUST Associate Professor Jürgen Kosel (first on left) works with two of his students in his Sensing, Magnetism and Microsystems research group's lab. Photo by Sarah Munshi.
"Several of the magnetic nanowires developed by the group for biomedical applications have been used within KAUST and beyond," he said. "Our sensor types are being deployed in the Red Sea to monitor animals or coral reefs. We started using them on birds and land animals too. Other sensors are implemented by McLaren Racing for Formula One applications. Our recently developed magnetic skin is employed on catheters, and we are using it to give paralyzed people a way to control wheelchairs, computers, etc. via facial expressions."
Kosel noted the level of cutting-edge research in the SMM group is possible due to the availability of outstanding KAUST facilities and the ease of collaboration within the University, as well as because of the multicultural nature of the University's students.
"Next year in March, we are organizing a conference on new trends in biomedical devices at KAUST with [KAUST] Professors [Sahika] Inal and [Khaled] Salama. This will be an excellent opportunity to further connect with researchers and practitioners from around the world. The sense of collaboration within the University and outside of it is very strong," he said. "I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in the research I have been doing [that] eventually led to this award," Kosel continued. "There are too many people to mention, but the most important ones are my students and collaborators in KAUST."