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International Award for Prof. Dr. Olfa Kanoun

Chemnitz Electrical Engineer received the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Award

Prof. Dr. Olfa Kanoun, head of the Professorship of Measurements and Sensor Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology, receives the "IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Technical Award 2022".

With this award, the Instrumentation and Measurement Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world's largest association for engineers and scientists in the field of electrical engineering, recognizes scientists for outstanding contributions or leadership in the development of measurement systems or methods. Prof. Kanoun is being honored this year for the pioneering work she is leading in advancing impedance spectroscopy from laboratory scale to process-ready sensors.

In her research on impedance spectroscopy (IS), she makes fundamental methodological contributions ranging from basic principles, experimental methods, and physical modeling to signal processing and system design. She has made significant and internationally recognized contributions to impedance spectroscopy research. Her contributions to excitation signal design methods, measurement system design, system modeling, and signal processing have significantly advanced impedance spectroscopy. In the process, she has succeeded in developing the method from a laboratory method requiring complex and expensive measurement equipment to fully automated measurement systems with excellent characteristics. These can be implemented as dedicated embedded systems with limited resources and can be used in the process. She contributed with radical methodological developments in several fundamental aspects to open perspectives for a wider use of the methods in several application areas, leading to a new generation of measurement systems capable of measuring inaccessible quantities. Thus, several conductive, capacitive, inductive and electrochemical field sensors could be realized for different applications and having significantly improved characteristics in comparison to other sensors. Some examples are sensors for monitoring electrochemical batteries, quality assessment of food products, non-invasive bioimpedance spectroscopy on the human body, diagnosing cable faults and monitoring water quality. Her publications in this field are the reference for many other works and are frequently cited.

Prof. Kanoun is playing a major role in connecting impedance spectroscopy scientists worldwide.  Since 2008, Prof. Kanoun has organized the annual International Workshop on Impedance Spectroscopy (IWIS), which has now established itself as a leading international event in this field with participants and experts from all over the world. It promotes scientific exchange around the measurement method and, with its 15 editions to date, is the most often held conference on impedance spectroscopy in the world. Prof. Kanoun has been organizing the "Advanced School on Impedance Spectroscopy (ASIS)" every year since 2017, inviting experts from all over the world to teach young scientists the fundamentals of impedance spectroscopy in many facets.

About the method: Impedance spectroscopy

Impedance spectroscopy is a spectroscopic measurement method with decisive advantages in various fields of application. The beginnings of impedance measurement methods date back to the 19th century and Ohm's law. At that time, it was not called "impedance" but “the behavior of components as a function of the frequency or period of the alternating current”. Oliver Heaviside introduced the terms "impedance," "resistance," "reactance," and "resistivity" in the late 1800s. This was a major step toward today's impedance spectroscopy, which is based on linear systems theory. For many years, the method became established in laboratories for electrochemical measurements and for device characterization. In medicine, the method is now used in impedance cardiography (ICG) for the determination of heart beat volume. The method is also already used in a few consumer products, such as body fat scales.

About the person: Prof. Olfa Kanoun

Olfa Kanoun received her doctorate from the University of the Bundeswehr Munich in 2001 and was awarded the dissertation prize of the Arbeitskreis der Hochschullehrer für Messtechnik (AHMT e. V., Germany). Already in 2001, she was allowed to found the working group "Impedance Spectroscopy" at the Institute of Sensors and Measurement Systems of the University of the Bundeswehr Munich (Prof. H.-R. Tränkler). In 2006, she was appointed as a deputy professor and head of the Measurement Technology Department at the University of Kassel. Since 2007, she has been a full professor at Chemnitz University of Technology, where she heads the Professorship of Measurements and Sensor Technology. In 2008 she initiated the "International Workshop on Impedance Spectroscopy" (IWIS) and in 2017 the "Advanced School on Impedance Spectroscopy". In 2018, she initiated the "Technical Committee Impedance Spectroscopy (TC2)".

Prof. Kanoun is a leading and internationally recognized scientist in the field of sensors and sensor systems with more than 20 years of experience. She has been identified as one of the top 2% of female scientists in the world in the field of electrical engineering. She has successfully supervised 35 dissertations. In Scopus, she tops the list of authors on impedance spectroscopy in Germany and the world authors list in the field of sensor systems for impedance spectroscopy. She published 550 peer-reviewed publications that were cited more than 6000 times. She has published 7 books on impedance spectroscopy.

Major publications by Prof. Kanoun on the method:

  • Robust stochastic methods for parameter extraction from impedance spectra (DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2005.02.123, 10.1016/j.electacta.2011.01.047)
  • Methods for measuring impedance spectra in a short time using optimized broadband excitation signals (DOI: 10.1088/1361-6501/abf78e, 10.3390/app12020591)
  • Design of measurement systems for bioimpedance spectroscopy based on broadband voltage-controlled current sources (VCCS) and (DOI: 10.1016/j.measurement.2015.07.054, 10.1515/teme-2015-0058)
  • Development of novel methods for simultaneous measurement of impedimetric sensor matrices (DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2020.2966141, 10.1109/JSEN.2019.2899135, 10.1109/JSEN.2022.3147038, 10.3390/chemosensors9120360)
  • Review articles on impedance spectroscopy as a measurement method (DOI: 10.1016/j.measurement.2022.111067, 10.1109/MIM.2022.9759355)

Most significant publications on process sensors:

  • Embedded impedance spectroscopy for battery diagnostics in automotive and stationary power applications (DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2005.02.148, 10.1515/teme-2014-1052)
  • Capacitive sensors for measuring oil quality (DOI: 10.3390/s19194299, j.measurement.2022.111067)
  • Soil moisture measurement with soil type detection (DOI: 10.3390/app11041568, 10.1524/teme.2006.73.7-8.404)
  • Inductive sensors for testing the material and its stress state in the process (DOI: 10.1109/TIM.2020.3011489, 10.3390/s21082652)
  • Cable diagnostic techniques for localization and classification of cable faults (DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2013.2269218, 22 citations, 10.1109/TIM.2014.2386918, 39 citations, 10.1109/LSENS.2021.3087539)
  • Characterization of nanocomposite-based sensor materials (10.1016/j.sna.2016.12.011, 104 citations, 10.1177/0021998319870592, 10.1016/j.compscitech.2015.11.012)
  • Food quality sensors for e.g. meat, milk and cooking oil (DOI: 10.1109/MIM.2018.8573593, 10.1109/JSEN.2014.2328858, 10.1088/1742-6596/434/1/012058)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Olfa Kanoun, phone +49(0)371 531-36931, email Olfa.Kanoun@etit.tu-chemnitz.de

(Article: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Brent Benofsky)

Matthias Fejes

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