2011.07.10PolyU strikes deal with E-T-A of Germany

PolyU strikes deal with E-T-A of GermanyPolyU strikes deal with E-T-A of GermanyPolyU strikes deal with E-T-A of Germany

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German industry giant E-T-A Elektrotechnische Apparate GmbH (E-T-A). Both parties will enter a research collaboration to further develop the Self-Sustainable Magnetoelectric Smart Sensor Technology invented by PolyU researchers for commercial use.

E-T-A is a world market leader in the design and manufacture of electrical circuit protection products for a variety of market fields, including aerospace, automotives, railways, marine, telecommunications, power, renewable energy, automation and process control, environmental technology and equipment, etc. Under the MoU, E-T-A will provide cash sponsorship of EUR500,000 for PolyU to further advance and commercialize this innovative and high value-added technology for electrical circuit protection applications.

A group of four E-T-A's senior executives, including Mr Bernd Härtlein, Member of the Board of Directors of E-T-A; Mr Philip Poensgen, Member of the Board of Directors of E-T-A; Mr Peter Meckler, Head of Innovation and Technology of E-T-A; and Mr Darren Poh, Managing Director of E-T-A Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, have made a special trip to participate in the "PolyU and E-T-A Collaboration Signing Ceremony" and to join the "Forum on Creating Synergy in Innovation and Technology – Shenzhen/Hong Kong Cooperation", both hosted by PolyU at Hotel ICON on Friday, 8 July 2011. The MoU was signed by Mr Peter Meckler, Mr Darren Poh and Mr Nicholas Yang, Executive Vice President of PolyU.

The Self-Sustainable Magnetoelectric Smart Sensor Technology was developed by Dr Derek Or Siu-wing, Associate Professor of PolyU's Department of Electrical Engineering, with funding supported by the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council and the University since 2003. The Technology was also awarded a Bronze Award in the 58th International Trade Fair "Ideas - Inventions – New Products" of Nuremberg in 2006. Its debut appearance also caught the attention of E-T-A, with its corporate headquarters in Altdorf near Nuremberg. The University subsequently entered into this agreement with E-T-A.

Over the years, Dr Or and his research team have made steadfast progress in exploring the frontiers of sensor technology for condition or health monitoring. Specifically, the Self-Sustainable Magnetoelectric Smart Sensor Technology has led to new generation Power Supply-Free, Signal Conditioner-Free Passive Current Sensors. The related research has been granted two US patents, besides publishing more than 60 SCI Grade-A journal papers. Dr Or was also ranked number 3 (27 papers) in the ISI Web of Knowledge in terms of number of SCI papers published in the “magnetoelectric” topic in the recent three years from 2008 to 2010.

In addition, Dr Or and Professor Ho Siu-lau, Head of PolyU's Department of Electrical Engineering, have been successful in deploying these passive current sensors and wireless communication units for self-powered wireless condition monitoring of modern railway and/or electric power distribution systems in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macao and Thailand. 

While state-of-the-art current sensors (such as Hall sensors, reluctance devices and resistive shuts) still need to be actively powered by highly stable electrical supplies and/or to be interfaced with high-quality signal conditioners, PolyU-developed passive current sensors require no external power supplies to sustain their operations and produce large output voltages 2,000 times higher than the state-of-the-art current sensors without the aid of external signal conditioners. The passive current sensors also have the coexistent features of high detection sensitivity, large current range of linearity, wide operational frequency range, high temperature stability and tailorable performance and geometry. They are simple, passive, reliable, cost-effective, and suitable for a broad domain of applications, which include real-time, isolated/non-contact measurements of electric currents and magnetic fields.

E-T-A has approximately 1,300 employees worldwide and a globe-spanning network of representatives and subsidiaries covering more than 60 countries. Through E-T-A's strong international network, PolyU-developed Self-Sustainable Magnetoelectric Smart Sensor Technology will be fully explored for potential applications in different industrial settings.


Press Contacts

Mr Andrew Young

Director of Partnership Development

Email (852) 3400 2800

Dr Derek Or

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering

Email(852) 3400 3345