Research Stays Abroad

  Visiting period:

09.01.2020 – 09.03.2020

Visiting institution:

Neuromodulation Center at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (OH), USA


Visiting scientists:

Prof. Cameron McIntyre


For my research stay abroad, I visited the laboratory of Prof. Cameron McIntyre at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland (OH). The lab is integrating functional imaging, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and detailed computational models to improve the understanding of the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) and to better engineer the next generation of DBS technology. By the way, the McIntyre lab invented the popular GUIDE DBS clinical programming system that has CE Mark approval in Europe.

For two months, I have been working mainly on more realistic volume conduction models for our used phantoms and on a more accurate forward solution that determines how the source within the brain is visible on the magnetic sensors. In addition, I have supported the members of the lab with programming, modelling, simulating, and general research questions. The close collaboration in the lab showed me again how important it is to achieve new results in a short period and to develop new ideas. 

I would like to thank Prof. McIntyre for the opportunity to work in his laboratory and to gain a lot of experience around DBS. Additionally, I would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this research stay as part of the CRC 1261.


  Visiting period:

18.09.2019 – 13.12.2019

Visiting institution:

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems (BINN), Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Beijing, China

Xidian University – School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Xi’an, China


Visiting scientists:

Prof. Ya Yang (BINN, CAS) and Prof. Rusen Yang (Xidian University)


My research stay in China was split into work at two different institutes. For six weeks I visited Prof. Ya Yang’s group at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems (BINN) which belongs to the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS). After that I spend 6 weeks in Xi’an with the group of Prof. Rusen Yang at the School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology of Xidian University. My research stay in China was focused on improving the magnetoelastic properties of the magnetoactive polymers (MAP) that I have developed in my project. In Beijing I was introduced to a very soft silicone that can be used to produce a much more flexible MAP. Also I could use different magnetic particles to change the magnetic behavior of the MAP.

I am very thankful that I got the opportunity to experience how research work is done in other countries and also to get to know the Chinese culture, food and lifestyle. Though I am very happy that I do not have to work six days a week on a regular basis. 

My thanks go to Prof. Ya Yang and Prof. Rusen Yang for inviting me to their research facilities and for giving me the opportunity to get to know their research and further develop the magnetoactive polymers for my project. On top of that I would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this research stay as part of the CRC 1261.


  Visiting period:

04.11.2019 – 29.11.2019

Visiting institution:

 KU Leuven, Belgium


Visiting scientists:

Prof. Sabine van Huffel


For my external research stay I visited the group of Professor Sabine van Huffel at the KU Leuven in Belgium. Her group is part of the STADIUS Center for dynamical systems, signal processing and data analytics. 

For four weeks I have been working on artifact removal for EEG signals. Previous research of the group focused mainly on multi-channel artifact removal, but I mainly dealt with behind-the-ear EEG consisting of only 4 electrodes. 

Altogether, I worked with a lot of different algorithms that can be used for single-channel measurements, especially variations of the EMD (Empirical Mode Decomposition) and Wavelet Transformation. I learned a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of the algorithms and the assumptions that have to be fulfilled for their usage. The aim is to apply the algorithms (single channel as well as multi-channel) to the ME sensor systems in a second step and thus to enhance the output signals in a non-stationary and non-linear fashion. 

At the last two days of my research stay I attended the annual IEEE EMBS Benelux chapter symposium, taking place in Leuven (Thursday) and in Brussels (Friday). The topic of the symposium was Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.

I would like to thank Prof. van Huffel for the opportunity to visit her working group and for the insights into single- and multi-channel blind source separation techniques. Additionally, I would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this research stay as part of the CRC 1261.


  Visiting period:


Visiting institution:

DTU in Denmark, Lyngby near Copenhagen

Visiting scientists:

Prof. Hansen


For my research stay abroad, I stayed at the DTU in Denmark, Lyngby near Copenhagen. 

I was staying in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science in the Section for Scientific Computing under the supervision of Prof. Hansen.

I was dealing with the inverse computation for possible imaging systems for the project B7. I was provided with an easy to use toolbox for efficient computation of the inverse solution under given constraints. With this toolbox, the inversion of large datasets was possible in a short amount of time, which enabled the comparison between different imaging system geometries. I derived possible geometries for an imaging system that could potentially work for 3D imaging for the B7 project.  

During my research stay, I enjoyed the working surroundings and all the colleagues. From time to time we had board game sessions after work and played until past 10 pm. The food in the cafeteria was great and the summer in Denmark was very warm and I enjoyed the nice weather during the time of my stay.

Each week there was a talk from the members of the group, explaining their work. It was very interesting to hear about other imaging procedures and the approaches with which the models were investigated.

My research stay formed the basis for further research and widened my understanding of other fields that deal with imaging and inverse problems.


  Visiting period:

mid-November to mid-December 2017

Visiting institution:

Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics of the Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Visiting scientists:

Prof. Kaltenbacher


From mid-November to mid-December 2017, I spent my research stay abroad in Vienna, Austria, where I had the opportunity to work at the Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics of the Vienna University of Technology in the group of Prof. Kaltenbacher focusing on technical acoustics [1]. The group has a lot of experience in modelling and optimization of MEMS speakers, acoustic insulation, e.g. in the automotive area, and multi-physic systems such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors. They are well experienced in developing FEM models due to their development of their own Finite Element simulation tool CFS++ (Coupled Field Simulation).

The exchange was very helpful to validate my complex SAW model with anisotropic material properties. The group provided access to their FEM tool and supported me in transferring my existing COMSOL SAW model to CFS++, so that I was able to confirm my COMSOL model.

One of the main objectives was to verify the rotated anisotropic st-cut quartz material model. Different simulation tools are using various coordinate system definitions and the definition of the rotation angle of the crystal itself is inconsistent in the literature. Hence, it was very helpful to implement the tensor rotation in both FEM tools in order to approve the used orientation and tensor rotation implementation.

A particular challenge was to implement perfectly matched layers (PML). These layers are necessary to prevent undesired reflections of the propagating mechanical waves at the model boundaries. During my stay, we expanded the PML implementation in their CFS++ to mechanical waves and my work resulted in a test case for that implementation.
Besides research, I was able to find some time for sightseeing in Vienna, i.e. for famous Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace, Hofburg etc. In addition, I was included into group activities, i.e. visiting Christmas markets.

I would like to thank Prof. Kaltenbacher for the opportunity to visit his work group and learn from their experience and Dr. Toth for his excellent support. I also would like to thank the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding this research stay as part of the CRC 1261. 


  Visiting period:


Visiting institution:

University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Visiting scientists:

Benjamin Thierry


From mid of April to end of June, I did my external research stay in Adelaide. Here I visited the NanoBioEngineering group of Benjamin Thierry at the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. The group is interdisciplinary and focusses on the development and implementation of novel cancer biodiagnostic and prognostic technologies. There is a lot of work going on dealing with nanoparticles and microfluidic devices. In both areas I learned useful things for my work in the CRC 1261. 

I really enjoyed my stay in this group of nice people from all over the world. Everybody was extremely helpful and open-minded. Besides this, I really liked the meetings with Benjamin, which were very inspiring. Sometimes I missed having lunch together with the group but this was compensated with several after work activities with the whole group and single group members. 

During my last week in Australia I visited the Nanomedicine Conference in Sydney. A nice experience with many interesting talks about nanoparticles in biological applications and biosensors.

In Adelaide I lived most of the time in a very nice AirBnB Apartment. My hosts were from Vietnam and I had the possibility to taste many new flavours and spices. In the first month the weather was very nice. On my first weekend in Australia my hosts took me to the beach where we collected a lot of clams. Towards the end of my stay the weather was getting colder every day like it is usual in autumn downunder. This was the time were all the fruits in the beautiful garden were ripe and it was possible to have a glass of self-made orange juice in the morning. The only drawback was that the orange juice was nearly frozen since it was close to one degree. Briefly I would recommend everybody to go to Australia but If you will ever travel to South Australia during the summer in Europe pack your warm stuff since it is freezing cold – even inside the houses.

I would like to thank the DFG for funding this research stay through CRC 1261.




Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmidt

Kiel University
Institute for Electrical Engineering and Information Engineering


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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)

Christ.-Albrechts-Platz 4
D-24118 Kiel


University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel (UKSH)

Arnold-Heller-Straße 3
D-24105 Kiel


Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology, Itzehoe (ISIT)

Fraunhoferstrasse 1
D-25524 Itzehoe  


IPN - Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik 

Olshausenstraße 62 
D-24118 Kiel

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