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Advanced sensors and instrumentation - ELE00075H

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Samadhan Patil
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module will develop advanced concepts in the area sensors used in everyday life covering modern developments (focussing on the fundamentals about sensors, sensor performance characteristics and different applications of the advanced categories of the sensors) and supporting instrumentation (mainly micro-controllers) required for the operation of the sensors.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To provide students with the basic understanding about functioning of sensors, performance characteristics of the sensors, different types and advances in the area of sensors.

  • To give an overview of different applications-particularly covering advanced application areas.

  • To provide basic concepts in the instrumentation required for the operation of these sensors.

Graduate skills aims:

To develop skills in the selection and application of appropriate numeric and algebraic techniques

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Know how sensors operate and convert unknown parameter/entity into measurable signal.

  • Be able to describe the operation of different types of sensors, and their limitations

  • Be able to explain the role that sensors play in developing control systems

  • Know how different application areas of sensors influence or decide the type of sensor to be used.

  • Be able to design a simple control system to operate the sensor/s for simple applications such as temperature or humidity sensing.

Graduate skills learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to explain and evaluate advanced technical concepts concisely and accurately

  • Be able to select, adapt and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve advanced problems

  • Have developed skills in problem solving, critical analysis and applied mathematics

Module content

  • Introduction to the definition of sensors and their performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity and resolution).

  • A brief overview of the principle of operation for the sensors based on the transduction mechanism used for different categories of sensors.

This is to cover following advanced sensor types and the transduction mechanisms:

Piezo-resistive sensors, magnetic sensors (hall effect and magnetoresistive), opto-electronic sensors, plasmonic sensors and electrochemical sensors.

  • A brief overview of the advanced micro-fabrication techniques used for the sensor production.

  • In depth understanding of different categories of sensors (covering following categories) and their application.

- Piezo-resistive sensors

- Magnetoresistive Sensors

- Micro-Electro-Mechanical systems (MEMS)

- Electrochemical sensors

  • Introduction to the basics of instrumentation for the operation of these sensors.


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Assessment will be submitted as an individual report of approximately 8-9 pages (4500 words) including references. This report would cover a choice of target application using a specific sensor by the student. This report would include a preamble to the application (why particular application has been selected by the student), how this application area is being currently served, comment on any market gaps, mention which sensor/sensing principle would be used to meet the application and why, a brief description about the supporting instrumentation.



Module feedback

Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Statement of Feedback

Formative Feedback

During demonstrations or practicals in the laboratory, in person and verbal help and feedback will be provided to engage with the micro-fabrications skills. In classroom spoken feedback or answers to the queries will also be provided during and after the lecture. The students will also have an opportunity to have technical discussions with the module Coordinator during the workshops and open sessions in office hours. Emails from the students in the form of queries will be answered by the module coordinator as soon as possible.

Summative Feedback

Feedback on final assessment on individual report and mini-project report will be available to the students within 25 working days of the submission deadline. Apart from this feedback, students will also receive spoken feedback during the workshops and open session about the queries on the final assessment throughout the terms.

Indicative reading

Introduction to Microfluidics. P. Tabeling. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Microsensors MEMS and Smart Devices, J Gardner, V Varadan, O Awadelkarim, Wiley, 2007.

Essentials of Micro- and nanofluidics, A. Terrence Conlisk, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Sensor Technology and Devices, Ljubisa Ristic, 1994.

Microsensors, MEMS, and smart devices / Julian W. Gardner, Vijay K. Varadan, Osama O. Awadelkarim, 2001

Automotive sensors / M.H. Westbrook and J.D. Turner, 1994.

Sensors : principles and applications / Peter Hauptmann ; translated by Tim Pownall, 1993.

Fundamentals of Microfabrication and Nanotechnology, Marc J. Madou, 3rd Edition, 2011

Microsystem Design, Stephan D. Senturia, Springer, 2000

Practical MEMS: Design of microsystems, accelerometers, gyroscopes, RF MEMS, optical MEMS, and microfluidic systems, Ville Kaajakari, Small Gear Publishing, 2009

Gardner, J., Microsensors: Principles and Applications, Wiley and Sons, 1994. ISBN 0-471-94135-2.

Bentley, J.P., Principles of Measurement Systems, 3rd ed, 1995. ISBN 0-582-23779-3.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.