Brian L. Barge Award for Excellence in Microsystems Integration

Overview

This award recognizes exemplary research using micro-nanosystems technologies in collaborative, multi-disciplinary and/or multi-technology environments. The research project is expected to be both novel and relevant to industry in Canada. The award will be made to the competitor who demonstrates the most effective research project with a focus on heterogeneous integration, including but not limited to:

  • A project integrating microelectronic chips fabricated using different CMOS technology nodes (e.g., 130nm and 65nm processes), or chips from distinctly different microsystems technology domains (e.g., microelectronics and photonics in either a monolithic or heterogeneous environment).
  • A project integrating hardware and software components using novel techniques or architectures. Architectures may combine heterogeneous processing elements and/or accelerators, for example: FPGA, ASIP, GPU. Software components might include, for example: drivers, software stacks, application code. Projects may involve embedded/edge devices through to cloud-based installations.
  • A microsystems project with two or more researchers from distinctly different research disciplines, e.g., EE/ECE, Mechanical Engineering and Biochemistry.

Submissions should be working demonstrations of prototypes which exemplify the concept of multi-technology and/or multi-disciplinary microsystems integration.

The award is open to graduate students of a Canadian university.

Winners are strongly encouraged to use prize funds to support education or training related to micro-nanosystems R&D and may be applied to the cost of attending a conference or workshop or visiting a lab or other technical facility inside or outside of Canada.

Judges, Judging Criteria

The judging panel will consist of two representatives from Canadian industries and one faculty member from a Canadian university. Judges are asked to select the exhibit that best meets the following criteria:

Criterion 1: Microsystems Integration (15 Points)

  • Is there value to the integration of two or more microsystems technologies?
  • Is there significant evidence of multi-disciplinary integration in a microsystems project?
  • Was the microsystems project concept innovative and was its innovation dependent on integrating multi-technologies and/or on multi-disciplinary researchers?
  • Did it incorporate components produced by suppliers in Canada?

Criterion 2: Technical Excellence (15 Points)

  • Success in demonstration of the technology. Did it work/is the technique practical?
  • Originality of design or novelty of technique.
  • Degree of excellence in taking advantage of the features of component technologies and/or of integrating component functionality.
  • Level of difficulty attempted; creativity/perseverance in overcoming problems during development.
  • Exhibitor’s grasp of the technical aspects of the project.
  • Degree of relevance of project from a microsystems applications perspective.
  • Clear understanding of the importance of this project, i.e., why is this problem important?

Criterion 3: Application to Industry (10 Points)

  • Is there a possibility of commercial viability? Is it a significant or incremental solution? How does it compare to existing solutions?
  • Was interaction with other materials, components or the environment taken into consideration?
  • Does the infrastructure exist to take this to a commercial scale?
  • How easy would it be to use this from a user’s (compared to the developer’s) point of view?

Criterion 4: Presentation Excellence and Visual Effectiveness (10 Points)

  • Explanation of the background information or theory in a form understandable to one’s peers.
  • Clarity of explanation of key technical points.
  • Fluency in explanation, interplay between those making the presentation.
  • Humour, flair, originality.
  • Smooth recovery from an unexpected problem.
  • Quality and effectiveness of visual/written materials.

Note: Where projects have been undertaken by a team and over a period of time, the presenter must clearly differentiate what the current contribution is, including their own contribution.