Module IES-4002:
Advanced Sensor Systems

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Xianfeng Chen

Overall aims and purpose

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of more complex sensor systems and a view of current developments in specific areas of sensor development. Applications of these systems and their main producers and users are also discussed.

Course content

• Sensor principles – definitions, desired qualities, sensor system elements, null and deflection methods, input-output configurations, interfering and modifying inputs • Microsensor systems introduction. Silicon and fibre optic technologies, MEMS. Signal conditioning and signal processing methods. • Description of components, types and applications of thermal, mechanical, magnetic and chemical advanced sensor systems. • Advanced applications of smart sensors and systems – desired qualities – examples and applications – a look to the future.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Understand the operation and measurement principles of advanced sensors and systems

Can describe essential aspects and measurement principles of advanced sensor systems. Has a detailed understanding of the principles underlying sensor performance and measurement systems. Has a thorough understanding of the principles underlying sensor performance and measurement systems.

Know the operating principles and design of a range of silicon microsensor systems and fibre optic sensor systems, and appreciate the technologies used to produce them.

Has an overall knowledge of a range of microsensor systems and fibre optic sensor systems and their applications Can show extensive knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles which determine the operation of a range of microsensor systems and fibre optic sensor systems. Has a comprehensive knowledge of the design, operating principles and applications of a range of microsensor systems and fibre optic sensor systems.

Have a detailed knowledge and understanding of desired qualities of smart sensor systems

Can describe in detail examples of desired qualities and how these are fulfilled in real smart sensor systems. Understands the underlying principles of smart sensors and can discuss potential smart sensor systems. Can list the requirements of smart sensor systems.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination 70
ESSAY Ass 2 - Individual Essay

Submit the individual essay in Nov/early Dec.

GROUP PRESENTATION Ass 1 - Oral Presentation

Group will be required to give the group presentation at late of the study term.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 126

Lectures, revision exercises and tutorials.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply an understanding and appreciation of continuous improvement techniques
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of electronic engineering in an international context;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Plan, budget, organise and manage people and resources;
  • Agree objectives and work plans with individuals;
  • Bring about improvement through quality control;
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the need to work safely and comply within relevant legislative and regulatory frameworks;
  • Have an appreciation of moral, ethical, financial and environmental issues that may need to be considered when practicing as an engineer.¬†
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge of management techniques to achieve objectives
  • Work as a member of a development team
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Deploy systems to meet business goals
  • Methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security
  • Knowledge of systems architecture
  • System Design
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module