Society News

SAS 2019

Alain Pegatoquet

IEEE Sensors Applications Symposium (SAS) is one of the flagship conferences of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS). SAS brings together sensor developers, innovators and users, providing a forum for the exploration of new applications in sensor technology. The conference focuses on sensors, sensing methodologies, sensor fabrication technologies, and sensor applications. This year’s conference, which was the 14th in a series for this global event and involved Europe, USA, and Oceania, was held in Sophia Antipolis, France from March 11-13, 2019.

The Venue
The venue of SAS 2019 was the SophiaTech campus, which is a university center dedicated to information technology and communication. It is located in the heart of Europe’s leading technology park of Sophia Antipolis, in the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) region of France. The campus brings together several academic centers: University Côte d’Azur (UCA), CNRS, LEAT and I3S laboratories as well as the Inria Institute. It aims to develop synergies between the organizations present on the site and encourage exchanges between students, teachers, researchers and companies.

The Technical Program
SAS 2019 drew a remarkable interest worldwide. From the 157 originally submitted papers, 142 went through the full review process, which involved 97 reviewers within and outside the Technical Program Committee. The SAS review process is designed to ensure high quality of accepted papers. To minimize the burden to authors, we continued the approach of having only three possible outcomes: accept, minor revision, or reject. At the end of this process, 108 papers were accepted for presentation at SAS 2019, leading to an acceptance rate of 69%. A special thank to all authors and reviewers for having contributed, with their high-quality papers and with their valuable comments, respectively, to the great success of the conference. 

Accepted papers were divided for presentation during 14 Oral Sessions and two Poster Sessions over the three days of the conference. Oral Sessions included the following five Special Sessions, organized to provide a better overview of very recent and hot topics:
•    Flexible and Wearable Sensors (organizers: Vincenzo Marletta and Bruno Andò, University of Catania, Italy)
•    Sensors for Automotive Applications (organizers: Alain Pegatoquet and Benoit Miramond, University Côte d’Azur, France)
•    Smart IoT Sensing and Networking (organizers: Elisabetta Farella and Amy Lynn Murphy, ICT Center, FBK, Italy)
•    Wireless Sensors Networks (organizers: Nathalie Mitton, INRIA, France, and Antoine Gallais, University of Strasbourg/ INRIA, France) 
•    Embedded Signal Processing (organizers: Michele Magno, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and Domenico Balsamo, University of Southampton, UK) 

Topics of the other Technical Sessions included: Sensor Data Fusion, Assisted Living for the Aging Population, Energy Harvesting for Sensors, Biomedical Sensors and Systems, Industrial Applications, Novel Sensing Technologies, Smart and Automated Systems, Non-Destructive Evaluation and Remote Sensing, and Smart Building and Smart Agriculture.

The two Poster Sessions, organized for the first and the second day of the conference, provided more time for in-depth discussion than provided by Oral Sessions; besides the aforementioned topics, topics of papers in the Poster Sessions included Transportation, Energy and Smart Grid, MEMS and Nanosensors, ISO/IEC/IEEE Standards. 

Many thanks also go to the 23 Session Chairs who contributed to profitable discussions during all of the sessions. As in the last editions of the conference, this year also provided the opportunity to present some very new and recent works in the form of a poster presentation. We received five “recent results” posters, which were presented by the authors during the second days’ poster session. Finally, the authors of papers presented at SAS 2019 have the opportunity to extend their papers and submit to a special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement.

The Keynotes
Keynotes at SAS 2019 provided attendees with additional broad perspectives. This year, Prof. Luca Benini from the University of Bologna, Italy shared his insights into near sensor analytics during the opening day. On Day 2, Dr. Emre Ozer from ARM introduced the emerging field of flexible electronics and its advantages over conventional silicon-based electronics. On Day 3, Prof. Norbert Noury from the University of Lyon, France shared his insights about living labs for health and independent living. Many thanks go to the Keynote speakers for their interesting and engaging talks. 

The Parallel Events
A tutorial entitled “Low Power Wireless Technologies for Connecting Embedded Sensors in the IoT” took place during the first day. The tutorial brought a theoretical and practical initiation to wireless technologies tailored for connecting embedded sensors. The tutorial was organized by Liesbet Van der Perre, Gilles Callebaut, Stijn Crul, and Geoffrey Ottoy (KU Leuven, Belgium) and achieved a great success for the 30 participants.

The success of the IEEE International Contest of Sensors and Measurement Systems was also reprised this year. This contest, organized during Day 2, was jointly promoted and organized by IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS) and IEEE Sensors Council (SC) and was sponsored by STMicroelectronics. STMicroelectronics provided to each selected team one SensorTile® kit plus two SensorTile “Core System,” the common platform used to develop the project. Four teams competed during the SAS 2019 challenge; a commission evaluated and ranked the students’ projects, and awarded the first two teams during the gala dinner. Many thanks go to the tutorial and student contest organizers and sponsors.

The Social Events
France also means exceptional food and wine, and the social events in SAS 2019 were not an exception. The Welcome Reception took place at the Le Club Restaurant, not far from the conference venue. The Gala Dinner was held at the stunning “Le Negresco Palace,” by Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais. During the gala dinner, the Conference Organizing Committee announced the winners of the various awards of the conference.

The Awards
SAS is committed to encouraging student engagement in the field of sensors and instrumentation. To this end, a number of travel and best-paper awards are offered each year. We are pleased to report that SAS 2019 awarded six students with the SAS 2019 “Student Travel Grant” (value of US $500 each) and one student with the SAS 2019 “Best Student Paper Award” (value of US $1000). The ranking was made by the Technical Program Chairs on the basis of paper quality. This year, winners of “Student Travel Grants” were: Daniela Charris, Pedro Ribeiro, Seungin Shin, Xiaofeng Yang, Ameer Al-Shammaa, and Ben Wolf. The “Best Student Paper Award” was given to Masahiko Miyazaki, for the paper entitled “Initial Attempt on
Outdoor Human Detection Using IEEE 802.11ac WLAN Signal.” The SAS 2019 “Best Paper Award” was given to the paper entitled “Bring Your Own Sensor: Use Your Android Smartphone as a Sensing Platform,” presented by Gilles Callebaut. The SAS 2019 “Best Poster Award” was given to the paper entitled “Detection and Compensation of Periodic Jitters of Oscillating MEMS Mirrors Used in Automotive Driving Assistance Systems,” presented by Ievgeniia Maksymova.

The SAS 2019 “Best Presentation Award” was given to Moritz Scherer, for his presentation of the paper entitled “SmartAid: A Low-Power Smart Hearing Aid for Stutterers.” Finally, on the basis of the judgment commission, the first and second place awards in the student contest were announced. In the first position, the team included Pedro Manuel Quintela Ribeiro, Miguel Sérgio de Abreu Neto, Ana Rita Soares and Rafael Girão Henriques da Costa Santos, whereas in second place, the team comprised Nick Gorab, Tanner Smith and Russell Trafford. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Future Perspectives
SAS 2019 was very successful. General Chairs of the conference Prof. Alain Pegatoquet, University Côte d’Azur, France and Prof. Bruno Andò, University of Catania, Italy, Technical Program Chairs Prof. Alessandro Depari, University of Brescia, Italy, Dr. Michele Magno, ETHZ, Zurich, Prof. Benoit Miramond, University Côte d’Azur, France, and the Chair of the Conference Steering Committee, Prof. Gourab Sen Gupta, Massey University, New Zealand, would like to share appreciation for the great local organization, the large number of high quality presented papers (108) and the numerous participants who attended the conference (150, one third of whom were students).

This year, almost 59% of presented works had a European affiliation; in second place was Asia, with almost 18% of the papers, and North America provided about 16% of the works. Looking at the attendees, Europe was the most represented continent (85 people, with France in first position with 23 attendees), and Asia was again in second place (30 participants, with Japan with 14 attendees and South Korea with nine people). Italy had 14 attendees, and the UK and Belgium had nine people combined. This trend is particularly important, because it means that the SAS community, since the first edition in 2006 (Houston, USA), has been continuously increasing, attracting new participants from outside Europe and North America, which are the regions historically more represented in the IMS field.

This is the perfect scenario for the next edition of SAS, which was announced and presented during SAS 2019; SAS 2020 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The venue within the Southeast Asia region will be for sure a great plus to further increase participation of the SAS community in those fast emerging countries. So, see you next year in Malaysia!