Research Program Leader: Biomedical Engineering and Neuromorphic Systems (BENS)
André van Schaik received the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, in 1990 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1998.
He has authored more than 200 publications, invented more than 35 patents, and is a founder of three start-up companies: VAST Audio, Personal Audio, and Heard Systems.
In 1998 he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Physiology at the University of Sydney, funded by fellowship from the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams memorial foundation. In 1999 he became a Senior Lecturer in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney and promoted to Reader in 2004.
In 2011 he became a research professor at Western Sydney University and leader of the Biomedical Engineering and Neuromorphic Systems (BENS) Research Program in the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour, and development. His research focuses on three main areas: neuromorphic engineering, bioelectronics, and neuroscience.
Reverse engineering the brain
The brain creates a coherent interpretation of the external world based on input from its senses. Yet data from the senses are unreliable and confused. How does the brain determine what is out there in the world around it? BENS conducts neurophysiological and psychophysical investigations combined with theoretical, computational and electronic modelling studies to discover how the brain achieves this. The outcomes of this research will then be applied to create electronics sensors with built in brains.
Neuromorphic Engineering and Intelligent Sensors
Neuromorphic Engineering is a subfield of Electrical Engineering that aims to apply knowledge of how signals are processed in the brain to build electronic signal processing systems that vastly outperform current digital signal processing systems. Current 'smart' sensors are generally sensors with a built-in computer. BENS aims to develop smart sensors with a built-in brain. He is one of the pioneers of the field of Neuromorphic Engineering and a recognised world leader in neuromorphic vision sensors and audio sensors.
BENS is developing several wearable and portable electronic devices for medical purposes. Some of these devices measure intrinsic body properties such as blood flow and respiration. Other devices actively interact with the user with the aim of improving human functions such as balance and sensory perception. Some of our inventions are currently commercialised.
Qualifications and Honours
- Fellow IEEE, 2014
- ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship 2008-2012
- ARC Research Fellowship 2003-2007
- PhD, Electrical Engineering – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1998
- MSc, Electrical Engineering – University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 1990
- Research Program Leader: Biomedical Engineering and Neuromorphic Systems (BENS).
For a full listing of my publications please see my personal publications page.(opens in a new window)