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About ETRO

The Department of Electronics and Informatics - ETRO, was established in 1971 and is part of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.


ETRO has grown and gained much experience, influenced, researched & developed many innovations and educated many in the broad field of Electronics and Informatics over the past 40 years.

ETRO is today able to offer much in terms of education and research and collaboration with industry. A wide range of excellent courses taught in English and Dutch are available, for foreign as well as national students. They get the opportunity of benefiting from the high standards in education held at the VUB. The vast platform of research topics and integrated projects combining these topics, is open to all PhD candidates and researchers looking to pursue their research in the field of Electronics and Informatics, under the supervision of highly dedicated professors and staff. ETRO has been able to reach and stay at the forefront in fundamental and strategic basic research. ETRO also offers industry, nonprofit organizations and government agencies the opportunity to get involved at a research and professional level.


In R&D, ETRO prides itself on its facilities and its willingness to tackle the unknown resulting in innovative and high quality research. ETRO is made up of three research groups (laboratories) that cover a wide range of generic technologies in Micro- and Optoelectronics, Speech & Audio Processing, Multidimensional Signal Processing & Communication.

LAMI - Micro- and Opto-electronics

AVSP - Audio-Visual Signal Processing

IRIS - Multidimensional Signal Processing & Communication

The exciting and enthusiastic collaboration between these three groups has lead ETRO to integrated transdisciplinary R&D and created new challenging possibilities.

With the knowledge and the spirit of collaboration between its 3 research groups, ETRO is not afraid to cross new boundaries, tackle new challenges and make new discoveries by working in the unknown. Thanks in part to its vision, work ethic and results, ETRO is highly regarded and respected in its field. ETRO also has close cooperation with various Belgian research centers and institutes (ETRO is an associated lab of IMEC, co-founder and partner of iMinds and Intel's Exascience lab,...) and has initiated several spin-off initiatives all of which are successful in their own right. International partnerships include all continents.

Besides its achievements on the level of fundamental and strategic basic research, ETRO is also recognized as a key industrial research pole (IOF) and a group of excellence in Fundamental Research (SRP) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Education at ETRO

The main educational tasks at ETRO are situated in the field of electronics and informatics - ranging from:

  • circuits
  • device modeling
  • fabrication technology
  • computer aided design
  • optimization of complex systems up to programming concepts
  • computer architectures
  • communication

Moreover, specialized courses are offered in our main research domains:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Embedded Systems
  • Micro-electronics
  • Signal Processing
  • Telecommunication

Main Objectives


Crossing boundaries with visionary electronics & ICT,


Staying ahead of the obvious R&D tendencies,


Creating impact on the transformation processes of the knowledge society,


Finding inspiration in the unexplored engineering bottlenecks at the interface of various application domains,


Participating in various application value chains through collaboration with industry, public services, and hospitals,


Developing a generic R&D background applicable in diverse sectors (e.g. health care, automotive, media, surveillance, security, public safety, remote sensing, energy, telecommunications, content industry, creative industries, …)

Strategic and applied research

Area 1: Combined physical image generation and image processing for superior imaging systems (LAMI and IRIS)

- 2D/3D imaging & 3D cameras

- mm-wave & THz sensing

Area 2: Audiovisual signal processing for man-machine communication (IRIS & AVSP)

- Audiovisual interaction in multimodal communications

- Audiovisual emotion and gesture analysis & synthesis

- Source localization and tracking in audiovisual scenes

Area 3: ICT Systems and applications based on wired/wireless communication on broadband networks and adhoc sensor networks (IRIS)

- Digital watermarking for quality testing and content filtering

- 3D visualization and coding

- Wireless communication and applications

Potentially applicable and transferable know how

  • Broad scale of 2D/3D imaging HW/SW expertise
  • Fundamentally new insights into dielectric imaging and sensing in various applications, e.g. process and product quality assessment, non-destructive testing of various materials, blind-spot accident avoidance system, …
  • Medical imaging and analysis expertise, e.g. in dental imagery and caries detection, mammogram analysis, multimodal data fusion for various organs and applications
  • e-Health: personalized health systems, e.g. interpretation of behavioral and physiological characteristics of monitored elderly at home; software for the analysis and training of people with speech disabilities; novel computer games for the revalidation of children suffering from cerebral paralysis
  • Audiovisual signal processing expertise, e.g. automatic dialogue replacement, audio-visual text-to-speech synthesis, audio-visual mental state estimation …
  • Unique video coding technology, e.g. video codec using block-motion estimation techniques (OBMEC); a comprehensive encoder and decoder implementation of the JPEG 2000 part 1 (Core coding system) and part 10 (JP3D, coding of volumetric data) standards (
  • Improved laser modulator design based on a patented Transverse Laser Mode Switching principle
  • Digital watermarking technology for quality testing and content filtering
  • Broad experience in parallel computing by exploiting the increased processing power of GPU's and FPGA's, e.g. in medical imaging, security, …

Equipment & Infrastructure

Research collaboration


We have more than 50 academic cooperation agreements spread over 25 countries


We run a joint laboratory with NWPU in Xi'an (China) on AudioVisual Signal Processing (AVSP) an UZ antenna in the University Hospital Brussel, and we participate in an interfaculty research group on Computational Mathematics (CAMP)


We can use our network of more than 100 Industrial partners (e.g. Alcatel Bell, Barco, IBM, Agfa, Microsoft, Philips, Siemens, Televic …)


We closely cooperate with various Belgian research centers and institutes (we are an associated lab of IMEC, we are co-founder and partner in iMinds and INTEL's Exascience Lab, and we collaborate with many other R&D institutes, competence poles and strategic research centres …)


We frequently perform joint research with various departments at the VUB (such as APNA; CGIS; DINF; HYDR; MECH; SMIT, …)


We also work together with all the major Belgian universities (UA, UCL, UGent, ULB, KUL, LUC …)


We are active in various networks and standardization committees (such as Agoria ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29, BELASNET, IEE, IET, JPEG, MPEG, SPIE, NEWFOCUS, DSP Valley, ITU-T …)

ETRO Spin-offs

We have generated 3 spin-off companies


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ETRO Department

Tel: +32 2 629 29 30

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