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USU Associate Professor Chris Winstead was awarded a Fulbright scholarship

USU Associate Professor Chris Winstead was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to support a year of collaborative research in France. With support from this award, Prof. Winstead will work with colleagues at the University of South Brittany in France, and at Lund University in Sweden, to develop micro-power electronics for implantable medical devices. The research is specifically focused on wireless communication circuits for cortical stimulators -- devices which directly stimulate the brain to restore damaged functions such as vision or tactile sensation. This research will examine new techniques to safely increase the bandwidth of in-body data links to support these devices. The research team will also study methods to improve the lifetime reliability of implantable electronics, which must provide failure-free operation for decades -- much longer than the typical lifetime of today's electronic circuits.
Prof. Winstead will be hosted in France by the Lab-STICC group at the University of South Brittany, part of a research network that links several universities and research labs in western France. He will work closely with Prof. Emmanuel Boutillon, a senior researcher at Lab-STICC who is well known for his research on error correction and fault-tolerant signal processing for wireless communication systems. Error-correction is a key feature that allows for improved performance in wireless links; the new challenge is to integrate error-correction circuits into bio-implantable chips. The collaboration also involves 
Prof. Joachim Rodrigues at Lund University, who specializes in energy-optimized "subthreshold" logic circuits that are especially promising for biomedical applications. Subthreshold circuits minimize their power dissipation by operating at extremely low voltage levels. Low power consumption is critical for implanted devices because power is converted directly into heat, and too much heat can cause injury.This three-party collaboration will search for the best compromise among these issues to advance the state of the art in bio-implantable electronics.
The Fulbright program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Scholar Program awards 800 scholarships each year to U.S. faculty and professionals in all fields. Scholarship recipients conduct research, teaching and scholarship in more than 155 different countries.
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