The Montefiore Institute is both the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Liège, and the associated Research Unit. Its mission is to provide high quality education at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels, to conduct leading international research in selected areas of electrical engineering and computer science, and to be a driving force in turning research results into industrial activity.
At the Master’s level the Institute offers several MSc’s in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, Data Science, and Data Science and Engineering, and also contributes to other MSc’s in Engineering Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Electromechanical Engineering, and Bioinformatics and Modelling.
The Montefiore Institute was established in 1883 as one of the first schools of electrical engineering in the world with the visionary backing and financial support of Georges Montefiore, a central figure of 19th century Belgian industry and finance.
The Institute was integrated into the School of Engineering of the University of Liège but has always kept its identity, being housed in its own building, first in the downtown Liège, and since 1978 on the Sart-Tilman campus of the University. The areas covered by the Institute naturally expanded from electrical power engineering to electronics, telecommunications, and later to systems and control, signal processing, and computer science. Keeping computer science within the Department has proven to be very fruitful research-wise, encouraging the development of interdisciplinary topics such as data analysis and machine learning applied to the analysis and control of power grids. Shortly after the first classes of students graduated from the Montefiore Institute, an alumni association (AIM) was established and is still thriving today as an organizer of scientific meetings and conferences.
The Montefiore Institute is currently active in a range of basic and applied research topics in various areas such as:
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning,
- Computer Vision, Digital Processing, and Robotics,
- Cybersecurity and Computer Systems,
- Electric Power and Energy Systems,
- Electronic Circuit Design and Sensors,
- High Performance Computing,
- Materials for Electrical Engineering,
- Numeric Simulation, Optimisation, and Control,
- Theoretical Computer Science.
The Institute is also active in technology transfer through the creation of spin-off companies, and is the home of three main research and testing facilities that were established with major outside funding:
- The MICROSYS laboratory offers certified clean rooms and many facilities for the production and characterization of microsystems.
- The Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory (EMC) performs tests on electrical appliances in conformity with international and European standards.
- The Low Voltage Laboratory (LEP) is set up to offer a variety of breaker tests.
With the exception of the MICROSYS lab, the Department is housed in two connected buildings in the pleasant surroundings of the Sart-Tilman campus of the University of Liège, located south of the vibrant city of Liège. One of the buildings is shared with the Acoustics Development and Engineering Center (CEDIA) that has several reverberating and anechoic chambers and associated measuring instruments. The other building is shared with the mathematics department and also houses the administrative services of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The Department buildings are located in an area of the campus that also houses other Engineering departments, as well as the central university computing facilities.