Research groups

Research groups

According to the strategic research topics given in the Strategic Programme of Scientific Research (adopted in September 2014 by the Faculty Council) interdepartmental research groups are planned to be formed. Although there was a plan to form 12 research groups through application and implementation of projects and foundation of the Scientific Research Centre of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ZICER, in the period from 2014 to 2018, 10 research groups were formed:

  • Research Group for High-Performance Computing and Data Analysis;
  • Research Group for Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction;
  • Research Group for Intelligent Systems and Robotics;
  • Research Group for Computer Engineering;
  • Research Group for Advanced Industrial Systems;
  • Research Group for Advanced Energy Technologies and Systems;
  • Research Group for Information and Communication Technologies;
  • Research Group for Intelligent Vehicles;
  • Research Group for Biomedical Engineering
  • Research Group for Advanced Teaching Methods in Technical Sciences.

These groups were formally defined in the amendments to the Strategic Programme of Scientific Research adopted at the 212nd session of the Faculty Council held on 27th March 2018. Within the research groups, the Faculty is developing and advancing research areas which are in line with the Smart Specialisation Strategy and directly contribute to two the implementation of the following two priority thematic areas: 1 Energy and sustainable environment, 2 Traffic and mobility, as well as the two horizontal topics: Key Enabling Technologies (KET) and ICT, with special emphasis paid to the impact on the following priority areas: Health and quality of life and Food and bioeconomy.

Research Group For High-Performance Computing And Data Analysis

This research group aims to make research results applicable in the field of collecting and data storage, their analysis by using complex procedures of computer intelligence and machine learning (for the web, mobile and service environments and real-time data analysis) as well as parallel and distributed data processing in energy efficient high-performance computer systems. There are possibilities for professional cooperation with respect to an efficient application of cloud computing, automated testing and setting in motion multiple platform web, mobile and embedded software solutions based on the current methodologies and platforms including agile development procedures, test-driven development and open-source environment. Those solutions include the procedures of detecting, collecting and data processing from scientific and embedded systems as well as the Internet of Things. Cooperation can be realized within the application and adjustment of machine learning procedures for the purposes of pattern recognition (classification, regression, etc.) and cognitive procedures applied to various problems and data. Since optimisation problems range from machine learning modelling to building solar panels in fields, development, adjustment and embedding of different evolutionary algorithms can be used to tackle the problems. For time critical services, the data-flow real-time analysis, business intelligence approaches and appropriate visualisations are used. The main fields of application are biomedicine and medical services, mobility and transportation system, agriculture, food industry, smart and energy efficient environment, scientific computing, cybersecurity, business computer systems and data centres of companies and institutions.

Research Group For Computer Science And Human-Computer Interaction

This research group deals with 3D reconstruction of organs from digital medical images obtained by a CT device. The resulting 3D model is used to better predict the health status of patients. In addition to the organs obtained by CT devices, bone retopology is obtained from large point clouds, providing smooth surfaces to identify deformations. In addition to healthcare, this group deals with laser analysis of 3D models of cultural goods obtained by laser scanning, which are then processed by smoothing and interpolation algorithms for the purpose of their digital display. We develop a system for assisting blind and partially sighted people based on computer image processing in real time. In terms of this, specific objects (stairs and pedestrian crossings) that are of great importance for the movement in space are detected. In-room directional sounding is performed. The group is developing virtual applications that would help people overcome obstacles in the environment with minimal dangers, e.g. educating children to cross the road in varying traffic density. Research is also being conducted in the direction of neural networks and their evolution through extended topology for the purpose of machine learning in games to reach the solution.

Research Group For Intelligent Systems And Robotics

The Research Group for Intelligent Systems and Robotics deals with research in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and process automation.

One of the fields in which the group has specific competencies is machine perception or computer vision with application in the field of robotics. We develop systems for recognising objects the robot can manipulate (carry or process them, or perform some other operation) and systems that allow indoor mobile robot navigation. We mainly develop methods using 3D sensors, where we have the most experience with RGB-D cameras, but the developed methodology can also be applied to the laser 3D scanner (LIDAR).

The second field of research relates to the improvement of the supervisory control system by metric-based learning methods in artificial intelligence. Within the framework of this research, methods of building mathematical data-based process models are developed, with the purpose of estimating process sizes, detecting failure and identifying the location of failure, as well as designing soft-sensors and fault-tolerant systems. In addition, adaptive models and algorithms that continually learn from plant data which are continuously gathered in the manufacturing process database so that these intelligent supervisory control systems can constantly adapt to changes in the process and ensure optimum control.

Although fundamental research is concerned, the methodologies used by the Research Group for Intelligent Systems and Robotics have the potential for broad application in industry, agriculture, healthcare and other industries.

Research Group For Computer Engineering

The scope of the Research Group for Computer Engineering includes architecture, design and functioning of computer systems, embedded computer systems, reliability, diagnostics and system testing, intelligent system and computer network design, image processing, visual inspection, robotic vision, working in real-time and parallel processing.

Digital circuits, systems and embedded systems are designed by using microcontrollers and FPGA circuits, SoC and NoC technologies, VHDL programing language and Xilinx system development. For known architectures, reliability models and fault diagnostics are developed. Furthermore, computer systems are designed pursuant to requirements for fault tolerance and achieving a certain level of reliability and availability. Embedded systems are designed in the fields of automotive computing, power electronics, medical electronics, agriculture, food industry, etc.

Research carried out by this research group include the development of real-time algorithms, image processing algorithms, product quality visual inspection systems, GPU algorithms, image processing parallel algorithms using CUDA technology, digital processors for signal processing (DSP) algorithms and FPGA integrated circuits. The research group has a significant experience in quality control based on visual detection of raw and baked ceramic tiles in real-time.

The research group fosters the cooperation with ICT subjects and has experience in leading several national and European projects as well as technology and knowledge transfer programmes. The group contributes to technical sciences in the city of Osijek and the region.

Research Group For Advanced Industrial Systems

The Research Group for Advanced Industrial Systems conducts basic research in the field of electrical machinery as executive and in the fields of power electronics and measurement as control subsystems, and integrates them into industrial plant research as fundamental in industrial production. Contemporary trends in ecology, as well as increased efficiency and optimisation of complex systems are covered by research into the application of numerical calculations, materials and industrial ecology.

Research in the fields of electrical machinery and industrial plants is concerned with studies on how to improve efficiency and control in industrial and transport processes. Monitoring methods (industrial measurements) are developed for the purpose of reducing modelling losses and synthesising results (numerical calculations, materials), and energy control methods (power electronics) are also developed.

In the field of power electronics, we study bifurcation behaviour of DC inverters and the characteristics of AC converters to quantify the reverse effect of the inverter on the network and the environment. In line with the development of renewable energy sources, the photovoltaic system modelling and control processes by conversion components of multilayer exchangers are developed.

In the field of industrial measurement, research on the development of new methods used for measuring electrical and non-electrical quantities in industrial plants should be stressed, as well as the development of new methods of estimation and expression of uncertainty in measurement.

Research in the field of numerical methods is oriented towards the fields of mathematical modelling, simulation and analysis of electrical devices (electromagnetic fields, thermal and mechanical stress).

Research Group For Advanced Energy Technologies And Systems

The research group is involved in power engineering research and has considerable experience in implementing (international) scientific and professional projects with emphasis on integrating renewable energy sources into the power system from the aspect of smart (micro)grids, electricity markets, power protection, stability and quality.   

The focus is on the optimisation of photovoltaic systems and power plants using renewable energy sources (RES), development of mathematical and computer models for power plant simulations using RES, studies on the impact of RES on the power system and smart grid protection, and energy efficiency and application of efficient technologies in lighting systems and energy management.  

The research group deals with advanced protection coordination of active grids with a high RES share, power flow optimisation, calculations of short circuits, stability and reliability of the power system and its components, analysis of oscillatory stability of the power system, parameterisation of automatic voltage regulators (AVR) and generator excitation, as well as PSS and FDS stabilisers. 

The group performs electricity market analyses from the prospective of market participants, techno-economic analyses of generation and network plants and management optimisation of a modern power system, dimensioning of grounding systems, measurements of the ground resistance, calculations of the electric arc and issues guidelines on the selection of personal protection equipment. 

Measurements of low frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic fields are performed according to the HRN IEC 61786 standard in an accredited laboratory for low frequency measurements, as well as in all types of power and industrial plants and near renewable power sources. Finally, the group also controls the power quality in accordance with the HRN EN 61000-4-30 standard in line with the restrictions of the HRN EN 50160 standard on voltage properties in public distribution networks.  

Research Group For Information And Communication Technologies

The Research Group for Information and Communication Technologies conducts research in four areas, i.e. wireless communications, microelectronics, network technologies and video communications.

In the field of wireless communications, the emphasis is put on modelling, analysis of operation, improvement of the existing and the development of new communication systems or their subsystems, as well as the development of models and testing of radio waves propagation in mobile networks. The following is currently being tested and developed: EM wireless energy transmission processes and systems, high-frequency energy harvesting technologies, modelling, measurement and testing of the effects of EM radiation on living organisms and electromagnetic pollution.

In line with the progress made in the field of microelectronic technology, we conduct research and development of analogue and digital processing, PLD and FPGA device programming, and design and implementation of supervisory control systems. Research group members research and develop radio frequency identification (RFID) devices with their own power supply, enhance alternative power supply methods from the surrounding area, and develop 2D and 3D sensors.

The following research is carried out in the field of network technologies: IP network infrastructure, IP service quality, and application in the area of broadband Internet access and Internet services in urban and rural areas. Special attention is paid to research into security and privacy issues in modern information and communication (wired and wireless) systems. In terms of security, the following issues are researched: modern cryptosystems and their application, methods of detection and prevention of security threats and attacks on wired and wireless networks (WLAN, ad hoc, sensor networks, IoT), security mechanisms and protocols, risk estimation and reduction, secure routing and data aggregation, and user and data privacy protection.

An important segment of research is to develop solutions to improve and evaluate video quality in various applications including Quality of Experience (QoE) when transmitting video signals to fixed and mobile networks.

Research Group For Intelligent Vehicles

This research group carries out research in the field of software development for autonomous vehicles and its testing according to pre-set standards and methods (AUTOSAR, ISO26262). A part of research relates to networks and protocols in vehicles (CAN, LIN, FlexRay). Furthermore, there is a part of research which deals with developing advanced image processing algorithms for automotive cameras used in autonomous driving. Numerous machine learning methods are applied in this process. The research group employs state-of-the-art equipment purchased within the EU project DRIVE. 

Another part of the research group deals with intelligent transport systems (vehicular ad-hoc networks, VANETs), aimed at developing, implementing, testing and evaluating algorithms for efficient information propagation between vehicles and infrastructure. There are applications serving various purposes like traffic security improvement (collision avoidance, accident notification), enhanced driving efficiency (traffic congestion monitoring, booking free parking spaces) and commercial services (entertainment, work). It is crucial for every application to provide the right information in the right place at the right time to be able to make informed decisions.

Finally, the research group is also dedicated to analysing the operation and topology of vehicle drives, auxiliary systems and synthesising aimed to optimise the energy flow and energy efficiency of vehicles. Special emphasis is placed on hybrid energy storage systems, advanced power supply systems and power electronics systems for energy control in vehicles. Through modelling and solving inverse engineering problems, the research group tends to develop control methods aimed at improving the efficiency of the vehicle itself and integrating the electric vehicle into the existing transport system according to EU guidelines of integrated, sustainable and efficient transport system.

Research Group For Biomedical Engineering

The research groups carries out activities in the field of biomedical engineering, microelectronics, biomedical electronics, wireless communication systems, wireless charging systems, energy harvesting and using computer vision in robotics, medicine and agriculture. In the last several years, several integrated circuits were designed in the field of microelectronics. The most significant one is a patent for the energy efficient system for wireless transfer of analogue and digital signals and a DC/DC converter based on charge pumps. Furthermore, the research group has experience in developing different systems for biological signals measuring. Systems for wireless measuring of oxygen saturation and body temperature have been developed. The research group works on the development of new efficient robust modulation procedures based on wireless data transfer. Research in the field of wireless charging and energy harvesting have resulted in the development of a capacitive wireless power system for sensor low power circuits and wireless charging system for electronic devices up to 5 W. The research group for the application of computer vision in bioengineering has considerable experience in the development and application of advanced technologies for the analysis of 2D and 3D data obtained by regular or 3D cameras. The developed technologies and algorithms are used in selecting and detecting various types of objects in space. In the field of agriculture, the technologies are used to differentiate fruits and vegetables on plants and detect rows of crops in fields. In the field of medicine, the technologies are used for carrying out a 2D and 3D analysis of chronic wounds, determining a percentage of a specific tissue sample in a wound and measuring physical parameters, latitude, surface and volume. The research group has submitted and been approved of three patent applications so far thus gaining experience in the protection of intellectual property.

Research Group For Advanced Teaching Methods In Technical Sciences

The research group conducts research in the field of education focusing on the approach, application and influence of new techniques and teaching methods on the quality of higher education on an undergraduate and a graduate study level. Cooperating with other research groups and laboratories at the Faculty, mathematics, physics and applied engineering knowledge and skills are transferred in LABUS, which includes students (and teachers) of primary and secondary STEM field schools. These activities include presentations of research and professional work carried out in the Faculty’s laboratories of applied engineering knowledge and skills in the fields of applied physics, robotics, automation, computer engineering, information technologies and technical skills by using modern teaching methods based on real experiment measurements, IT support in analysing data, virtual instruments in experiment modelling and experiment simulations. The research group’s activities focus on the implementation of socially responsible learning which is recognised as an efficient way of connecting students and university professors on the one and civil society organisations and a wider community on the other hand. This should assist students in finding their first job positions, i.e. connect students with the labour market. The research group develops and takes care of the implementation of sustainable socially responsible learning programmes thus educating the general public about the possibilities of modern STEM technology and encouraging students to participate in educational programmes to acquire STEM field competencies and skills necessary for developing new technologies as a prerequisite to successfully participate in the labour market.