Hardware development team leader at the Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics – Electronic Systems (ZEA-2)
André Zambanini is a scientific employee who develops highly integrated systems at ZEA-2. His focus is on developing digital circuits for system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. In addition, he heads the hardware development team, who design components for complex systems.
How did you come to Forschungszentrum Jülich?
Having finished my Diplom thesis at the Department of Physics of RWTH Aachen University, I was looking for a suitable place to continue my studies. I learned about Forschungszentrum Jülich through a friend who worked here himself, and so I went on to conduct my doctorate at Jülich from 2012 to 2015. My doctoral thesis focused on the development of an integrated readout solution for a particle detector. During this time I gained a great deal of experience in chip development, which I have been contributing to ZEA-2 since beginning work there in late 2015. With 14 developers, four of whom are doctoral researchers, chip development has since become an essential component of the institute portfolio, and I am happy that I can bring my physics expertise to the table in this engineering field.
What do you like about your work?
wo aspects are particularly important to me in my work. I enjoy working on continually changing tasks and facing new challenges at every step. The various projects at ZEA-2 constantly result in new requirements. I find this much more enjoyable than having to do the same work all day every day.
On the other hand, reconciling work with private and family life is another important aspect for me. I’m lucky that both Forschungszentrum Jülich in general and ZEA-2 in particular share that view.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working with many of the other developers on a project concerning 3D positioning techniques using a signal-processing chip as a central component. I’m responsible for the development of the chip, which gives me ample opportunity for new, fascinating insights – but is also quite demanding. In addition to coordinating the various subprojects, I’m also actively involved in developing the digital components. Even though the first step is similar to programming software, the implementation in a silicon-based design – including the necessary verification – is a very complex and time-consuming process.
When the chip finally returns to our laboratory, after more than a year of development work and several months of production in the factory, I’ll be awaiting the first signs of life with bated breath. Keep your fingers crossed!