ERC grant for a researcher from WUT

11 April 2024

Prof. Thomas Skotnicki has been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced grant.

The grant for Prof. T. Skotnicki is the first ERC Advanced Grant for a researcher from the Warsaw University of Technology. Only nine Polish scientists in total have received the award since 2008, when the grants were first awarded. In this edition, only three scientists from Poland received this award.


Prof. Skotnicki’s project titled “SelF-powerIng electroNics – the Key to Sustainable future” will be conducted at the CEZAMAT Centre for Advanced Materials and Technologies of the Warsaw University of Technology. Prior to its submission to the ERC competition, the project received an internal grant for the Warsaw University of Technology staff funded as part of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” project.

Prof. Skotnicki’s winning project involves developing a converter that transforms the natural tides of atmospheric pressure and temperature into electricity. Energy was first harvested from pressure and temperature as early as the 16th century to power a clock, but it was only mechanical energy. The SFINKS project aims to create a device that transforms atmospheric tides into electricity and reduce it down to the size of a nano capsule, which is by many orders of magnitude.

– I think the idea behind the SFINKS grant and ERC grants in general is well expressed by the following motto: When humanity was looking for faster methods of communication, the Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi did not focus on breeding faster homing pigeons, but invented the foundations of radio communication – says Prof. Skotnicki.

In the age of rapidly developing microelectronics and nanoelectronics, miniaturised power sources are becoming crucial, also due to their potential to eliminate batteries which are a major source of pollution for the planet.


Prof. Skotnicki has been specialising in developing solutions in the semiconductor area for more than 30 years. From 1985 to 1999, he worked in the research laboratories of France Telecom and then worked for STMicroelectronics. Professor devised the FDSOI UTBB technology, which today is used by global electronics companies. It is the most energy-efficient CMOS technology. Prof. Skotnicki’s next big challenge is to devise energy sources to self-power the UTBB technology. In this way, Professor Skotnicki wants to realise the dream of self-powered, battery-free electronics.

Prof. Skotnicki is the author of almost 500 scientific papers in the field of CMOS technology and energy harvesting, several book chapters and 80 patents. He was also a co-recipient of the CENTERA (Centre for Terahertz Research and Applications) grant and co-founder of the CEZAMAT Centre for Advanced Materials and Technologies at the Warsaw University of Technology.

The ERC grant is one of the most prestigious in the European Union. It provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct ambitious, peculiar and distinctive projects that can lead to scientific breakthroughs. This year’s ERC Advanced Grant was awarded to 255 researchers, with a total value of almost EUR 652 million.

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