Introducing CSEM, Innovation and sustainable progress

HYBUILD is a group of 21 partners from 9 EU countries. Every month, a new HYBUILD partner is introduced in our Blog section. This month, CSEM, Centre suisse d’électronique et de microtechnique.

CSEM in a nutshell

CSEM is a private, non-profit research and technology organisation created in 1984. Its mission is to develop and transfer microtechnologies to the industrial sector – in Switzerland, as a priority – in order to reinforce its competitive advantage. It does so through cooperation agreements with established companies as well as by encouraging the creation of start-ups (43 so far, leading to the creation of 400 jobs). It holds 203 patent families and filed 26 new patents last year. CSEM has about 440 employees and achieves an annual turnover of 83 million CHF.

CSEM has its headquarters in Neuchâtel, in the heart of watchmaking region and four regional centers across Switzerland.

Its research is organised in five technology programmes: microsystems, surface engineering, systems, ultra-low-power integrated systems, and PV-center and energy management. Since 2013 CSEM PV-center is the national competence center for photovoltaics. Within this center, a 14-strong team develops solutions to build and manage an efficient, sustainable- energy world based on distributed renewable power generation. It brings together the skills to engineer this new world: power engineering, power electronics, signal processing, machine learning, optimization and control, and systems engineering. It provides services and technologies in three main areas: energy data, decentralized control, and electricity storage in supercapacitors and batteries. Applications of CSEM technologies have already been demonstrated on inverters, in direct current (DC) microgrids, and in energy management systems for residential and commercial buildings. We work with component vendors, system integrators, and utilities to turn these technologies into successful products.


In the framework of the HYBUILD project, CSEM is developing an integrated and certified DC microgrid. This DC microgrid is meant to interface an external distribution grid, a local renewable energy source, a heat pump and a storage system with the objectives of optimizing the system efficiency and compactness. This work includes the selection of optimal components and its integration in compliance with the norm EN/IEC 61439. Moreover, a low-level controller, as well as its communication architecture, will be developed guaranteeing a stable operation of the DC microgrid while offering control flexibilities to a higher level optimizer.

HYPERBAT – A hybrid battery solution integrated at CSEM

Get in touch: CSEM staff involved in HYBUILD

Dr Pierre-Jean Alet received the M.Sc. in engineering from ENSTA ParisTech, Paris, France and the M.Sc. in physics from Université Paris XI, Orsay, France – both in 2005, and the PhD in materials science from École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France in 2008. From 2008 to 2013 he was with Sharp Laboratories of Europe (UK), a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation. As a research scientist and then a senior researcher there, he initiated activities and strategic partnerships in solar cell technology and energy services. He has been with CSEM since 2013 where he is now a senior expert. He coordinates the Energy systems research activity at CSEM and manages the intellectual property of CSEM PV-center.

Mr Nelson Koch received an MSc in electrical engineering from EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland in 2017. During his studies, he specialized in smart grid technologies, renewables and energy conversion systems. After graduating, he joined CSEM as an R&D engineer where he is leading the hardware system design and embedded control activities, especially related to DC microgrid. He is co-inventor of a patent application on method of operating an energy system.

Mr Thierry Auderset obtained his Federal Proficiency Certificate of Electrical Assembly at the Professional Centre in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 2004. He then worked for various companies active in refinery, metallurgy, and electromechanical assembly in which he improved his skills in electric system manufacturing and communication systems wiring. Moreover, he awarded a diploma on the management of the KNX Siemens building automatization system in 2014. He joined the CSEM in 2018 as a Senior Technician and is in charge of vacuum systems and machine troubleshooting, project creation and implementation of preventive maintenance.