Special Interest Group Meeting: Micro/Nano Manufacturing 


Tutorial: Advances in Micro-EDM and Micro-ECM: Fundamentals to applications

17th November 2021
Time: TBC

The tutors are Prof. Dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts; Dr. ir. Jun Qian and Dr. ir. Krishna Kumar Saxena, KU Leuven, BE

KU Leuven has a long standing history in the field of EDM/ECM processes. In this course, we will discuss the fundamentals of micro-EDM and micro-ECM processes. We will cover the principles of material removal by micro-EDM and micro-ECM on different material classes ranging from metals to conductive-ceramics. The tutorial will also cover advanced developments in micro-EDM and micro-ECM processes carried out during past PhD projects at KU Leuven, specifically in process-monitoring, advanced sensing approaches, surface structuring, on-machine metrology for micro-EDM/ECM and process hybridization. We will introduce advanced applications such as machining of cermets, micro-turbines and breakthrough detection during drilling of aerospace alloys and review the state of the art in micro-EDM/micro-ECM. We will also address the limitations of these technologies, and, finally, touch upon the possibilities of developing digital twins for micro-EDM and micro-ECM processes.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding the fundamental principle of micro-EDM and micro-ECM processes
  • Material removal mechanisms on different material classes ranging from metals to conductive cermets
  • Advancements in processing capabilities and new materials
  • Process-monitoring and advanced sensing technologies
  • On-machine metrology for micro-EDM/ECM machines
  • Applications: Micromachining of 3D cavities, micro-parts and surface microstructuring.
  • Hybrid and sequential micro-EDM/ECM processes
  • Towards development of micro-EDM and micro-ECM digital twins

Learning outcomes: 

The course covers the basics on micro-EDM and micro-ECM processes from fundamentals to process monitoring and applications. It offers the participants a deeper scientific insight into these processes.

Intended audience:

Graduates, postgraduate engineers, post-doctoral researchers, micromachining enthusiasts plus industry technical staff working in micromachining. Interdisciplinary engineers keen to learn micromachining are welcome as well.


Prof. dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts

Prof. dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts received his mechanical engineering degree from KU Leuven, Belgium, in 1986. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, also from KU Leuven, Belgium, in 1995 and became Assistant Professor at KU Leuven in 1997. Since 2007 he is a Full Professor. He has chaired the Department of Mechanical Engineering of KU Leuven from 2008 till 2017. He afterwards headed the division of Production engineering, Machine design and Automation till September 2019. Since 2014 he has been actively involved in the creation of the Flanders strategic research center “Flanders Make” where he is currently MaPS corelab coordinator covering the KU Leuven manufacturing activities.

His research activities are in machine design and manufacturing with focus on precision engineering, micromechanical systems, and actuators based on shape memory, piezo-electricity, and soft pneumatic actuators. Major applications of research are in precision instruments, machine tool components, and medical robotics and instrumentation. He has been promoting more than 40 PhDs. He is a member of IEEE, ASME and euspen. He has been involved in 3 spin-off companies on precision engineering components and medical robotics. He has acted as main coordinator of 4 EU projects and 1 SBO project (largest total project budget 6 MEUR).

Dr. ir. Jun Qian

Dr. ir. Jun Qian received his Bachelor’s degree in 1991 and his PhD degree in 1996, both in mechanical manufacturing engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), China. After obtaining his doctorate on precision electro-chemical machining (ECM), Dr. Qian lectured in the same university till 1998. Then moved on the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) in Japan, where he carried out extensive research on the electrolysis in-process dressing (ELID) grinding technique. Since 2000 Dr. Qian has been with the Mechanical Engineering Department at KU Leuven. He serves as a research manager at the Mechanical Engineering Department as well as a Corelab Manager within the Flemish Strategic Research Center Flanders Make. Jun Qian is member of euspen – European society of Precision Engineering and nanotechnology – and of EFFRA – European Factories of the Future Research Association. Jun Qian’s research interest covers precision and micro manufacturing processes, hybrid manufacturing technologies, precision machine/mechanism design and precision metrology technologies.

Dr. ir. Krishna Kumar Saxena

Dr ir. Krishna Saxena is a post-doctoral research engineer at Department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium. Prior to this position, he completed his PhD in advanced micromachining at KU Leuven, Belgium entitled “Hybrid laser-electrochemical micromachining technology: Machine design and process analysis by simulation and experiments”. His research has been sponsored by two European projects: European Marie Curie ITN H2020 project ‘MICROMAN’ and EU Factories of Future project ‘PROSURF’. Prior to this, he received his mechanical engineering bachelors degree in 2013 and materials engineering masters degree (Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar) in 2015, both from India. He carried out his master thesis research at IFU, University of Stuttgart, Germany (2016) and also worked as a researcher at Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015).  His research activities are in micromanufacturing processes mainly micro-ECM, hybrid laser-ECM and micro-EDM processes. He has been supervising more than 10  master students and coaching 2 PhD researchers. Krishna has published 15 journal papers and 2 book chapters, and presented his work at 16 conferences. He is an active presenter in euspen, INSECT, WCMNM and CIRP ISEM conferences.

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