Institute for Sensor and Information Systems (ISIS)

The ISIS concentrates research in the field of sensor technology at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at HsKA, supported by the Center of Applied Research (IAF). Several scientists work together at this institute to input their varied knowledge of the different areas of sensor technology. By closely linking these expertises in an integrated approach, 

sensor elements -> signal processing -> cross linking -> information and/or process control systems -> intelligent processes -> practical applications

it is possible to work on the diverse issues of sensor technology.

ISIS also aims to connect teaching and sensor technology research at the Faculty, thus providing a platform for highly up-to-date teaching. At ISIS, students are constantly carrying out project work or thesis projects.


Research team

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Karnutsch

Specialities: optofluidics; organic semiconductor lasers; absorption spectroscopy; lab-on-a-chip; POCT blood analysis technologies

Head of the Research Group Integrated Optofluidics and Nanophotonics (IONAS)

Building N, room 305

Moltkestraße 30
76133 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 721 925 1352

Email: christian.karnutschspam

Prof. Dr.- Ing. Jan Hoinkis

Deputy Head
Specialities: chemistry, environmental protection technology, environmental engineering, electrochemistry, thermodynamics

Building N, room 207
Moltkestraße 30
76133 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 (0)721 / 9 25 - 13 72
Fax: +49 (0)721 / 9 25 - 1301

Email: jan.



Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Heinz Kohler

Specialities: physics, sensor systems technology, chemical sensors and biological sensors, thin film technology

Building N, room 210
Moltkestraße 30
76133 Karlsruhe

Fax: +49 (0)721 / 9 25 - 1301

Email: heinz.kohlerspam


Projects at ISIS

Integrated aquaculture based on sustainable water recirculating system for the Victoria Lake Basin (VicInAqua)

Project Director: Prof. Jan Hoinkis

Funded by: EU

Duration: 01.06.2016 - 31.05.2019

Homepage:, information video

A total of ten partners from Europe and Africa have joined forces to develop a sustainable, combined water purification system for fish farming in the Lake Victoria region. In addition to HsKA, German project partners include the Steinbeis Europa-Zentrum and BPE International. European partners are the Institute on Membrane Technology (Italy), the University of Calabria and the companies AquaBioTech (Malta) and OXYGUARD International (Denmark). Moreover, African experts from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development (Kenya) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (Uganda) participate in this project.

The aim is to develop and test a sustainable, combined water treatment system for recirculating systems in fish farming and wastewater treatment of industrial and domestic sewage. The three-year project, which runs under the EU’s framework program "Horizon 2020", is funded with €3 million.

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. It is of great importance to the three riparian countries, i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; the lake’s freshwater reservoir is essential to fisheries, industry and tourism. However, the Lake Victoria region is currently threatened by overfishing and eutrophication caused by industrial wastewater. The increasing number of settlements and the growing impoverishment of the population living on the lake are further issues that need to be addressed. Due to the oversupply of nutrients, large areas of the lake are covered by water hyacinths – an invasive species threatening the existence of native aquatic plants.

Therefore, the objective of the project is to develop a system for sustainable and environmentally friendly fish farming combined with effective wastewater treatment. Based on a membrane bioreactor, this multipurpose filtration system can be used as a recirculation system for fish tanks and wastewater treatment. Here it is essential to develop an efficient and robust purification system while ensuring sustainable decentralized energy supply – this is the only way to use the system in accordance with the local socio-economic conditions.

When using current membrane bioreactors, fouling might occur on the membranes. This effect is regarded as the main limitation of water flux which reduces the filtering performance of the membranes. As a result, cleaning chemicals must be used to clean the membranes at short intervals. That is why the project partners aim at developing a novel nanostructured membrane material for membrane reactors. This material cleans itself through the application of nanocatalysts. This aspect is of major importance to African developing countries, because here the use of chemicals may be an issue in terms of logistics and safety, for example.

The new “VicInAqua” project will focus on the aspect of using the treated water for the recirculation in fish tanks and for agricultural irrigation. After successful completion of the R&D phases, the concept will be tested in a pilot plant on the shores of Lake Victoria.

In addition to the innovative filtration system, VicInAcqua will also drive forward the development of a novel, sensor-controlled energy supply system for energy-autonomous operation. In order to increase the energy output, it is planned to create a hybrid system on the basis of photovoltaics, biogas-based process heat and thermoelectric generators. A thermoelectric generator allows electric energy to be generated from ambient heat. Due to the high temperatures in tropical countries, it is thus possible to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic elements. Even at a higher temperature level, a thermoelectric generator makes sure that the heat produced through combustion of biogas can be used to generate electric energy. This gas may be produced through fermentation of waste biomass, such as the water hyacinth invading Lake Victoria.

One of the key challenges will be to develop robust procedures, which can be optimally adapted to the socio-economic conditions in developing countries. As part of this project, it is therefore planned to train local experts and provide student exchange programs between European and African partner countries.


Fakultät für Elektro- und Informationstechnik
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Karnutsch

Building N, room 305
Moltkestr. 30, 76133 Karlsruhe
Phone +49(0)721 925-1352
Fax +49(0)721 925-1301
Email christian.karnutschspam

Approach plan
Facility plan