Brett Hannigan

About me


Biomedical and Mobile Health Technology Lab

ETH Zürich

Lengghalde 5

8008 Zürich


Hello, I’m Brett! My research interests are applied control theory, electronics, systems and modelling, wearable technology, and biomedical engineering.

My current position is as a Scientific Assistant at ETH Zürich’s BMHT Lab. The group primarily works on textile sensor technologies with the goals to enable personalized health, guide rehabilitation, and improve athletic performance. Recently, we have developed a new type of textile strain sensor that uses an auxetic structure to exceed the theoretical maximum sensitivity for capacitive strain sensors. We used this sensor in a prototype garment combined with custom readout electronics and a machine learning algorithm to demonstrate distributed sensing in textiles—the ability to monitor shoulder, elbow, and wrist movements along one continuous fibre sensor with a single connection. This is important because it reduces the number of unreliable connections in “smart textiles” and allows them to be manufactured at scale using conventional methods. We hope that this can further the adoption of unobtrusive wearable electronics in athletics, rehabilitation, occupational health, consumer electronics, and other fields.

I completed my master’s degree at the University of British Columbia in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. My thesis research was on applying control theory to improve performance and stability of sigma-delta modulators as part of the Digital Health Innovation Lab team. At the same time, I did a Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship to translate this research with an industry partner, ESS Technology.

I previously worked as a software developer at Lungpacer Medical, while it was still a spin-off from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. Lungpacer is an innovative medical device start-up commercializing minimally invasive diaphragm pacing to improve weaning in mechanically ventilated patients. There I wrote software for experimental data collection and designed algorithms for the control of diaphragm stimulation. I also do some contract work, primarily in signal processing, data analysis, and software development applied to biomedical engineering. Feel free to contact me for any potential collaborations or consultation requests.

Please enjoy some of my project posts, code, and publications. I also enjoy many outdoors sports such as skiing, mountaineering, fishing, and cycling. I will try to include some of these activities here as well as my other assorted fun projects. I am in the process of writing up more of these, hopefully they can be helpful!

Latest Posts

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26 January 2024 Mountain Photos of 2023
14 October 2023 Anodizing Aluminum Parts
09 September 2023 Mountain Photos of 2021-2022

Selected Publications

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  1. Hannigan2024a.png
    Distributed Sensing Along Fibres for Smart Clothing
    Brett C. Hannigan, Tyler J. Cuthbert, Chakaveh Ahmadizadeh, and 1 more author
    Science Advances, 2024


  1. Hannigan2023.png
    Fast, Analytical Method for Structured Identification of SISO RC-Ladder-Type Systems
    Brett C. Hannigan, and Carlo Menon
    IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, 2023
  2. Cuthbert2023.png
    HACS: Helical Auxetic Yarn Capacitive Sensors that Go Beyond the Theoretical Sensitivity Limit
    Tyler J. Cuthbert, Brett C. Hannigan, Alexander Shokurov, and 1 more author
    Advanced Materials, 2023


  1. Hannigan2021.png
    Understanding the Impact of Machine Learning Models on the Performance of Different Flexible Strain Sensor Modalities
    Brett C. Hannigan, Tyler J. Cuthbert, Wanhaoyi Geng, and 1 more author
    Frontiers in Materials, 2021