Florian Kehl

Florian Kehl is a Life Detection Instrumentation Technologist working with Dr. Peter A. Willis in JPL's Chemical Analysis and Life Detection Group on the development of an instrument suite for in-situ liquid analysis of potential biosignatures on Mars, Europa, Enceladus and other alien worlds. He was a NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellow at JPL from 2016 to 2019 and received his BSc and MSc degree in nano sciences, major in physics, from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Florian joined the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology CSEM Landquart, Switzerland, in 2007 to work on label-free optical biosensor systems. In 2009, he worked as a Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Centre (BSAC) in the electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) department. From 2011 to 2015, he was a Ph.D. Student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zürich in the Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics (LBB) at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, in collaboration with CSEM and Optics Balzers AG.

  • Ph.D. in Sciences, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2015)
  • M.Sc. in Nanoscience, Major in Physics, University of Basel, Switzerland (2010)
  • Visiting Research Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, USA (2009)
  • B.Sc. in Nanoscience, University of Basel, Switzerland (2007)

Research Interests: 
  • Planetary Science
  • Astrobiology
  • In-Situ Chemo-/Biosensing
  • Integrated Optics
  • Microfluidics
  • Systems Engineering

Professional Experience: 
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL, Pasadena, USA (2019 - present)
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL, Pasadena, USA (2016 - 2019)
    NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow (NPP)
  • Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology CSEM, Landquart, Switzerland (2011 - 2015)
    Ph.D. Student
  • Optics Balzers AG, Balzers, Liechtenstein (2011 - 2015)
    Project Manager

Selected Awards: 
  • NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant
    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/CalTech, Pasadena, California (2016)
  • Award for Outstanding Poster Presentation
    Elsevier 3rd International Conference on Bio-Sensing Technology, Sitges, Spain (2013)
  • CTI Research Grant
    Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (2012)
  • Nanoscience Argovia Grant
    Swiss Nanoscience Institute, University of Basel (2009)
  • Best Poster Award
    INASCON, Arhus, Denmark (2008)

Selected Publications: 
  1. F. Kehl, N. A. Kovarik, J. S. Creamer, E. T. da Costa & P. A. Willis. A subcritical water extractor prototype for potential astrobiology spaceflight missions. Earth and Space Science, 6 (2019).
    doi: 10.1029/2019EA000803
  2. F. Kehl and S. Follonier, Self-referenced waveguide grating sensor, Optics Letters 41, 1447-1450 (2016).
    doi: 10.1364/OL.41.001447
  3. F. Kehl, G. Etlinger, T. E. Gartmann, N. S. R. U. Tscharner, S. Heub, S. Follonier, Introduction of an Angle Interrogated, MEMS-based, Optical Waveguide Grating System for Label-Free Biosensing. Sensors & Actuators: B Chemical (2016), 226, 135–143.
  4. F. Kehl, D. Bischof, M. Michler, M. Keka, R. Stanley, Design of a Label-Free, Distributed Bragg Grating Resonator Based Dielectric Waveguide Biosensor. Photonics. 2015; 2(1):124-138.
  5. F. Kehl, A. M. Mehta, K. S. J. Pister, An Attitude Controller for Small Scale Rockets. Field and Service Robotics, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Volume 105, 2015, pp 201-214.
    doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-07488-7_14
  6. D. Bischof, F. Kehl, and M. Michler, Design method for a distributed Bragg resonator based evanescent field sensor. Optics Communications 380 (2016): 273-279.
    doi: 10.1016/j.optcom.2016.06.013
  7. T. E. Gartmann*, F. Kehl*, Experimental Validation of the Sensitivity of Waveguide Grating Based Refractometric (Bio)sensors, Biosensors, 2015; 5(2):187-198.
  8. S. Heub, N. Tscharner, V. Monnier, F. Kehl, P.S. Dittrich, S. Follonier, L. Barbe, Automated and portable solid phase extraction platform for immuno-detection of 17β-estradiol in water, Journal of Chromatography A, Vol. 1381 (2015): 22–28.
  9. S. Heub, N. Tscharner, F. Kehl, P.S. Dittrich, S. Follonier, L. Barbe, A simple method for automated solid phase extraction of water samples for immunological analysis of small pollutants, Journal of Visualized Experiments, e53438, (2015).
  10. P. Kozma, F. Kehl, E. Ehrentreich-Förster, C. Stamm, F. F. Bier, Integrated planar optical waveguide interferometer biosensors: a comparative review, Biosensors and Bioelectronics 58 (2014): 287-307.
  11. T. Guillod, F. Kehl, and C. V. Hafner, FEM-Based Method for the Simulation of Dielectric Waveguide Grating Biosensors, Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 137, 565-583, 2013.
  12. M. Altmeyer, A. Koller-Hodac, S. Walpen, E. Krüttli, M. Lüthy, F. Kehl, J. Auerswald, Hybrid Robot Gripper and Tools for Handling and Bonding Micro Fluidic Chips, Robotics (ISR), 2010 41st International Symposium on and 2010 6th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK) (pp. 1-6)
  13. J. Razumovitch, K. de França, F. Kehl, M. Wiki, W. Meier, C. Vebert, Optimal hybridization efficiency upon immobilization of oligonucleotide double helices, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2009; 113(24):8383-90.
    doi: 10.1021/jp902383m
Florian Kehl picture
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