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Dr. Mirko Kovac
Dr. Mirko Kovac is director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Aeronautics Department at Imperial College London. His research interest is the conception and design of novel morphologies and locomotion methods for mobile robots and their analogy in biological systems.

Before his appointment in London, he was post- doctoral researcher at the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory as part of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in Cambridge, USA. He obtained his PhD with the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He received his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) in 2005. During his studies he was research associate with the University of California in Berkeley USA, RIETER Automotive Switzerland, the WARTSILA Diesel Technology Division in Switzerland, and CISERV in Singapore.

Since 2006, he has presented his work at numerous international conferences and in journals and has won several best paper and best presentation awards. Also, he is invited member of the scientific advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation, has been invited lecturer at more than 20 research institutions world wide and has been representative speaker on education and innovation at the World Knowledge Dialogue Symposium 2008 and the EPFL Didactic Days Conference 2008.

Dr. Rich Mahoney
Rich Mahoney, Ph.D., is the CEO and Founder of Seismic Inc, a spin-off venture from SRI International (Stanford Research Institute). Superflex will develop cutting-edge wearable robotics to enhance the human musculoskeletal system for a wide range of applications. Rich was the Executive Director of the robotics program at SRI International for more than eight years. He has more than 26 years of experience in research, development, and commercialization of robotics technology, with an emphasis on healthcare solutions for assistive devices and physical therapy. At SRI, Mahoney led a team delivering cutting-edge robotics innovations to DARPA, other government, and commercial customers, including advanced component technologies and telemanipulation, for healthcare, security, and consumer applications. In addition to Superflex, Rich also led the commercialization of multiple ventures from SRI Robotics, including Redwood Robotics, Grabit, Verb Surgical, Abundant Robotics, and others not yet announced.

Prior to joining SRI, Rich was General Manager of the U.S. operations of Motorika, Inc., an early-stage medical device company specializing in technology for neuro-rehabilitation. Previously, he was the director of business development for Applied Resources Corp., and co-director of the Robotics Laboratory of the Applied Science and Engineering Labs at the University of Delaware and A.I. DuPont Institute.

He received his B.S. and M.S. from Drexel University in Pennsylvania. He earned a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, England, while attending on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Rich Mahoney was also the founding President of the association Silicon Valley Robotics (SVR) which supports the innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies.

Dr. Bianca Braun
Dr. Bianca Braun holds a Masters and a PhD from the University of St Gallen (HSG) with a specialization in technology management. She received her doctorate in the field of family businesses and published a book on successful private companies.

Bianca Braun joined her family business Maxon Motor AG as part of the Board of Directors in 2007 and as Head of Internal Audit in 2012. Maxon Motor was founded in 1961 in Switzerland and is one of the world’s leaders in drive technology, broadly known for its participation in NASA’s Mars rovers. Maxon DC and BLDC motors are used in surgical power tools, humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications. The family owned company has about 2,600 employees at nine production sites, a turnover of 460 Mio. CHF in 2017 and is represented by sales companies in nearly 40 countries.

Bianca Braun brings with her the expertise of being a leading member of a developer and manufacturer of key components in robotics and automation. She holds several board positions and is a supporter of women in the engineering field.

Prof. Paul Newman

Paul Newman FREng, FIET, FIEEE is a creator, pioneer and innovator of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology.

He is Founder & CTO at Oxbotica, BP Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Oxford, and Founder & Director of Oxford Robotics Institute.

His pioneering approach to AV technology is being successfully harnessed for real-world application at Oxbotica - on roads in four continents, down mines, across warehouses and around airports. He makes and leads teams that use bits to move atoms.

In 1999, Paul set out the fundamentals of the large-scale navigation problem SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) which underpins the driverless vehicle revolution. After three years at MIT 2000-2003, working on subsea and land autonomy, he returned to the UK and built the UK’s first AV stack. He continues to lead the way in AV innovation, having authored 200 papers, garnered 16,000 citations and registered 22 patents.

Beyond his responsibilities at Oxbotica and the academic world, Paul is a strategic advisor to businesses and organisations at Government level. He currently serves on the UK Government’s Department for Transport Science Advisory Council and is on the BSI Standards Committee for AV technology. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the IEEE, the IET and the Royal Academy of Engineering.