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Past Conferences

Conference Details - Speakers

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2017 MIT Europe Conference in Vienna

Mind the Gap – Technological Leaps vs. Strategic Steps
March 29-30, 2017
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Michael Benjamin
Research Scientist
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
Michael Benjamin is a research scientist in the Center for Ocean Engineering, a part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is also a member of the Laboratory for Autonomous Marine Sensing Systems and the Marine Robotics Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Until December 2010, he was with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport Rhode Island.

Benjamin's work is focussed on algorithms and software for autonomous marine vehicles, some of which are shown to the right. In 2007 he founded moos-ivp.org at MIT, hosting the MOOS-IvP open source project in marine autonomy software. A key part of this project is the use of a behavior based architecture for autonomous decision-making using multi-objective optimization with interval programming for reconciling competing behaviors. This work is driven by the belief that multi-objective optimization is a fundamental component of robust decision-making. Formulating a decision-making problem into distinct specialized components also promotes the development of an autonomous system with contributions from varied developers and organizations. It also allows for a system comprised of public open source general-purpose code alongside non-public specialized code.
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Kerri Cahoy
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Kerri Cahoy received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 2000, and an M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2008) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University working with the Mars Global Surveyor radio science team. Dr. Cahoy spent from 2006-2008 designing and building geostationary radio-frequency communication satellite payloads at Space Systems Loral, and from 2008-2010 as a NASA Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on exoplanet mission design and simulations at the NASA Ames Research Center. From 2010-2011, Dr. Cahoy worked with the MIT and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center team on the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) dual-spacecraft mission to the Moon.
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Federico Casalegno
Associate Professor of the Practice
Director, MIT Mobile Experience Lab
MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Federico Casalegno, Associate Professor of the Practice, is the Founder and Director of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SHASS, program in Comparative Media Studies.

He has been awarded honorary professorships by the Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow and the Jiangnan University School of Design in Wuxi, China.

A social scientist with an interest in the impact of networked digital technologies on human behavior and society, Prof. Casalegno both teaches and leads advanced research at MIT, and designs interactive media to foster connections between people, information and physical places using cutting-edge information technology.

Between 2004 and 2011, he had a position as Lecturer at the MIT Media Lab Smart Cities group and from 2006 until 2011 co-directed the MIT Design Lab with Prof. William J. Mitchell.

From 2004 to 2007, he worked at Motorola, Inc. as a Technology and Product Innovation Analyst, designing pioneering products, experiences and services for mobile devices. Previously, from 1994 to 2000, he worked at Philips Design on connected communities and new media environments to inform design and product experience planning.

Dr. Casalegno holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Communication from the Sorbonne University, Paris V, with a focus on mediated communication and social interaction in networked communities and wired cities.

He has published several scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, books and articles. For the Living Memory connected community project he was awarded the Best Concept prize by the American Leading Industrial Designers I.D. Magazine, and the Silver Prize Design Concept by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
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Bernd Ebersberger
Professor for Innovation Management & Economics
MCI Management Center Innsbruck
Currently Prof. Ebersberger holds a professorship for economics and management of innovation with the Management Center Innsbruck MCI in Innsbruck, Austria. Additionally, he held an interim professorship for economics with the department of economics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz from Oct 2014-Feb 2015. His positions involve teaching, curriculum development, coordination of R&D activities and research. Additionally, since September 2013 he has been research fellow with the Berlin University of Technology, Faculty of Economics and Management — Innovation Economics. His research focusses on the quantitative analysis of international, interactive, and open innovation strategies with a strong focus on supporting strategic decisions of corporate and policy decision makers.
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Michael Friedl
Austrian Trade Commissioner for the US
Michael Friedl has been the Austrian Trade Commissioner for the US since September 2014. In this function he heads the office of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA for the US, which is based in New York. Prior to this posting, he was Deputy Trade Commissioner in Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi. Later he headed the offices in Washington DC and Tehran before being in charge of HR and personnel development at the ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA head office in Vienna. Michael holds an MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and a Master degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins, SAIS in Washington DC. In his spare time Michael loves to cook, run and read books on architecture.

ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA is Austria's official trade promotion authority. Outside of Austria, it operates with more than 110 offices in over 70 countries. ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA provides a broad range of intelligence and business development services for Austrian companies and their international business partners. Its goal is to generate more international business opportunities by promoting the products and services of Austrian businesses around the world, by helping companies and organizations outside of Austria to build strong relationships with Austrian companies and by promoting Austria as a place to invest in. The offices of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA in the U.S. (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Atlanta) support Austrian companies in doing business in the U.S. For U.S. partners, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA provides the local link to Austrian companies, products and services and Austria as an investment location in the heart of Europe. As official trade representations, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA offices provide a reliable source of information and help to reduce time, cost and risk of doing business with Austrian companies (see www.advantageaustria.org/us).
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John Hart
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
John Hart is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mitsui Career Development Chair at MIT. He has Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from MIT, and a B.S.E. degree from Michigan, all in Mechanical Engineering. At MIT, John leads the Mechanosynthesis Group (http://mechanosynthesis.mit.edu), which aims to advance the science and technology of advanced manufacturing in areas including additive manufacturing, nanostructured materials, origami-inspired engineering, and the integration of computation and automation to accelerate materials discovery and process performance. His work has been recognized by young investigator awards from NSF, ONR, AFOSR, DARPA, ASME, and SME; and he is the recipient of two R&D 100 awards. He is also the recent co-founder of two additive manufacturing startup companies, Desktop Metal and VulcanForms.
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Hiroshi Ishii
Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Associate Director of MIT Media Laboratory
Director of Tangible Media Group
MIT Media Lab
Hiroshi Ishii is a Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. He was named Associate Director at the Media Lab in May 2008. He is the director of the Tangible Media Group that he founded in 1995 to pursue new visions of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): http://tangible.media.mit.edu/vision/ Ishii and his team have presented their visions at a variety of scientific, design and artistic venues (including ACM SIGCHI, SIGGRAPH, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Milan Design Week, Cannes Lions Festival, Aspen Ideas Festival, Industrial Design Society of America, AIGA, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, Victoria and Albert Museum and NTT ICC) emphasizing that the development of vision requires the rigors of both scientific and artistic review. In 2006 Ishii was elected to the CHI Academy by ACM SIGCHI. Prior to joining the MIT Media Lab from 1988-1994, Ishii led a CSCW research group at NTT Human Interface Laboratories Japan, where he and his team invented the TeamWorkStation and the ClearBoard.
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Walter Koren
Director General
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Opening Remarks
Day 2, 9:00 - 9:15
2002 – Director General, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber – Advantage Austria
1997 - 2002 Trade Commissioner at the Austrian Trade Commission in Mexico Area of Jurisdiction: Mexico, Central America, Panama, Cuba
1994 - 1996 Managing Director, Office of the President, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
1992 - 1994 Special Assistant to Leopold Maderthaner, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
1988 - 1992 Deputy Trade Commissioner at the Austrian Trade Commission in Tokyo
1988 Interim Commercial Attaché at the Austrian Trade Commission in Seoul
1985 - 1988 Commercial Attaché at the Austrian Trade Commission in Tehran
1982 - 1985 Commercial Attaché at the Austrian Trade Commission in Guatemala, Area of Jurisdiction: Central America
1981 Joined the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) Advantage Austria, Austria’s official Foreign Trade Promotion Organisation
1977 - 1982 Studies of law at the Universities of Vienna, Graz and Salzburg Degree: Doctor of Law, Ph.D.
1974 - 1980 Studies of Commerce at the University of Graz and at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
Degree: Masters in Economics, MSc.
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Karl F. Koster
Executive Director
MIT Office of Corporate Relations/Industrial Liaison Program
Welcome and Introduction
Day 1, 9:00 - 9:30
Opening Remarks
Day 2, 9:00 - 9:15
Karl F. Koster is the Executive Director of the MIT Office of Corporate Relations. The Office of Corporate Relations includes the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, which celebrated 67 years of service to the Institute and its corporate partners in 2015.

In that capacity, Mr. Koster and his staff work with the leadership of MIT and senior corporate executives to design and implement strategies for fostering corporate partnerships with the Institute. Mr. Koster and his team have also worked to identify and design a number of major international programs for MIT, which have been characterized by the establishment of strong, programmatic linkages among universities, industry, and governments. Most recently these efforts have been extended to engage the surrounding innovation eco-system, including its vibrant startup and small company community, into MIT's global corporate and university networks.

Mr. Koster also serves as the Chairman of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), an organization that seeks to enhance the value of collaborative partnerships between universities and corporations.

Mr. Koster graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in geology and economics in 1974, and received a M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1980. At the Sloan School he concentrated in international business management and the management of technological innovation. Prior to returning to MIT, Mr. Koster worked as a management consultant in Europe, Latin America, and the United States on projects for private and public sector organizations.
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Steve Leeb
Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Wire Less Sensors
Day 1, 5:15 - 6:00
Steven B. Leeb Leeb, a professor of mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science, is widely known for his innovative research in power electronics, power monitoring and energy conversion. He has won a number of awards for research and teaching, including the MIT Harold E. Edgerton Award in 1998, the IEEE Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer in 1999 and the Eta Kappa Nu EECS Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2006. He was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2007, and has been a MacVicar Faculty Fellow since 2004.

Leeb was appointed to the new position of Instructional Labs Officer in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) on July 1, 2011.
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Christoph Leitl
President, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Welcome and Introduction
Day 1, 9:00 - 9:30
Networking Reception and Dinner at Palais Niederösterreich
(Herrengasse 13, A-1010 Vienna, Austria)
Day 1, 6:30 - 9:00

Personal Details
Born 29 March 1949 in Linz, Austria
Married, two children, two grandchildren

1967 Matura, High School, Linz Fadingerstrasse
1971 Degree in Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz
1973 PhD, Economic and Social Sciences, Johannes Kepler University Linz
1974 Hernstein Management Academy
1975 Internships at Zürcher Ziegeleien and Wienerberger Baufstoffindustrie (brickworks)

Professional Background
1977 - 1990 Managing Director, family company Bauhütte Leitl-Werke (brickworks)
Vice President, Austrian Association of Brick Manufacturers
1986 Established Baustoff Interhandel GmbH
Supervisory Board Member, Oberbank AG, Isoroc Holding AG,
MTB Beteiligungen AG, Bauhütte Leitl-Werke

Political Career
1966 Founding Chairman, European Youth (Europajugend), Linz
1976 Chairman, European Federal Movement, Upper Austrian Region
Vice Chairman, European Federal Movement of Austria
1982 - 1990 Chairman, ‘Young Industry Austria’
1985 - 1990 Elected Representative, Upper Austrian Regional Parliament
1990 - 2000 Member of the Government of the Federal State of Upper Austria with portfolio for economy, tourism, technology, energy, vocational training, regional planning and Europe.
1995 - 2000 Deputy Governor and Treasurer of the Federal State of Upper Austria
1995 - 2000 Member, Committee of the Regions (CoR), SME Division
2000 - Member, Executive Committee, Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP)

Austrian SME Union (ÖVP Wirtschaftsbund)
1999 - Chairman, Wirtschaftsbund — Upper Austrian Branch
1999 - President, Wirtschaftsbund — Central Office
2005 - 2009 President of the European SME Union
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
1980 - 1990 Member, Executive Committee, Austrian Association for Building Materials and the Ceramics Industry
2000 - President, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
2004 - Chairman, Social Insurance Institution for Trade & Industry
2001 - 2005 President, Eurochambres (Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry)
2006 - Honorary President of Eurochambres
2006 - Honorary President, Global Chamber Platform

Honorary Posts
- President, Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)
- President, OIER (Organisation for International Economic Relations) with
consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and the Council of Europe
- President, Raiffeisen Economic Forum, Upper Austria
- Member of the Foundation Board, Julius Raab Foundation
- Member, National Olympic Committee
- Vice President, Austrian Sports Aid Foundation (Österreichische Sporthilfe)
- Member of the Board, Austrian Academy of Sciences
- Co-President, AlpEuregio.BusinessClub
- Member of the Honorary Board, Energy Globe Foundation
- Member of the Foundation Committee, Foundation PRO ORIENTE
- President, International Forum for Culture and Economy, Linz (IKW)

Academic Posts
- Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Economics & Business Administration (International Trade Department)
- Princeton University
- Fudan University, Shanghai
- University of Cape Town
- T.C. Istanbul Commerce University and Marmara University
- MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- University of Lagos
- Stanford University

- Honorary Senator, Johannes Kepler University, Linz
- Honorary Senator, Vienna University of Economics & Business Administration
- Declaration of Honour of the City of New York
- Upper Austrian Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold
- Recipient of the Honorary Ring of the provincial capital of Linz
- Gold Medal of European Merit
- Maltese Cross
- Officer of the French Legion of Honour
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of the Kingdom of Jordan
- Commander with Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star, Sweden
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy
- Honorary Member, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)
- European Citizen´s Prize
- "Star of Romania" National Order in rank of Commander

Gardening, fishing, photography, hiking, skiing, philately
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Harald Mahrer
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Welcome and Introduction
Day 1, 9:00 - 9:30
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Carlo Ratti
Associate Professor of the Practice
Director, SENSEable City Laboratory
Director, MIT-Italy Program (MISTI)
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Cities That Learn About Us
Day 2, 10:00 - 10:45
An architect and engineer by training, Carlo Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Lab. He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. Ratti has co-authored over 200 publications and holds several patents. His work has been exhibited worldwide at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Design Museum Barcelona, the Science Museum in London, GAFTA in San Francisco and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. His Digital Water Pavilion at the 2008 World Expo was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of the Year. He has been included in Esquire Magazine’s Best and Brightest list, in Blueprint Magazine’s 25 People who will Change the World of Design and in Forbes Magazine’s People you need to know in 2011. Ratti was a presenter at TED 2011 and is serving as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Urban Management. He is a regular contributor to the architecture magazine Domus and the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. He has also written as an op-ed contributor for BBC, La Stampa, Scientific American and The New York Times.

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Donna Rhodes
Principal Research Scientist, Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
Director, Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative
MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)
Dr. Donna H. Rhodes is a principal research scientist in the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC)within IDSS. She is the director of the MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Initiative (SEAri). Prior to joining MIT in 2003, Dr. Rhodes held senior management positions in systems engineering and enterprise practices at IBM Federal Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Lucent Technologies.

Dr. Rhodes conducts research on human-model interaction, decision-making in model-centric environments, innovative approaches and methods for architecting and design of complex systems and enterprises, including predictive indicators of performance, empirical studies of engineering systems thinking and practice, and designing for uncertain futures. Her research is driven by the desire to more predicatively architect socio-technical systems to address significant societal needs in a dynamic world. She is involved in research across multiple sectors including defense, aerospace, transportation, energy and commercial products.

Dr. Rhodes received her Ph.D. in Systems Science from the T.J. Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University. She serves on industry and government advisory boards focused on advancement of systems practice and education, as well as on study panels for issues of national and international importance. She engages with government and industry leaders through collaborative research, consulting engagements and executive courses. She has been very involved in the evolution of the systems engineering field, including development of several university graduate programs. Dr. Rhodes is a past president and fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering, and a recipient of INCOSE's Founders Award and several distinguished service awards. She serves on the INCOSE Systems Engineering journal editorial board.
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Harald Schnidar
Harald started his career in academic skin cancer research. He switched later into biopharma industry, where initially as a project head he managed the preclinical and clinical development of a topical skin drug. During that time he invented also SCARLETRED’s main technologies and attracted the companies first investments.
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Vivienne Sze
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Vivienne Sze received the B.A.Sc. (Hons) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, in 2004, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, in 2006 and 2010 respectively. In 2011, she received the Jin-Au Kong Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Prize in Electrical Engineering at MIT.

She has been an Assistant Professor at MIT in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department since August 2013. Her research interests include energy-aware signal processing algorithms, and low-power circuit and system design for portable multimedia applications. Prior to joining MIT, she was a Member of Technical Staff in the Systems and Applications R&D Center at Texas Instruments (TI), Dallas, TX, where she designed low-power algorithms and architectures for video coding. She also represented TI at the international JCT-VC standardization body developing HEVC. Within the committee, she was the primary coordinator of the core experiment on coefficient scanning and coding, and has chaired/vice-chaired several ad hoc groups on entropy coding. She is a co-editor of ÒHigh Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC): Algorithms and ArchitecturesÓ (Springer, 2014).

Prof. Sze is a recipient of the 2016 AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Award, 2016 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2007 DAC/ISSCC Student Design Contest Award and a co-recipient of the 2008 A-SSCC Outstanding Design Award. She received the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Julie Payette fellowship in 2004, the NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships in 2005 and 2007, and the Texas Instruments Graduate Women's Fellowship for Leadership in Microelectronics in 2008.
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Amos Winter
Ratan N. Tata Career Development Assistant Professor
Director, Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Amos Winter is the Ratan N. Tata Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on machine and product design for developing and emerging markets. Prof. Winter earned a BS from Tufts University (2003) and an MS (2005) and PhD (2011) from MIT, all in mechanical engineering.
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Randall Wright
Senior Industrial Liaison Officer
MIT Office of Corporate Relations/Industrial Liaison Program
Randall S. Wright is a Senior Liaison Officer with MIT's Industrial Liaison Program. He manages the interface between the managements of companies, headquartered in the United States and Europe, and the senior administration and faculty of MIT.

As a Senior Liaison Officer for MIT, he leads teams of researchers and faculty members in providing on-going emerging technology intelligence and strategic advice for the world's leading technology companies. He is a sought-after speaker, delivering keynote speeches focused on emerging technology opportunities and challenges, and counter-intuitive insights in executive panels and discussions. Randall draws on extensive experience advising executives on a range of emerging technology areas including green buildings, water efficiency, energy storage, biofuels, advanced materials, and photovoltaics. He provides navigation and recommendations on the emerging technologies and adoption landscapes critical to future business growth, as well as creation, development, and execution of programs of research between industry and MIT.

Prior to becoming a Senior Liaison Officer for MIT, Randall was a Marketing Manager for Pfizer, Inc., a major U.S. pharmaceuticals company. He was also a Strategic Planning Analyst for Pennzoil Company--a Fortune 500 oil and natural resources company.

Randall is an invited lecturer at Northeastern University's Executive M.B.A. Program where he lectures on innovation and corporate strategy.
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