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2017 Speakers

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Christos Chantzaras

Christos has been fascinated by how architecture can affect innovation and entrepreneurship since he graduated from the Technical University of Munich a decade ago. After obtaining diplomas in both architecture and management, he first started working as an architect on housing, office and innovation spaces, and later as a planning director and strategy consultant for large-scale research and production facilities. His projects took Christos to China for several years, where he co-directed the branch office of an architectural firm. He then moved to Berlin to focus on the strategic development of early-stage building projects in Europe and the US. He set up an interdisciplinary team that looked into broadening the range of architecture’s applicable areas, but felt this did not have enough impact on his initial problem.

Christos decided to take a break from industry and re-direct experiences he gained at the interface of organizational change, innovation research and architecture to an academic career. As researcher and lecturer at the TUM Department of Architecture, his mission is to open the field of architecture by introducing co-creation and innovation. In his doctoral thesis, he investigates how architectural thinking and tools can be applied to the analysis and design of innovation processes. Through his initiative and deep-seated belief in expanding traditional architectural thinking and applicability, he is supporting the department to transform its research lab into an Architecture Research Incubator. Expanding the definition of architecture is a long process, almost like a marathon, which perfectly suits Christos and his passion for long-distance running.

Ramona Hacker

Ramona was born and raised in Munich. She finished school with her ‘Abitur’, and after briefly exploring university life, she started training as a management assistant for marketing communications. At some point, she realized that this was not enough and began studying English and American Studies with a minor in the History of Arts and Cultures in the University of Augsburg. She is now following up with a Masters in World Heritage Studies at the BTU Cottbus.

During her studies, Ramona volunteered at a local soccer club and later for the student organization AIESEC, which matches students to internships and volunteering jobs abroad. It was this voluntary work that led her to the topic of her talk at TEDxTUM, which can be quite unexpected within the environment of a technical university - emotional intelligence. Ramona feels most in her element when she’s around people and traveling, and she can’t wait to meet the TEDxTUM audience.

Angelika Kneidl

Angelika is an expert in modelling and simulating crowd behaviour. Since first hearing of the field, Angelika has passionately sought to notice patterns in daily life and imitate the nuances of human behaviour in computers.
Angelika completed her PhD thesis at Technische Universität München in 2013, with a focus on how to model pedestrians’ navigational behaviour in microscopic crowd simulations. Following her doctorate, Angelika founded accu:rate together with Florian Sesser. Their company offers SaaS and consulting services in pedestrian dynamics simulation. This can include modelling and visualizing the behavior of large crowds at events, and whenever many people share a common space. During the last three years, Angelika has collaborated extensively with crowd managers, building planners, safety experts and infrastructural planners to optimize pedestrian flows, improve building layouts and ensure safety at events. Iconic companies and authorities are among accu:rate’s clients: Neuschwanstein Castle, Munich Airport, and major event managers HanseSail in Rostock and “Landshuter Hochzeit 1475". In February 2017, accu:rate launched the crowd simulation software crowd:it.
Today, Angelika shares her knowledge by speaking at international research events and industry conferences. Most importantly, by pursuing teaching positions at several universities, Angelika wishes to pass on her knowledge to students and inspire the next generation to pursue crowd modelling and simulation. Ultimately, Angelika’s hope is that building models becomes more intuitive and human-centered.

Manuel Opitz

As a child, Manuel dreamed of becoming a great scientist, but he was soon to realize that he was too inquisitive to stick to one single topic of interest. His thirst for exploration led him to study any new technology that he came across, to understand its potential. After majoring in industrial engineering at RWTH Aachen with detours to bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin, he gained practical experience in technology scouting and innovation management in Germany, China and Switzerland. He then pursued an MBA program at Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris and went on to join an IP brokerage startup, where he was responsible for medical and production technology patents.

In 2016, Manuel co-founded Mecuris, with a team of experienced entrepreneurs, physicians, designers, and experts in computer vision and machine learning. Together they move orthopaedic care into the digital world by bringing together 3D technologies into one intuitive solution platform for prosthetics and orthotics design. Mecuris envisions a future in which medical professionals are empowered to 3D-print prostheses and braces within 48 hours, and patients can co-design their own devices.

Today, Manuel analyzes orthopedic production processes to identify areas of high automation potential, through the aid of digital tailoring, for all parties involved - doctors, technicians and patients. As a regular speaker at additive manufacturing and medical technology congresses, he aims to bring healthcare into the 21st century through better integration of digitization and 3D printing.

Laura Fabbietti

Though an avid literature enthusiast in high school, Laura Fabbietti decided it was too static to study at university, so instead to dedicate her life to what she thought was the most difficult subject ever: physics. She loved three-dimensional thinking and the idea of building detectors to measure particles and learn about what we think is the story of our universe.

Today, Laura’s work is centered around hadron physics, a branch of nuclear physics that tries to understand how particles interact. Born close to the mountains in Bergamo, Italy, she studied in Milan and came to Munich 19 years ago, first to obtain her PhD and later succeeding her advisor to become the professor for Dense and Strange Hadronic Matter at TUM. Her group focuses on studying the behavior of quarks and hadrons, important for the study and characterization of neutron stars.

When she’s not working, Laura watches TV shows and knits, and has been a running junkie for 30 years. She also really enjoys going to church. Laura likes to cook for and entertain her friends to thank them for being patient with her, and loves Munich for its ability to simultaneously feel like a little village as well as a sinful city.