Michael Hofbaur directs the JOANNEUM RESEARCH ROBOTICS Institute since September 2014. Prior to this appointment he was professor for automation and control engineering at UMIT in Hall i. Tyrol and held researcher positions at Graz University of Technology and the AI and Space Systems Laboratories of M.I.T., Cambridge, USA.
He obtained the venia docendi for the scientific field of Automation and Complex Systems and the PhD in Electrical Engineering from Graz University of Technology in 2004 and 1999 respectively. During his time at UMIT, the Control and Automation Institute at Graz University of Technology and the M.I.T. he mainly worked in the fields of control theory, systems monitoring and diagnosis and mechatronic systems design with applications in the robotics, process industry and automotive domain.
Born in Conegliano (province of Treviso) in 1962, Sergio Barel graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua, later being awarded a Master's Degree in Business Administration by the Profingest Management School in Bologna. Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as a design engineer for Riva Calzoni Spa in Bologna.
From 1990 to 1993 he worked as Director of Experimentation and Technologies at Brovedani S.P.A.. Between 1993 and 1994 he worked for Industrie Ottiche Europee in Longarone as director of industrialization. In 1994 he returned to Brovedani as Technical Director, and later became Director of Operations. In 2007 he became General Manager, and in 2011 Managing Director. Since 2002 he has collaborated as Lecturer in MBA studies and management courses for the Profingest Management School and Alma Graduate School in Bologna. He became a Member of the Steering Committee for the Degree course in Logistics Engineering at the University of Trieste and collaborated with the University of Udine in drawing up study plans for their Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He acts as tutor for numerous theses with the Universities of Udine and Trieste. He also collaborated with the TECNOPOLIS institute in Bari in the development of technologies for artificial vision.
Co-founder of the Consorzio Keymec Centro di Innovazione, Ricerca e Formazione (Keymec Consortium Centre for Innovation, Research and Training) in San Vito al Tagliamento. Member of the Lean Experience Factory Management Body, San Vito al Tagliamento (Province of Pordenone). Since 2012, he has been Vice-Chairman of the Unione Industriali [Industrialists' Union], Pordenone, responsible for Efficiency, Safety and Environment.
In 2012 he became a Member of the Safety Committee of the National Confederation of Industries.
In 2013 he was elected President of Distretto Comet, "District for Components and Thermoelectromechanics", now COMET Cluster Metalmeccanica Friuli Venezia Giulia. He has been a Member of the General Committee of the National Confederation of Industries since 2016.