Advisory Board

Dr. Luigi del Re is a full professor at the Institute for Design and Control of Mechatronical Systems at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. Dr. del Re obtained the MSEE at the ETH Zurich, became project manager in South America and Italy, and returned to earn his PhD at the mechanical engineering faculty in automatic control at ETH Zurich. Dr. del Re became a research associate at the Institute of Automatic Control of ETH Zurich, and later worked at The Swatch Group. His focus is concentrated in nonlinear systems and applied control systems, in particular approximate methods, as well as identification; with applications in the field of engine and vehicle technology and biomedicine.
Dr. Emilio Frazzoli is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, and the Operations Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2004 Dr. Frazzoli was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles from 2004 to 2006. He is currently the Lead Principal Investigator of the Future Urban Mobility IRG of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). Dr. Frazzoli was the recipient of a NSF CAREER award in 2002.
Dr. Marco Pavone is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering, the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and in the Information Systems Laboratory. Before joining Stanford, he was a Research Technologist within the Robotics Section at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. Dr. Pavone’s areas of expertise lie in the fields of control and robotics. His main research interests are in the development of methodologies for the analysis, design, and control of autonomous systems, with an emphasis on large-scale robotic networks and autonomous aerospace vehicles. Dr. Pavone is a recipient of a NASA Early Career Faculty award, a Hellman Faculty Scholar Award, and was named NASA NIAC Fellow in 2011.
Dr. Josef Mendler is CEO of ACENTISS GmbH in Munich, Germany. Dr. Mendler received his PhD 1994 from the Technical University of Munich, Germany in the field of composite technologies. In 1995 he joined Fairchild Dornier as a leading stress engineer in Fairchild Dornier’s 328, 728 and 928 programs. From 1999 to 2001 the served as a part time lecturer at the University of Applied Science Munich. Dr. Mendler worked at EADS Military in different leadership and management positions until 2008. Since 2008 he is leading ACENTISS GmbH ( as CEO.
Dr. Horst Schmidt-Bischoffshausen, a Strategist in technology innovations, is a technology and market expert who worked primarily in research and technology developments in the aerospace and automotive sector for nearly his entire career. He is a professor in technology and innovation management, member of the executive committee of UVS International in Paris, and consultant to start-up companies, SMEs and public organizations.
Uwe Nortmann is a senior manager for UAS services at EADS Deutschland GmbH. Born in the area of Kassel, Germany he started his career as a glider pilot in 1965. He received his Masters in aeronautics in 1978 from TH Darmstadt. He held a commercial pilot license from 1977 to 2002 and he was manager of the flying school Dornier Immenstaad from 1980 to 1991. He spent most of his professional life with EADS where he was CEO of Eurobridge GmbH from 1996 to 2000. He is still an active pilot instructor and also actively involved in the industrial association EuroCAE.
Dr. Sebastian Schneider is a German and European Patent Attorney. Born in Upper Austria, he graduated from the University of Linz, Austria, in 2001 with a Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering, and received an engineering doctorate from the University of Linz, Austria, in 2005. Since 2009 he is a German and European Patent Attorney and a partner at Westphal, Mussgnug and Partner Patent Attorneys since 2010. He finished the LL.M. program (European IP law) at the University of Hagen, Germany, in 2013..
Sonja ZierhutSonya Zierhut, MBA is the CEO of Pankl Aerospace Systems in Cerritos. Ms. Zierhut is responsible for Pankl Aerospace Systems’ worldwide sales & marketing activities as well as the management of its manufacturing plants in the US and Europe.
Ms. Zierhut joined Pankl in 2003, as International Sales Manager and was appointed to be its CEO in October 2006. During her tenure as the CEO, she has successfully modernized the manufacturing and business operations in the US, with significant investments in the state of art machine capabilities. Before joining Pankl, Ms. Zierhut held senior sales assignments in Europe and New York with AMAG Rolling, a large Austrian metals company. Ms. Zierhut holds a Bachelor degree in Business and a MBA from Heriot Watt University in the UK.