Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Prof. Peter Plapper,
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Plapper was born in Mannheim, Germany on September 16th 1963. In 1986 he completed his studies on Mechanical Engineering / Design at TU Kaiserslautern with the degree Dipl.-Ing. His doctoral thesis at the laboratory of tool machines (WZL) of RWTH Aachen, Germany was awarded with the Borchers Medal for scientific excellence in 1993.
Since 1994, he worked for Adam Opel and General Motors in different management positions in Manufacturing Engineering (ME) with increasing responsibility. He developed innovative production technologies, implemented tool machines and coordinated the refurbishment of robotic assembly lines. From 1998 until 2002 he joined the Tech Center of GM in Michigan, USA where he shaped the global manufacturing strategy for Body Shop and General Assembly. During his industrial career he worked on many different robot applications, led the installation of assembly lines all European GM vehicle plants and was responsible as HEAD of MANUFACTURING Engineering for the equipment of all shops in plant Russelsheim. Following his assignment as MANAGER ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES EUROPE Peter Plapper was appointed in 2010 FULL-PROFESSOR for manufacturing engineering to the University of Luxembourg.
Prof. Plapper is member of AIM (European Academy of Industrial Management), VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure), and Luxembourg Materials and Production Cluster Steering Committee. Since 2014 he is the DIRECTOR of the new Master program “Master of Science in Engineering – Sustainable Product Creation”. For the current list of publications please visit 

Prof. Mohamed Al-Hussein
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein is a professor at the University of Alberta, Hole School of Construction Engineering, and a highly sought researcher and consultant in the areas of construction automation, lean construction, process improvement, equipment selection and utilization, CO2 emission quantification and reduction, urban development, and building information modelling.
Dr. Al-Hussein’s current research initiatives include prototyping of automated and semi-automated machinery for fabrication of steel and wood-framed construction components, application of lean and ergonomic principles to improve the safety and productivity of industrialization construction operations, and development of plant layout and process improvement measures for panelized and modular construction. Dr. Al-Hussein holds the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction, and is Director of the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering. Dr. Al-Hussein’s research has been published in well over 200 peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Prof. Pierre Mertiny,
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Pierre Mertiny has focused his research on advanced polymer composite materials, including material behavior, damage mechanisms, failure prediction and structural health monitoring under multiaxial loadings; nanocomposite materials and adhesively bonded joints. Component fabrication by filament winding is a particular area of expertise.
Of special interest is the filament-winding manufacturing method and its application to the fabrication of components with rotational symmetry.
Research projects primarily involve components for the energy sector, e.g. piping and vessels, energy storage flywheels.
Further information about Dr.Mertiny's research can be found on the Webpages of the Advanced Composite Materials Engineering Group.

Prof. Javad Dargahi
Concordia University, Canada

Dr. Dargahi is a professor in the Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering Department of Concordia University. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from UK, and his Ph.D. degree from Glasgow Caledonian University in the area of “Robotic tactile sensing”. He was a Senior Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Micromachining/Medical Robotics Group at Simon Fraser University. His research area includes: Design and fabrication of haptic sensors and feedback systems for minimally invasive surgery and robotics. Dr. Dargahi has developed innovative methods implementing mechatronics in medicine and has written a book with the title of “Mechatronics in Medicine”. He has authored over 170 journal and conference articles, three books published by McGraw-Hill and Wiley, and a few patents in the area of his research. One of his books “Artificial Tactile Sensing in Biomedical Engineering” was the runner-up for the prestige PROSE award, considered as Oscars of the Association of American Publishers. Professor Dargahi was a principal reviewer of several major NASA proposals in the area of “Crew health and performance in space exploration mission”. Dr. Dargahi is among the 10 top university professors in Montreal that recently received a major research and training initiative by the federal funding agency.

Title-- Haptic feedback in Robot-assisted Cardiovascular Interventions
Abstract-- Cardiac diseases are recognized as the leading cause of mortality, hospitalization, and medical drug prescription in the industrial countries, e.g. Canada and the USA. The gold standard in the minimally invasive treatment of the coronary artery stenosis is the percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI). In this procedure, a guidewire is introduced into an artery and guided towards the stenosis. A transcatheter balloon or stent angioplasty is performed once the proper placement of the wire is confirmed visually.
The robotic PCI systems have become commercially available since 2007. The robotic PCI systems not only have led to significantly superior clinical outcomes, but also resulted in reduced X-Ray dosage absorbed by the patient and physician. In addition, they have offered more precision in the measurement of stenosis length and stent size. Further more, they have facilitated the dexterous stent or balloon deployment, and reduced the ergonomic concerns for the surgical staffs. A robotic PCI system is comprised of a surgeon console and a surgical robot. A control software monitors feedbacks from tactile sensors on the robot and utilizes control algorithms to mediate the translation of the commands from surgeon console to the surgical robot. In spite of all the advantages, the loss of haptic feedback during surgery is the top shortcoming of the current robotic PCI systems. Many studies have identified the absence of haptic feedback as an origin for complications during the operations.
The current research in our lab on the development of haptic system for robot-assisted cardiovascular interventional surgeries is divided into three fields: design and development of sensorless methods for force measurement, miniaturized optical tactile sensors, and strategies for force control of highly flexible catheters. In this plenary speach, the current state of research on the tactile sensors, haptic rendering, and sensor less techniques for haptic force feedback during robotic PCI will be presented.

Prof. Mahdi Tavakoli,
University of Alberta, Canada

Mahdi Tavakoli received his BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ferdowsi University and K.N. Toosi University, Iran, in 1996 and 1999, respectively. He then received his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, in 2005. In 2006, he was a post-doctoral research associate at Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), London, ON, Canada. In 2007-2008, and prior to joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta, Dr. Tavakoli was an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow with the BioRobotics Laboratory of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Dr. Tavakoli’s research interests broadly involve the areas of robotics and systems control. Specifically, his research focuses on haptics and teleoperation control, medical robotics, and image-guided surgery. Dr. Tavakoli is the first author of the book “Haptics for Teleoperated Surgical Robotic Systems” (World Scientific, 2008). He is currently an Associate Professor and Program Director (Electrical Engineering) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Prof.Viacheslav Pshikhopov
Southern Federal University, Russian Federation

Professor Viacheslav Pshikhopov was born in Rostov region, Russia, on January 23, 1963. In 1986 he received the degree of a certified engineer in Automation and Remote Control in the Taganrog Institute of Radio Engineering. In 2009 he received the degree of the Doctor of science specializing in System Analysis, Control and Data Processing in Don State Technical University, Rostov on Don. In 2011 he received the title of a full professor at Southern Federal University.
Prof. Pshikhopov is the head of the leading scientific school of Russian Federation in the area of robotics and control systems. He has published about 200 research works in this area, including monographs in leading publishing houses of Russia and the world.
Under his leadership, a number of projects were successfully carried out to create the intelligent control systems of robotic platforms in the interests of the Space Agency of China, the European Commission, Russian ministries and departments.
Prof. Pshikhopov is the director of the Research and Development Institute of Robotics and Control Systems of Southern Federal University and the head of the Expert council of the National Center for development of the technologies and basic elements of robotics, Moscow. He is a member of editorial boards of several international and Russian science journals.

Invited Speeches

Prof. Takashi Harada
Kindai University, Japan

Professor Takashi Harada received his B.Eng. (1985) and M.Eng. (1987) from Osaka University, Division of Mechanical Engineering, following which he worked in several research and development divisions in the Japanese machine manufacturing industry for 19 years. Based on research accomplished, he developed new technologies and products relating to industrial robots and machine tools. Over the years, he has received several incentive awards and a young engineer award by the company and academic societies. He received his D.Eng. from Osaka University in 2000.
He worked in Kindai University 2006, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering. His main subject of research is precision mechanical engineering, specifically, robust measurement and control of mechanical systems in an actual environment. He worked in McGill University, Centre for Intelligent Machines as a visiting professor in 2012. Recently, He has been focusing on the design and control of parallel mechanisms, and analysis of precision grinding works. He received the JSME Medal for Outstanding Paper from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers and Best Conference Paper Award at IEEE ROBIO 2010 (International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics).

Title--Enlargement of the translational and rotational workspace of parallel robots
Parallel robot has excellent characteristics such as high speed, high precision and high rigidity. However, mechanical collisions between limbs, and complexly existing singular configurations restrict its workspace. In this paper, firstly, methods for expanding the translational workspace of the parallel robot are discussed. Parallel robot has multiple solutions of the inverse and forward kinematics. By changing its configurations from one solution to another, the parallel robot can expand its translational workspace. However, conventional non-redundant parallel robot encounters singularity between the changing mode. Singularity free mode changes of the parallel robot by redundant actuation and asymmetrical design are introduced. Next, methods for expanding the rotational workspace of the parallel robot are shown. In order to achieve the large rotation, some mechanical gimmicks by gears, pulleys, and helical joints have been embedded in the moving part. A novel differential screw-nut mechanism for expanding the rotational workspace of the parallel robot is introduced.

Hassan HosseinNia, PhD
TU Delft, Netherlands

Hassan HosseinNia is an assistant professor in mechatronic system design at TU Delft, Netherlands. He received his PhD degree with honor in electrical engineering specializing in automatic control: application in mechatronics in 2013. His main research interests are in distributed actuation for mechatronic system design and motion control using fractional-order control, hybrid control, and iterative learning control. He has published more than 80 papers in international conferences, journals, special issues, and chapters in book. Hassan has an industrial background working as an R&D researcher at ABB corporate research in Sweden. Currently, he is developing high performance distributed actuator, and precision motion control for high-tech mechatronic system.

Title-- Precision motion control for high-tech Mechatronics
--The high-tech mechatronics is highly competitive and requires machines to run with ever-increasing speed and precision. The need for high speed has resulted in system design favouring mass reduction of moving parts; hence increasing their compliance. Further the performance specifications of control have also become extremely demanding. Classical Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control still applied in 95% of high-tech industry is no longer sufficient to meet these challenges. Advanced motion controllers are either so complex or incompatible with industry standard. Dr. HosseinNia and his research group are developing new generation of motion control which compatible with the industry standard and widely applicable in high-tech mechatronic system. In this talk, Dr. HosseinNia will review the requirements of high-tech mechatronic system and studies the current state of the art motion control in his research group. In addition, nonlinear precision control as a current activity of mechatronic system design group at TU Delft will be presented.