Speakers

Meet the speakers of the Falling Walls Lab Czech Republic 2021

speaker

Megi Mejdrechova

project
Breaking the Wall of Unhealthy Manual Production
problem
Many manufacturing processes are impossible to automate with today's technology. Therefore, humans must work on demanding routine operations in unhealthy conditions and production growth is limited.
solution

Robotic automation based on motion tracking and imitation. A set of hardware and software that tracks worker's motion, extracts his know-how, and generates optimal robot program automatically.

bio

My studies were shaped by the Czech Technical University in Prague, where I enrolled at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 2014. Already during the bachelors in Theoretical Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering, I got excited about new technologies. Therefore, I dedicated my further studies and work to robotics, automation, and industrial AI.

In 2020, I graduated from masters Mechatronics with honors. My diploma thesis won the Werner von Siemens award for the best thesis focused on the topic of Industry 4.0. Since then, I have been further developing the work towards an industrial ready solution.

I gained international experience while being as an exchange student for one term in Germany, Singapore and Canada. For two years, I have worked as a researcher at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics, where I helped with the development of machine learning solutions. Currently, I am starting a new position as robotics engineer in Munich.

speaker

Veronika Tůmová

project
Breaking the Wall of Food Production by Means of Aquaponics
problem
A major concern regarding the sustainability of modern agriculture is the complete reliance on manufactured, chemical fertilizers to produce food. How can we grow food without depleting our planet?
solution

Integration of animal and plant production systems, and nutrient reuse within the systems. Aquaponics is technology re-using waste from aquaculture for hydroponic plant growing in closed environment.

bio

My name is Veronika Tůmová, I am a PhD student focusing on aquaponics, which is a soiless food production method combining aquaculture and plant growing in hydroponic technology. My focus is on many aspects of the technology (researched in five-year grant), but mainly on food quality from aquaponics. Specifically, comparing effect of hydroponic, aquaponic and aquaponic fertilized nutrition on lettuce.

My aim is to bring aquaponics into the practice, since it uses fish "waste" - organic source of nutrients from the fish production to grow vegetables. Nowadays model of conventional agriculture strongly relies on inorganic fertilizers. We should rethink our agricultural models in order to grow food in a more sustainable way.

speaker

Tomáš Nováček

project
Breaking the Wall of Interaction in virtual reality
problem
The current controllers for virtual reality are not intuitive enough, and they require the user to hold or wear some devices, even though we could use the best tools we have – our hands.
solution

I combine data from multiple optical sensors to provide precise hand and finger tracking without any other device, so the users can use just their bare hands to control the virtual world.

bio

I love what I do, and I try to do it as best I can. At the beginning of my career, I specialized in developing web applications, but then I decided I want to try something new, so I started to develop desktop applications (especially for VR headset XTAL). This resulted in my doctoral thesis – User interface for virtual reality – at the Faculty of Information Technology at Czech Technical University in Prague, where I also teach.

Apart from that, I now work in Chaos Czech as a C++ developer for Corona renderer for Cinema 4D.

But I try to be also active in other aspects of life – I really love organizing events – whether it is just a get-together with my friends or an event for hundreds of people.

speaker

Michela Sanna

project
Breaking the Wall of 3D printing for energy applications
problem
Hydrogen represents a promising alternative to the use of fossil fuels. It can be produced from water using renewable sources of energy; however, this technology needs costly catalysts to be efficient.
solution

3D printing is a  cost-effective tool that allows to manifacture 3D devices. The addition of photoactive compounds to them can lead to efficient photoelectrochemical generation of hydrogen from water.

bio

Michela Sanna obtained a double Master's degree with honours in Chemical Sciences, specialized in Green Chemistry, at the University of Sassari (Italy) and at the University of Wroclaw (Poland). After graduation, she worked for three months at the University of Sassari as a post-graduate researcher.

She is currently enrolled in the PhD school of CEITEC Brno University of Technology in the field of Advanced Nanotechnology and Microtechnology. She is part of the research group “Future Energy and Innovation” led by Prof. Martin Pumera and her thesis is focused on the investigation of 2D materials for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution as a clean energy source. In 2020, she won the Brno PhD Talent competition and the Internal Grant Competition of the Brno University of Technology.

speaker

Antonín Šebela

project
Breaking the Wall of perinatal depression and anxiety
problem
Both depression and anxiety in pregnancy and pospartum have a huge negative impact on mum, baby, and whole family. There are many barriers in the treatment (availability, time, stigma, finances,...).
solution

Kogito app to reduce psychosocial stress. Kogito is tailored  to women´s needs, and is based in cognitive-behavioral therapy and peer support. Kogito breaks the barriers / wall of treatment.

bio

Antonin graduated from the 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University in 2015. Since then, he has been working as a researcher and psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany, Czech Republic.  Antonin´s main topic of professional interest is perinatal psychiatry. He is currently principal investigator of three grant projects oriented on innovations in mental health care for women in the perinatal period.

Antonín was on a number of internships abroad, such as at the Before After Baby Lab at Yale University, or at the Lifeline4Moms at the University of Massachusetts as mentee of professor Nancy Byatt. Antonin is married and a proud dad of two boys.


Photo: Jan Zátorský, Mafra

speaker

Lenka Venterová

project
Breaking the Wall of Virtual Reality in Teacher's Education
problem
Many teachers in the school environment must on daily bases work with pupils with different stages of autism.Virtual reality will help them to understand some of their problems and different behavior.
solution

Through virtual reality, provide teachers the world of autism. Help them to understand different behavior of these pupils and increase the chances of success in their inclusion in the education.

bio

PhDr. Lenka Venterová, Ph.D. - researcher at Tomas Bata University in Zlín. She completed her doctoral studies in the field of pedagogy and social pedagogy last year and her current topic of research is related to gifted students in a primary school environment. She also works for a non-profit organization which provides assistance to people who suffer from autistic spectrum disorders and their families. Her main focus is on Virtual Reality and how it can help people without the disorder to better comprehend the difficulties faced by those who do, and how VR can be used by everyone for educational purposes.

She regularly does presentations on these topics at various local and international conferences. She believes that everyone can be educated, it is simply a matter of finding the right way to do it.

speaker

Václav Navrátil

project
Breaking the Wall of Indoor Navigation
problem
Accurate real-time indoor positioning (20cm or better) is not achievable by the traditional methods, e.g. GNSS. The goal is to provide position indoors to an unlimited number of users.
solution

A self-adjusting, scalable, wireless-synchronized ultra-wide band network is deployed within the building. The user terminals (e.g. smartphones) locate themselves based on messages from the network.

bio

Vaclav Navratil is an expert in the field of localization, including indoor positioning, GNSS precise positioning techniques, he also focuses on RF measurements and instrumentation. He holds Ph.D. degree in radioelectronics from the Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Since 2012 he is with the Department of Radio Engineering of the CTU-FEE, currently he performs as Assistant Professor.

He is the president of the Czech Institute of Navigation and the European vice-chair of Civil GPS Service Interface Committee - International Information Subcommittee. In 2016, he served as a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering.

speaker

Pavel Ruzyak

project
Breaking the Wall of Filmmaking for Visually Impaired People
problem
I want to offer visually impaired people access to film-making. For this, basic software and hardware solutions are needed, so that the aim group can create films with little or no assistance at all.
solution

A special camera and editing software for blind people is the solution to filming process and to the editing. Both are designed to be as simple as possible, tactile and audio and speech-responsive.

bio

Living in Prague, Czech Republic. A film-maker with rich international experience who runs an original social initiative in development – a film club for visually impaired young people.

Based on this initiative and its specific needs was developed an additional innovative idea at a concept stage of connecting film, social and technology.

speaker

Jan Šmída

project
Breaking the Wall of Organ printing
problem
Children with complex inborn structural defects have to undergo several hearth surgeries in very young age. Hearth transplant is not possible because of size and children growth.
solution

Printing new hearth from reprogramed cells growth from patients own tissue. To create complex model with blood vessels we have to use parametric modelling so we can adjust model precisely for patients.

bio

I attended a grammar school at Náchod (Jirásek Gymnázium). During the studies I was thinking about going to a med school, but I have chosen architecture instead. I was admitted to the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University and during the studies I attended a parametric modelling course. I have completed the bachelor’s degree and in the last year I passed the med school entrance exam. I started studying at the 3rd Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Prague. I chose this faculty because of its new curriculum.

During the studies I was engaged in student groups. I was helping with creating new educational materials for the first-year university students focused on the function of cell and human body. After finishing med school, I became a member of the Czech Paediatric Society and the Czech Society of Cardiology. Currently I workin the office of my mother, whose specialty is…. We treat several patients with congenital heart defects. I like traveling, sports and scuba diving.

speaker

Sandra Thalerová

project
Breaking the Wall of In Vitro Modelling for Stroke Research
problem
Stroke is a very serious disease worldwide and current treatment is limited. Studying in patients is difficult, therefore it is necessary to find novel ways of approach.
solution

Implementation of (patho)physiologically relevant in vitro stroke models for testing efficacy and other characteristics of current and novel thrombolytic drugs.

bio

Sandra Thalerová is a Ph.D. student of biochemistry at Masaryk University and a student/junior researcher at Institute of Biophysics and FNUSA-ICRC STROKE BRNO research group. Her main focus includes enzymatic thrombolysis in various in vitro systems. She specializes in in vitro modeling of vasculature pathologies including ischemic stroke.

She has three years of experience in development of in vitro thrombolytic model systems including static, flow and microfluidic designs, and clots preparations and characterization.

speaker

Subodh Verma

project
Breaking the wall of seed development in the face of rising global temperature
problem
How high temperature (global warming) negatively affects seed development that ultimately influences the overall quality and quantity of seed production (a key issue of growing world population).
solution

A better understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms of seed development and the impact of environmental factors can provide new molecular tools for improving crops and agronomic practices.

bio

I am Subodh Verma, currently working as Marie Curie postdoc fellow at Central European Institute of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic. I did my master`s in Biotechnology from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi. For my master`s thesis, at NABI, Mohali, I studied the iron storage ferritin gene in various wheat varieties with the overall aim of improving iron content through biofortification of wheat seeds.

Later, I moved to NIPGR, New Delhi, India for my doctoral degree where I used integrated approaches to study chickpea seed development. Now as a postdoc, I am investigating the transcriptional regulation of auxin biosynthetic genes during embryo development in Arabidopsis, and how this mechanism is affected by climate change, particularly high temperatures.

speaker

Michaela Vojníková

project
Breaking the wall of nerve reconstruction
problem
Injuries of the peripheral nerve system up to 3 cm are difficult to self-recover. They lose control in a large area, which limits patients' regeneration.
solution

Neural bioceramic scaffold obtains longitudinally oriented pores, which can stimuli proper axonal regeneration. By choosing an accurate material, the recovery can be organized by itself.

bio

I graduated from the Faculty of Chemistry at the Brno University of Technology in the field of Medical Applications this year. Currently, I am starting my Ph.D. studies in a research group focused on Smart Nanodevices at CEITEC BUT. Science has always been an excitement for me and fortunately became my dream job. I was a student who wanted to work in a laboratory beyond the required time, so I started my race in the first year of university studying.

At the beginning of my career, I was focused on the development of bioceramic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Little by little, I have tried to find other possible ways of bioceramic materials applications in nerve tissue engineering. Now, I am expanding my knowledge by studying nanocarriers for targeted cancer therapy. My calling is to develop several medical devices easily and cheaply to make complicated medical treatments accessible for all people in the world.

speaker

Gideon Vos

project
Breaking the Walls of Black Hole Reconstruction
problem
It became clear over the last 20 years that gravity can be reduced to a quantum system on the edge of the universe. The question: how is the geometry of gravity hidden in this abstract description?
solution

Just like in gravity, we can associate a geometry to the energy distribution of the edge-system quantum states.

bio

Mathematics is a form of art. This is a statement often considered obvious to those in the mathematical community and surprising to those on the outside. The puzzles that remain in contemporary black hole physics are deep and often fall at the interface of theoretical physics and pure mathematics. This is where my interest comes in, I have an academic background in both mathematics and physics before I pursued a doctoral degree in theoretical physics in the Netherlands.

I am now currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Central European Institute for Cosmology here in the Czech republic, where I continue my search into the underlying geometry that lies behind quantum mechanics.

speaker

Katarina Novčić

project
Falling Wall of Increased Fossil Fuel Consumption
problem
The worldwide energy consumption mostly comes from non-renewable sources, such as fossil fuels. Once they are used up they cannot be replaced, which causes the current energy and environmental crisis.
solution

Turning to renewable and sustainable energy sources and switching to the green hydrogen cycle. We are working on  2D catalytic materials for the clean electrochemical hydrogen production.

bio

Katarina Novčić completed her bachelor and master studies at Faculty of Physical Chemistry, the University of Belgrade in Serbia, where she worked on graphene-based materials for energy-related applications. After that she moved to the Czech Republic and joined Prof. Dr. Martin Pumera`s research group Future Energy and Innovation Laboratory at CEITEC Brno University of Technology, where she works now. Katarina won two competitions for PhD students, the Internal Grant Competition of the Brno University of Technology (2020) and Internal Grant CEITEC (Junior) Specific Research (2021).

In light of the current energy and environmental problems, her PhD thesis is focusing on the developement of 2D electrocatalytic materials for energy conversion and storage application.

speaker

Çağatay M. Oral

project
Breaking the Wall of Emerging Contaminants
problem
The current environmental remediation systems cannot meet the high demand required to remove emerging contaminants, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
solution

Micro/nanorobots, with intrinsic motion and targeting capabilities, provide the possibility to adsorb or degrade emerging contaminants autonomously.

bio

Çağatay M. Oral is a Ph.D. student at Future Energy and Innovation Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Martin Pumera at Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno, Czech Republic.

Prior to his Ph.D. studies, he received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department at Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. As an undergraduate and graduate researcher at METU, he focused on the synthesis of ceramic particles for biomedical applications. Currently, he is working on micro-/nanorobots for environmental and biomedical applications.

MODERATOR

Aleš Vlk

Aleš Vlk obtained his master degree in sociology at the Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts, and his doctoral degree at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. After working at the European University Association in Brussels, CzechInvest, and the Ministry of Education, he has enjoyed for almost two decades his role as a lecturer, facilitator and moderator as well as a teacher at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Charles University. In 2016 relaunched the portal Věda a výzkum.cz focusing on science policy and research, development and innovation.

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