Keynote and Honorary speakers

Keynotes and Honorary Speakers

Please welcome our esteemed keynote speakers, individuals who embody expertise, passion, and transformative vision. Prepare to be inspired as they share their unique insights and ignite the spark of innovation within each of us.

Keynote Speeches

Keynote Speeches
Prof. Dr. Torbjørn H. Netland28 August 2024
Prof. Dr. Julia Arlinghaus29 August 2024
Prof. Dr. Alexandre Dolgui29 August 2024, Gala Dinner Keynote
Prof. Dr. Andreas Kugi30 August 2024
  • Prof. Dr. Torbjørn H. Netland - Augmented Intelligence for Next-Level Manufacturing Excellence


    Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, ETH Zürich


    In this keynote, Prof. Netland presents his lab’s research on how innovative technologies drive transformative improvements in leading manufacturing firms. His talk highlights the crucial synergy between data and human expertise, showcasing the journey toward human-centric, sustainable, and highly autonomous manufacturing systems. A transformative technology is the Manufacturing Analytics System (MAS), a proposed new class of software for manufacturing companies. Prof. Netland explores real-world examples and insights into how augmented intelligence via MAS is reshaping the future of production management. This keynote relates to SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.

  • Prof. Dr. Julia Arlinghaus - A Major Step Towards the Factory of the Future?! – How Autonomous Vehicles as Self-driving Assembly Items can Replace Conveyor Technology in Automotive Assembly Systems


    Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF


    The automotive industry is facing the transition to autonomous vehicles. This can mean novel challenges, but also chances for the redesign of assembly systems. This talk expands the idea of matrix production and explores how to exploit self-driving of autonomous cars already in an early assembly stage. Scrutinizing traditional assembly sequences, opens up potentials of up to 50% reduction of assembly takts requiring conveyor technology. This may result in a reduction of investments into material handling technology of up to 30% and may increase flexibility and changeability beyond the performance of AGV-based systems.

    The talk shows minimal technical and procedural requirements to exploit self-driving functions in assembly environments. Encompassing case studies from different green and brownfield assembly systems of one of the world leading OEMs serve as the basis to show the necessary reorganization of assembly sequences and consequences for assembly structures as well as assembly performance.

  • Prof. Dr. Alexandre Dolgui - Information control problems in manufacturing: history of IFAC INCOM symposium


    Department of Automation, Production and Computer Sciences at IMT Atlantique, Nantes, France


    Prof. Dr. Alexandre Dolgui, Fellow of IISE and Head of Department Automation, Production and Computer Sciences at IMT Atlantique, campus in Nantes, France, the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Production Research (IJPR) and the General/IPC Chair of IFAC symposiums INCOM 2006, INCOM 2009, INCOM 2012 and INCOM 2015, formed chair of IFAC TC 5.2 (currently vice-chair) will present the history of INCOM symposiums, the specific place of INCOM in our scientific community, relations with IJPR and other journals, evolution of topics over the time, main current tendencies, new challenges and cutting edge problems in Manufacturing System and Supply Chain Engineering.

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Kugi - Advanced Control for Sustainable Autonomous Manufacturing


    AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
    Automation and Control Institute (ACIN), TU Wien


    Modern automation technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) have enormous transformative potential, particularly also in manufacturing. While classical automation is organized in (hierarchical) control loops, which typically perform the sequential steps to sense, analyse, calculate, and finally act on the system, modern methods in AI, machine learning, sensor fusion, and real-time optimization raise this traditional sensing-action feedback loop to a higher level where whole situations are perceived, analysed, and understood, and decisions are made at the cognitive level. The degree of maturity and sophistication of these AI-enabled automation loops determines how much the system achieves a certain level of autonomy. New automation architectures containing high-performance industrial edge computing and networking platforms pave the way for including more control intelligence in the production process to optimize the resources (energy, raw material, water), minimize scrap, improve the product quality and cost efficiency, and help to mitigate the shortage of skilled personnel.

    Mathematical models of the underlying manufacturing process and product are crucial in developing advanced control, estimation, learning, and optimization strategies. We focus on hybrid modelling approaches combining first principles and data-driven techniques. The models considered are hyper-real-time capable, i.e., they can be executed more than ten times faster than in real time to enable online prediction and optimization. Manufacturing processes usually have many sensor systems for various quantities, providing multi-modal observations with different spatial distributions on different temporal scales. However, the quantities of interest, like the final product properties, often cannot be measured inline but only after the last production step. There is a huge potential to combine physics-based models with statistical/machine learning methods to fuse all the information available to predict these desired quantities dynamically during the manufacturing process. This is also the basis for designing advanced control concepts that can adaptively correct deviations in real time and account for parameter variations of the raw material or disturbances in the upstream process steps. For this, we propose methods for advanced process control incorporating flexible learning and optimization features and transferring existing knowledge of sensor fusion to the process control domain.

    This talk will discuss several advanced control concepts based on different industrial examples from the manufacturing industry.

  • Caroline Viarouge - How European manufacturing is shaping our greener and digital future.


    EIT Manufacturing


    The manufacturing industry is a global base for prosperity and key to Europe’s economic, social and environmental sustainability, acting as the main driver of industrial innovation, job creation and growth for the European society.

    The European manufacturing sector is currently undergoing green and digital transitions to become more sustainable, adopting circular economy principles to transform Europe into the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Going through these major transformations, the industry strives to retain leadership in a competitive global landscape, accelerating innovation and attracting investments.

    On this journey, it is critical for European manufacturers to embrace digitalisation to achieve leaner operations and boost profitability and competitiveness. The lack of workers with the right skills, however, is one of the biggest constraints to the successful green and digital transitions. It is therefore equally important to train the sector’s workforce and develop their skills and competences to match the industry’s current and future needs.

    As a public-private partnership, co-funded by the European Union, EIT Manufacturing has a clear purpose to improve people’s lives through sustainable manufacturing. This purpose is accompanied by the mission to connect manufacturing players by promoting talent and entrepreneurship to accelerate sustainable innovation in Europe.

    During this presentation, CEO Caroline Viarouge will elaborate how EIT Manufacturing stimulates manufacturing ecosystems and supports European manufacturing companies, research institutions and universities with various instruments and activities, including talent reskilling and upskilling via educational programmes, as well as supporting startups through various calls, Access-to-Market and Access-to-Finance services, co-investment opportunities, and coaching and support in commercial expansion.

Introducing our Keynotes and Honorary Speakers

Photo of Torbjorn Netland

Prof. Dr. Torbjørn H. Netland


Prof. Dr. Torbjørn H. Netland is Full Professor and the Head of Chair of Production and Operations Management (POM) at ETH Zurich:

He is a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, a Fellow of the European Academy for Industrial Management, President of the POMS College of Operational Excellence, and a Fellow of the European Academy for Industrial Management. He has served on the Board of the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA).

Netland’s award-​winning research on production improvement is performed in close cooperation with global companies. It appears in leading peer-​reviewed journals, including Management Science, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, and the International Journal of Production Research, among others. He serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Operations Management. 

Netland is the co-​author of the 800-​page textbook “Introduction to Manufacturing: An Industrial Engineering and Management Perspective” (Routledge, 2022).

He is the recipient of two prestigious Shingo Research Awards, the 2023 Jack Meredith Best Paper Award of the Journal of Operations Management, POMS Excellence in Industry Engagement Award 2023 Honorable Mention, and numerous teaching awards, including two VSETH Golden Owls. He has also been awarded for his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. Netland is co-​founder of EthonAI (www.ethon.aicall_made)—a startup offering state-​of-the-art AI solutions for quality management.

Photo of Julia Arlinghaus

Prof. Dr. Julia Arlinghaus


Prof. Dr. Julia Arlinghaus holds the Chair of Production Systems and Automation in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. Moreover, she is the Director of the Fraunhofer Insitute for Factory Operation and Automation. After her studies of Management and Engineering at the University of Bremen, Germany and Tokyo University, Japan, she received her PhD degree in 2011 from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. She has worked as a consultant for operational excellence and lean management at Porsche before she accepted the appointment as a Professor of Network Optimization in Production and Logistics at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany in 2013 and 2017 as Chair of Management of Industry 4.0 at RWTH Aachen University. Together with her team, she consults companies in questions on smart and net zero energy factories and supply chains, implementation of production planning and control systems, transformation towards digital and efficient production processes.


Phooto of Andreas Kugi

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kugi


Andreas Kugi has been the Scientific Director of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology since 07/2023 and a full professor for complex dynamical systems at Technische Universität Wien, Austria, since 2007. He received a Dipl.-Ing. degree in Electrical Engineering from TU Graz, Austria, in 1992 and a Ph.D. (Dr.techn.) from the Johannes Kepler Universität (JKU), Linz, Austria, in 1995. In 2000, he got the Habilitation in the field of control theory and automatic control, and he was a full professor of system theory and automatic control at Saarland University in Germany from 2002 to 2007. From 2014 to 2021, Andreas Kugi was the head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Model-Based Process Control in the Steel Industry (, and from 2017-2022 he was the head of the Center for Vision, Automation & Control at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (

His main research interests include the modeling, control, and optimization of complex dynamical systems, mechatronic system design, robotics, and process automation. He has collaborated with more than 40 national and international companies in the last few years. Andreas Kugi has published more than 350 full peer-reviewed scientific papers (ORCID ID, is the inventor or co-inventor of 149 patents in 43 patent families (source 12/2022) and has supervised more than 50 completed Ph.D. dissertations.

Apart from many other activities, Andreas Kugi was Editor-in-Chief (2010-2017), is now Honorary Editor of the IFAC Journal Control Engineering Practice. He received the IFAC Mechatronic Systems Outstanding Investigator Award in 2022 and, together with his research group, 16 best paper awards. He is a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).

Photo of Alexandre Dolgui

Prof. Dr. Alexandre Dolgui

Gala Dinner Keynote


Dr. Alexandre Dolgui is an IISE Fellow, Distinguished Professor, and the Head of Automation, Production and Computer Sciences Department at the IMT Atlantique (former Ecole des Mines de Nantes and Telecom Bretagne), France. His research focuses on manufacturing line design, production planning and supply chain optimization. His main results are based on the exact mathematical programming methods and their intelligent coupling with heuristics and metaheuristics algorithms. He is the co-author of 5 books, the co-editor of 26 books or conference proceedings, the author of 302 refereed journal papers, 4 prefaces of books, 33 editorials and 37 book chapters as well as over 400 papers in conference proceedings. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Production Research, an Area Editor of Computers & Industrial Engineering, past Associate Editor of International Journal of Systems Science (2005-2008), IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (2006-2009) and Omega-the International Journal of Management Science (2009-2012), consulting Editor of the International Journal of Systems Science (2009- 2019) and Advisory Board Member for Journal Européen des Systèmes Automatisés (2005-2015). He is Member of the Editorial Boards for 27 other journals, including the International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Manufacturing Technology & Management, International Journal of Simulation & Process Modelling, International Journal of Engineering Management & Economics, Journal of Decision Systems, Decision Making in Manufacturing and Service, Risk and Decision Analysis, etc. He is  an Active Fellow of the European Academy for Industrial Management, Member of the Board of the International Foundation for Production Research, former Chair of IFAC TC 5.2 Manufacturing Modelling for Management and Control (2011-2017, currently a vice chair), Member of IFIP WG 5.7 Advances in Production Management Systems, IEEE System Council Analytics and Risk Technical Committee, Guest editor of special issues of European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics, Omega – The International Journal of Management Science, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Journal of Mathematical Modeling and Algorithms, and Annual Reviews in Control; he was General Scientific Chair of the 12th IFAC symposium INCOM’06, 10th IFAC conference IM 2022 and IFIP APMS’2021, Chairman of International Program Committee of SCM’02, MOSIM’04, INCOM’09, INCOM’12, IESM’13, MIM’13, INCOM’15, IESM’17, GSC’18, MIM’19 and Chairman of Steering committee of MIM’16. Chairman of Organizing Committee of the International Conference MOSIM’01 and ROADEF’2011; last ten years, he was Member of Program Committees of over 200 International Conferences, etc. He has been responsible of the French national CNRS working group on Design of Production Systems (with about 336 individual members) and the regional project on Design and Management of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems. He received many national and international awards (best paper awards, best thesis award, most cited reserach awards, …). Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Engineering by Clarivate in 2021 and 2022.

Jens Schneider

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider

Rector of TU Wien


Honorary Speaker


Jens Schneider (born 1969) studied civil engineering at the TechnicalTechnical University of Darmstadt.
During his studies, which he completed with a doctorate in engineering, he gained his first experience as a research assistant at the TU Darmstadt before moving into industry and working in engineering offices.
The glass construction expert returned to academia in 2007 and worked as a lecturer and professor at various universities (Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HfT), Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, TU Darmstadt).
In 2011, he founded his own engineering office. In 2017, he took on the role of Dean of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering before becoming Vice President for Transfer and Internationalisation at TU Darmstadt in 2020. There he was responsible for developing an internationalisation strategy and a transfer strategy for TU Darmstadt. He also coordinated the European University Alliance Unite! Jens Schneider is also a member of several standardisation committees on the subject of glass and was deputy chairman of the DIN committee “Glass in Construction” for 13 years.

Peter Ertl

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.Peter Ertl

Vice Rector Research, Innovation, International Affairs


Honorary Gala Dinner Speaker


Peter Ertl holds an engineering degree in Biotechnology (BOKU, Austria), a PhD in Chemistry (Univ. Waterloo, Canada) and received his postdoctoral training as a biophysicist at University of California at Berkeley (US). Additionally, in 2003 Dr. Ertl co-founded a biotech start-up company where he served a number of years as Director of Product Development in Kitchener-Waterloo (CAD) developing benchtop-sized cell analyzers. In 2005 Dr. Ertl moved to Austria where he worked as Senior Scientist in the BioSensor Technology unit at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. In 2016 he was appointed Professor for Lab-on-a-Chip Systems for Bioscience Technologies at the Faculty of Technical Chemistry of the Vienna University of Technology. Dr. Ertl was also granted a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship at UC Berkeley in 2011/2012 and conducted visiting scientist positions at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2013 and the Medical Center of the University of California at San Francisco in 2014. In 2016 Dr. Ertl was appointed Professor for Lab-on-a-Chip Systems in Bioscience Technologies where his research focuses on the development of organ-on-a-chip and chip-in-organ systems for biomedical research.

Caroline Viarouge

Caroline Viarouge


Caroline Viarouge is Chief Executive Officer of EIT Manufacturing, who brings a strong leadership and transformational track
record, broad background in the industry and passion for manufacturing in Europe. Prior to EIT Manufacturing, Caroline held various senior management positions in larger industrial groups, such as Nissan and Munters, and as a management consultant at BearingPoint where she was instrumental in growing and transforming industrial organisations, and in expanding manufacturing footprints. Beyond her deep corporate knowledge, Caroline continues to support innovative start-ups through X-HEC and as a business angel. She acts as an advisor to various educational institutions. Caroline is passionate about accelerating manufacturing competences in Europe, attracting talent to the industry and detecting innovations that address climate change on a global scale. She holds a Master of Sciences in International Business from the University College Dublin (UCD) and an Executive MBA from HEC Paris.