Katja Mombaur

Katja Mombaur joined the University Waterloo in March 2020 as Full Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) for Human-Centred Robotics & Machine Intelligence. 

Prior to coming to Canada, she has been a full professor at the Institute of Computer Engineering of Heidelberg University and head of the Optimization, Robotics & Biomechanics Chair, as well as coordinator of the Heidelberg Center for Motion Research. She holds a diploma degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Heidelberg University and has worked as a researcher at Seoul National University and at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse. She has coordinated the European project KoroiBot and has been part of several other European projects such as Spexor, MOBOT, and ECHORD, and still is a partner in the ongoing European projects Eurobench  and Agilis, and one of the directors of the HeiAge project in Heidelberg.

Resarch vision & objectives

Katja Mombaur’s research vision is to develop human-centered robotic technology that is not an end in itself but creates value to humankind. Human-centered robotics encompasses all robotic devices that directly interact with humans or support humans in their motions. Her research is based on all three pillars of science: theory, practical experiments and scientific computing. She strives to advance our insights and their application by multidisciplinary perspectives, seeking collaboration with psychology, philosophy, ethics, medicine and cognitive sciences, engineering, computer science, computer engineering, architecture and mathematics.

Her research objectives are fourfold:
1. Develop robotic systems that enhance and facilitate people’s lifes – for people with and without disabilities
2. Endow robots with motion intelligence
3. Advance understanding and decomposition of human movement
4. Develop and implement efficient algorithms for motion generation, control and learning, combining advanced models and model-free approaches