Plenary Speakers


Prof. Darwin Caldwell 
Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Prof. Darwin Caldwell is Founding Director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, Italy, where he is also the Director of the Department of Advanced Robotics. Caldwell pioneered the development of core technologies in compliant actuation, Soft and Human Friendly Robotics and the creation of 'softer', safer robots, drawing on developments in materials, mechanisms, sensing, actuation and software. These developments have been fundamental to applications in exoskeletons/force augmentation, humanoids, quadrupeds and medical robotics. Prof. Caldwell is or has been an Honorary professor at the University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, King's College London, and the University of Bangor in the UK, and Tianjin University and SAAT in China. He has published over 600 papers, and has received over 50 awards/nominations at international conferences and events. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Prof. Xiaodong Chen
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Xiaodong Chen is the President's Chair Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU). He is the Director of Innovative Centre for Flexible Devices at NTU and the Director of Max Planck – NTU Joint Lab for Artificial Senses. Chen's research focuses on developing soft materials for the applications in flexible devices, energy storage, and healthcare. So far, he has published over 280 high profiled articles in Nature Nano, Nature Electronics, Nature Chemistry, Advanced Materials, etc. His research work was highlighted by more than 100 local and overseas'media. Chen's achievement on generating industrial impact is evident from his more 50 granted patents, 9 of which had been licensed for commercial development, and more than 5 projects with industry. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore and a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry in UK. Since 2021, Chen has served as the Editor-in-chief of the ACS Nano.


Prof. Peter Fratzl 
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany 

Prof. Peter Fratzl is director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, heading the Department of Biomaterials. He received an engineering degree from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France, and a doctorate in Physics from the University of Vienna, Austria. He is honorary professor at Humboldt University Berlin and at Potsdam University. Currently he is serving as chair of the Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section of the Max Planck Society. Prof. Fratzl's lab studies the relation between (hierarchical) structure and properties of biological and bio-inspired composite materials, and conducts research on osteoporosis and on tissue regeneration. His research interests include biomaterials systems for mechanosensing and actuation, as well as interdisciplinary research together with cultural science and design. Prof. Fratzl has published more than 500 papers in journals and books and he is member of several Academies of Science and of the German Academy of Engineering.



Prof. Lei Jiang
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, CAS, China
Beihang University, China

Lei Jiang is a Professor at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, CAS and Beihang University. He is an academician of the CAS, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and National Academy of Engineering, USA. His scientific interests focus on bio-inspired, smart, multi-scale interfacial materials with superwettability. Jiang has discovered and established the basic principle of the interfacial material systems with superwettability and extended them to successful innovative applications. Jiang’s achievement in research and innovation was recognized nationally and internationally with many awards, namely the TWAS Prize in Chemistry (2011), the Advanced Science and Technology Award of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (2013), the Outstanding Achievement Award of the CAS (2014), UNESCO Medals for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies, and the Nikkei Asia Prize (2016), the Humboldt Research Award in Germany (2017), and the Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award and Nano Research Award (2018). In 2020, he won the ACS Nano Lectureship Award.


Prof. Jingnan Liu
Wuhan University, China

Prof. Jingnan Liu is a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering. He has long been engaged in research and teaching in geodetic surveying, and has been considered a pioneer in the application of GNSS technology. Prof. Liu was the President of Wuhan University (2003-2008) and the editorial board member of the top journal GPS SOLUTIONS (1998-2001). He is now the President of Duke Kunshan University, the director of Research Center of National Satellite Positioning System Engineering Technology, member of Science and Technology Commission under the Ministry of Education, standing member of Chinese Society for Surveying and Mapping, editorial board member of GPS WORLD, etc. He was selected as the 11th CPPCC member. Prof. Liu has taken part in a number of research programs to promote the application of satellite positioning system in China. As academic authority in GPS field, he has won a number of national and provincial awards and titles. He has published more than 200 academic papers and supervised more than 110 postgraduates.


Prof. Lei Ren
University of Manchester, UK
Jilin University, China

Prof. Lei Ren researches in the field of biomechanical engineering and bionic healthcare by exploring the fundamental musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and sensorimotor principles underlying human movement, whilst developing bioinspired healthcare robotics and devices, and innovative bionic soft actuation and sensing techniques based on the learnt biological principles. He has been the PI and Co-I of over 30 research projects funded by UK EPSRC, BBSRC, NSFC and MoST, and has over 180 peer-reviewed journal papers published in PNAS, Advanced Functional Materials, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Neural System and Rehabilitation Engineering etc., and has been awarded over 120 patents. His research works have been reported by Nature, Science News, Wired, Telegraph, Science Daily and BBC etc. He is the Deputy General Secretary of the ISBE, sits in the Council of Chairs, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and serves as the General Secretary of IFToMM UK. He is the associate editor-in-chief of Journal of Bionic Engineering, the associate editors of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science.


Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), Germany 

Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti is the director of the Physical Intelligence Department at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart, Germany since 2014. He has pioneered many research areas, including wireless miniature medical soft robots, gecko-inspired microfiber adhesives, bio-inspired miniature robots, and physical intelligence. He is an IEEE Fellow, European Center for Living Technology Fellow, member of Turkish Academy of Sciences, and member of Turkish American Scientists and Scholars Association (TASSA). As selected awards, he was named as a Highly Cited Researcher (2021), and he received Breakthrough of the Year Award in Engineering and Technology Category in Falling Walls World Science Summit (2020), ERC Advanced Grant (2019), and Rahmi Koç Medal of Science (2018). Prof. Sitti has published 2 books and over 470 peer-reviewed papers, over 325 of which have appeared in archival journals. These papers have been cited over 35,000 times in Google Scholar (h-index: 99).


Prof. Shu Yang
University of Pennsylvania, USA 

Shu Yang is the Joseph Bordogna Professor of Engineering and Applied Science and chair of Department of Materials Science & Engineering at University of Pennsylvania. Her lab explores the potential applications of the smart and bioinspired materials, including self-cleaning coatings, dry adhesives, smart windows, sensors, actuators for robotics, and biomedical devices. Yang worked at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies as a Member of Technical Staff before joining Penn in 2004. She received George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from Penn Engineering (2015-2016). She is Fellow of Materials Research Society (2021), Division of Soft Matter from American Physical Society (2018), Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering from American Chemical Society (2018), Royal Society of Chemistry (2017), and National Academy of Inventors (2014). She was selected as one of the world's top 100 young innovators under age of 35 by MIT's Technology Review (2004).




Prof. Shuhong Yu
University of Science and Technology of China

Shuhong Yu is a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China and serves as the Director of the Division of Nanomaterials and Chemistry, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale. From 1999 to 2001, he worked in Tokyo Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and was awarded the AvH Fellowship (2001-2002) in the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Materials Chemistry Frontiers, and was a senior editor for Langmuir from 2017 to 2020, and an associate editor for Science China-Materials and EnergyChem. His research interests include bio-inspired synthesis of inorganic nanostructures, self-assembly of nanoscale building blocks, nanocomposites, their related properties and applications. His research work has been cited more than 61,600 citations (H index 137), named as a Highly Cited Researcher from 2014 to 2020. He was elected as Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2019.