Scientific Committee

Scientific Committee Members

Chair – André Podleisek 

André Podleisek is Professor for Sustainability and Quality in Industry at OST – Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences in the IPEK Institute of Engineering, Product Industrial Engineering and Product Lifecycle Management. His research focuses on realizing net zero and circular business models and on respecting human rights in value chains of industrial companies. He works with businesses to help them generate sustainable revenue through responsible business models, products with lower environmental impact, and transparent reporting.

Mr. Podleisek is German and studied environmental engineering at BTU Cottbus (Germany). From 2003 to 2021 he held various sustainability-related positions in leading multinational companies before he became appointed professor at OST in 2021.


Vice-chair – Daniel Kliem

Dr. Daniel Kliem is a researcher with a passion for sustainability transitions, where he takes a pragmatic system-thinking approach to address real-world challenges. In his role as a Scientist at the University of Applied Science of Eastern Switzerland OST, Institute of Modeling and Simulation, he applies System Dynamics to problems in decarbonization strategies, supply chain management, circular economy and agriculture. He holds a Ph.D. in System Dynamics from the University of Bergen, with a thesis focused on “System Dynamics in Transition Management.” And a Master of Science in Sustainability & Business from the University of Leeds.


Norman Urs Baier

Norman Urs Baier is professor for Control Systems and Mechatronics at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. He holds a diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne since year 2000. At the same institution he did research on signal processing with biologically inspired models. His work empirically showed the capability of neural networks to identify and mimic time series generated from other dynamic and even stochastic systems. Furthermore, the identified models could be used in a novel classification framework. For this work he received the Dr. ès Sciences Techniques.

After positions at EPO, the European Patent Office, Teseq, a leading provider of EMC test equipment, and Trimerics, the electro-magnetic competence centre of the AVL group and Sputnik Engineering he joined Bern University of Applied Sciences in 2012. He is currently the head of the Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems.

He is a member of the Board of the Swiss Mechatronics Cluster.


Donatella Corti

Donatella Corti is currently Professor of Quality Management Systems at SUPSI and works in the Institute of Systems and Technologies for Sustainable Production of the Department of Innovative Technologies. She earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2005. Her main research interests are in the fields of digital production with a special focus on quality 4.0, sustainable production and servitization of manufacturing.

She is a member of the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ) and of the International Advisory Board of the ASAP Service Management Forum. She is responsible for the Master of Science in Engineering programme in SUPSI. She is author of more than 80 peer reviewed publications.


Alessandro Fontana

M. Sc. Eng. Alessandro Fontana is Senior Lecturer & Researcher at SUPSI-ISTEPS. Graduated in Material Engineering, he had a six-year industrial experience in sustainability implementation, Life Cycle Assessment and Ecodesign of products and manufacturing processes within the Legrand Group. Member of Sustainable Production Systems (SPS) Lab of SUPSI, his main research domain is the development of tool and methodologies for the sustainability and circular economy assessment in manufacturing contexts. His applied research activities and mandates are meant to support companies’ decision-making processes for the transition towards a more sustainable and circular way to produce. He teaches Industrial Sustainability topics in the MSc. in Engineering (MSE) and in the BSc. of Industrial Management and Mechanical Engineering.


Maria Franco

Dr. Maria Franco is currently Tenure-Track Professor of Circular Economy in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology) at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Biel. She has industry experience in management and System Dynamics consulting, as well as in business development in Latin America and Asia. She holds a PhD in Management Science from the University of Zurich [with complementary training at ETH, NECSI/MIT and the University of Cambridge] and a joint master degree in System Dynamics and Business Administration from the University of Bergen, Radboud University Nijmegen, and Universitá degli Studi di Palermo. Dr. Franco is currently involved in teaching both at the bachelor and master level at the BFH. Her current research focuses on social and environmental circularity assessment at the product, value chain, and systems level by means of methodologies such as lifecycle assessment (LCA), Scopes 1,2,3 from the GHG Protocol, and System Dynamics simulation. She has been involved in projects related to circularity in technical (e.g., Horizon 2020 CIRCUSOL – reuse potential in the solar PV industry) as well as in biological spheres (e.g., valorization of cocoa and cheese waste).


Elimar Frank

Prof. Dr. Elimar Frank is specialized in the fields of eco-management, environmental economics and energy with a focus on renewable energies and Power-to-X value chains. He is professor at the OST Ostschweizer Fachhochschule (Department of Technology), deputy head of the Insitute for Energy and Resources WERZ in Zug and academic director of a postgraduate program on Renewable Energies. From many years of professional, project and teaching experience he has extensive both broad and in-depth knowledge of renewable energies, techno-economic system analysis and corporate sustainability. His academic educaƟon includes the study of physics and theology and a doctorate in mechanical engineering.


Christine Grimm

Prof. Dr. Christine Grimm is passionate about sustainability and innovation and holds a Professorship at the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne for Circular Economy. Having worked over 15 years in the area of consulting and innovation and lived in six different countries, she can draw on extensive industry and intercultural experience in her research and teaching. Ms. Grimm received her academic training as Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in Zürich with her husband and her two children.


Aurelia Kogler

Aurelia is an expert for circular business models, ESG reporting and sustainability strategy and communication. Aurelia has experience from M&A processes, especially with buy & build strategies and post-merger integrations including well as change management. She works with investors, c-level executives and government representatives on strategic challenges and decisions.

Aurelia was a member of the board of directors of a Swiss ski resort and member of the Board of Directors of World Leisure Organization. She initiated and conceptualized the program “World Leisure City”, now established as “World Leisure Community of Excellence” which is rolled out successfully in China and Canada, more countries will follow. She has been a visiting Professor in many countries, e.g. China, Singapore, Canada and South Korea and she is a regular key note speaker all around the globe.

Aurelia holds an Engineering degree from the University of Life Sciences in Vienna and an MBA in Corporate Finance. She attended National University of Singapore (NUS), London Business School and HEC Paris from where she holds her second MBA which is in General Management.


Rolf Krebs

Rolf Krebs is currently head of the Institute of natural resources at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Wädenswil. He earned his degree ETH in environmental sciences in 1992 and his PhD in soil science in 1996 at the ETH Zurich. In his thesis he worked on gentle remediation techniques for heavy metal contaminated soils. After his PhD he accepted a postdoc position at the Oregon State University in Corvallis and worked on the reductive dissolution of iron and manganese hydroxides in seasonally reduced soils. After working as a soil responsible in the canton St. Gallen and as head of the inorganic laboratory of the canton Bern he started in 2005 as lecturer for applied soil science and environmental chemistry at the ZHAW. He focused also on irrigation and hydrothermal carbonization techniques and became head of the institute in 2017. He is study program co director of the MSc Circular Economy Management at ZHAW that started in fall 2023 for the first time.


Markus Lenz

Markus Lenz is a lecturer at the Institute for Ecopreneurship, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). He leads the group for Applied Circular Economy, which develops (bio)hydrometallurgical processes for the recovery of raw materials, in particular, ‘critical raw materials,’ from industrial wastes. The group aims not only to increase the technical efficiency of recovery processes but also to pursue ecologically efficient approaches, minimizing environmental impacts and costs.


Korbinian Schneider

architect M.A. EPFL / SIA / CAS Nachhaltiges Bauen
scientific collaborator FHNW
managing director Kooperation EN Bau,
coordinator material sample collection FHNW,
co-lead CAS Zirkuläres Bauen / circular construction
2020 –2022      Studio T.A., Prof. Andrea Deplazes, ETH Zürich school of arch.
2021                CAS Nachhaltiges Bauen / sustainable construction, Kooperation EN Bau
2014 – 2020     Proj. leader and lead general planning Knapkiewicz & Fickert AG, Zurich
2010 – 2014     Project leader Harry Gugger Studio, Basel
2009                Architect, Güller Güller Architecture Urbanism, Zurich
2008                Architect, Metrogramma, Milan
2007 – 2008     Junior architect, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam
2000 – 2006     Studies of architecture, École Polvtechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


Stefano Zerbi

Stefano Zerbi, born in 1981,  graduated in architecture from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 2006. He received his doctorate from the EPFL in 2011 with a PhD research on the use of natural stone in contemporary construction. In addition to his research, he teaches and works as an architect and independent expert. From 2013 to 2017 he was a professor at the Haute école du paysage, d’ingénierie et architecture in Geneva. Since 2017 he has been a professor at SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale delle Svizzera italiana) in sustainable architecture and materials technology, and from 2019 he is the head of the school of architecture. His research focus on construction with natural materials, re-use of buildings materials and circular economy applied to the building sector.


Corinna Baumgartner

Adrian Burri 

Lorenzo Di Lucia 

Daniel Schwendemann 

Hans Ulrich Siegenthaler 

Marco Viviani