Professor Maarja Kruusmaa is guest editor of this year’s Special Section of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics (T-MRB) Journal. This year’s focus is “From Bench to Bedside”, with the intention to celebrate methods, technologies and applications that have successfully been translated to a clinical setting.
Prof. Kruusmaa is a Professor and Vice-rector of Research, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Estonia. She is also an adjunct Professor with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Centre of Excellence of Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems, Norway, and a member of the Board of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
Previous roles include co-founder and R&D director of Fits.me between 2017-2020, and Head of the Estonian Centre of Excellence in IT Research.
Prof. Kruusmaa is the head of Centre for Biorobotics in Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). She has coordinated and participated in ca 15 international research projects, the majority being funded by the European Framework programs FP7 and H2020. She has considerable practical experience in developing and commercialising technologies, as well as leading and conducting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work.
As program director of PhD studies, she designed the study program and modernized the concepts of PhD education, attestation, and recruitment and provides personal guidance to ca 100 PhD students. She has supervised 13 PhD thesis.
EXAMPLES OF EXPERIENCE IN THE PROVISION OF SCIENTIFIC ADVICE
· Innovation Policy Committee, since 2019, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Estonia.
· Estonian Education Strategy 2035, member 2018-2020, Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia
· Future Emerging Technologies Advisory Group (FETAG), 2016-2019, European Commission
· DG CONNECT Advisory Forum (CAF), 2012-2015, European Commission
· Information Society Advisory Group (ISTAG), 2010 –2012, European Commission
EXAMPLES OF EXPERIENCE IN THE PUBLIC COMMUNICATION OF SCIENCE
· Participated in the Estonian Academy of Sciences COVID-19 Advisory Council to facilitate dialogue with decision makers and communicate to the public via national media, 2020.
· Initiated a voluntary network for providing support in STEM subjects for children on home-schooling and drawing attention to the rising educational inequality during Covid-19 crisis, 2020.
· Featured in “Plektrumm” with a 45 min TV interview on the relations between technology and society.
· Sailed 1200 nautical miles on board theS/VAdmiral Bellingshausen to commemorate 200 years from discovery of Antarctica to raise awareness on ocean pollution and climate change, 2019.
· Featured under the title “Inspiration and Independence” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine: Women in Engineering, 2018
· Her research is regularly featured in the international press, e.g., Wired magazine, Discovery News, Science Daily, New Scientist, Euronews, and in national media e.g., in Norway, UK, Germany, etc.
· Public installations of underwater robotics at the London Science Museum, World Expo, EuroScience Open Forum, Estonian National Museum, Estonian Maritime Museum, among others.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
· 2016 State decoration: The Order of the White Star 4th class for founding the technology company Fits.me and founding Centre for Biorobotics in TalTech.
· 2017 Estonian National Science Prize.
· 2019 Burr Steinbach scholar of the year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Woods Hole Oceanography Institute.
· 2019 Voted the best programme director of Tallinn University of Technology–doctoral programme ‘Information and Communication Technology’ responsible for educating ca 100 PhD students.