Early Stage Researcher (ESR)

Alban Fichet


Alban Fichet, ESR 3D, is a PhD candidate at Inria Grenoble, working in Charles University – Prague for a one year gap supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on material appearance and capture. He works with Jaroslav Křivánek and Alexander Wilkie in the Computer Graphics Group (CUNI).

Alejandro Sztrajman


Alejandro Sztrajman is a Research Assistant and Marie Curie Fellow in the Digital Reality Group at University College London, under the supervision of Prof. Tim Weyrich. His research involves finding new compact representations for material appearance and its efficient translation between BRDF models, combining methods from neural networks, appearance acquisition and visual perception.

Carlo Innamorati


Carlo Innamorati, ESR 6, is a PhD candidate and Research assistant at University College London, supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on inverse graphics, specifically, in the context of simulation driven learning. He works with Niloy J. Mitra and Tobias Ritschel in the Smart Geometry Processing group.

Daniele Giunchi


Daniele Giunchi, ESR 4, is a PhD candidate and Research assistant in University College London supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on advanced interaction in 3D virtual environment. He works with Anthony Steed in virtual environments and computer graphics group’s research.

Denis Sumin


Denis Sumin, ESR 8, is a researcher and a PhD candidate at Max Planck Institute for Informatics. His research focuses on the computational appearance fabrication. Denis is supervised by Prof. Dr. Karol Myszkowski and collaborates with IST Austria, UC London, Charles University in Prague, and Allegorithmic.

Donald Degraen

ESR 10

Originally from Belgium, I moved to Saarbrücken, Germany to become a DISTRO ESR in the Intel Visual Computing Institute (IVCI). I’m a PhD student in the lab of Prof. Dr. Antonio Krüger at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). My research interest is in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on personal fabrication for tactile perception in immersive mixed reality environments. Additionally, I am engaged in research towards interaction with autonomous socializing devices for the Social Internet of Things.

Gökçen Çimen

ESR 14

Gokcen Cimen, ESR 14, is a PhD candidate and research assistant at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Robert W. Sumner. Her research focuses on simulated characters and character motion models for interaction in augmented reality and virtual reality.

Llogari Casas

ESR 15

Llogari Casas is a Doctoral Researcher at Edinburgh Napier University and ESR 15 within the DISTRO ITN. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia and a Master’s Degree in Computer Animation. His current research is focused on photo-realistic Augmented Reality applied to physical and 3D printed objects.

Loïc Ciccone

ESR 11

Loïc Ciccone, ESR 11, is a PhD candidate in ETH Zurich supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on curve representations for an intuitive control of animated scenes. His PhD is supervised by Prof. Robert W. Sumner.

Marek Wernikowski


Marek Wernikowski, ESR 8, is a Research assistant in Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on hyper-realistic image displays. He works with Prof. Karol Myszkowski.

Matthias Fauconneau


Matthias Fauconneau, ESR 15B, is a Research assistant in Napier University of Edinburgh supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on object appearance capture. He works with Prof. Kenny Mitchell.

Oskar Elek


Oskar Elek (ESR 07) is a post-doctoral researcher at Charles University in Prague, supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on physically accurate visual prediction methods (i.e., rendering) and their application in computational appearance fabrication. Oskar is supervised by Jaroslav Křivánek and further collaborates with IST Austria, MPI Saarbruecken, UC London and TU Tuebingen.

Pablo Wiedemann


Research Assistant at Edinburgh Napier University under the supervision of Prof. Kenneth Mitchell. Currently working on enhancing Real-Time Rendering for Augmented Reality applications using Deep Learning algorithms.

Pascal Grittmann


Pascal Grittmann, ESR 13c, is a PhD candidate at Saarland University, and short-term research assistant at Charles University, supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on finding more efficient algorithms for light transport simulation. He works with Philipp Slusallek and Jaroslav Krivanek.

Paula Budzakova


Paula Budzakova, ESR 03, is a PhD candidate at Comenius University in Bratislava and researcher supported by the DISTRO INT at Charles University in Prague (CUNI). Her research focused on 3D local features and semantic segmentation.

Petr Vevoda


Petr Vevoda is a PhD candidate at Charles University, and a short-term research assistant at DFKI, supported by the Distro ITN. His research focuses on efficient algorithms for light transport simulation. He works with Jaroslav Krivanek and Philipp Slusallek.

Ramakrishna Mundugar


Ramakrishna Mundugar, ESR 1c, is a Research assistant in Intel Visual Computing Institute, Saarland University, GERMANY supported by the Distro ITN. He is Doctoral candidate in Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, INDIA. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering and Master’s Degree in Network Engineering. His research focuses on Light Field, Video Processing, Multimedia Communication, and Network Protocols. He works with Prof. Thorsten Herfet.

Ran Zhang


Ran Zhang, ESR 9, is a PhD candidate at IST Austria, under supervision of Prof. Bernd Bickel. His research focuses on computational design of mechanical structures.

Somayeh Hosseini

ESR 12

Somayeh Hosseini, ESR 12, is a PhD candidate at Saarland University in Saarbruecken, Germany, supported by the Distro ITN. HER research focuses on machine learning approaches for human motion modelling and synthesis. She works with Philipp Slusallek at Agents and Simulated Reality department of DFKI, Germany.

Su-A Kim


Su-A Kim, ESR 1b, is a PhD student in Saarland University and Intel Visual Computing Institute supported by the DISTRO ITN. Her research focuses on light field segmentation. She works with Thorsten Herfet in Telecommunication Lab.

Tobias Rittig


Tobias Rittig, ESR 3e, is a researcher supported by the DISTRO ITN at Charles University in Prague (CUNI). He is applying his background in Rendering to the field of Computational Fabrication to reproduce complex appearances. Within DISTRO he is collaborating with people from MPII, UCL and IST Austria.

Senior Researcher (SR)

Alexander Wilkie

Alexander Wilkie is a senior lecturer at Charles University in Prague. He achieved his habilitation in Applied Computer Science from Vienna University of Technology in June 2008, after spending the time from 2000 to 2008 as an assistant professor at that university. He also obtained both his master’s degree (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) in computer science there. His main research interests are predictive rendering, colour science, and appearance modelling. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers about computer graphics, and has extensive teaching experience in the areas of photorealistic rendering and colour science, which he obtained both at Vienna University of Technology, and now at Charles University.

Anthony Steed

I am a Professor in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group in the Department of Computer Science, University College London. I am currently head of the group. My research area is real-time interactive virtual environments, with particular interest in mixed-reality systems, large-scale models and collaboration between immersive facilities.

Bernd Bickel

Bernd Bickel is an Assistant Professor, heading the Computer Graphics and Digital Fabrication group at IST Austria. He is a computer scientist interested in computer graphics and its overlap into animation, biomechanics, material science, and digital fabrication. His main objective is to push the boundaries of how digital content can be efficiently created, simulated, and reproduced.

Bob Sumner

Robert Sumner is the Associate Director of Disney Research and an Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. At DRZ, Robert leads the lab’s research in animation and games. His research group strives to bypass technical barriers in animation and game production pipelines with new algorithms that expand the designer’s creative toolbox in terms of depiction, movement, deformation, stylization, control, and efficiency. Robert received a B.S. degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich before joining Disney. At ETH, Robert teaches a course called the Game Programming Laboratory in which students from ETH and the Zurich University of the Arts work in small teams to design and implement novel video games. In 2015, Robert founded the ETH Game Technology Center, which provides an umbrella over ETH research, teaching, and outreach in the area of game technology.

Jaroslav Křivánek

I am an associate professor of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University, Prague, where I co-lead the Computer Graphics Group. I am also a co-founder of and the Director of Research at Render Legion a.s., the company behind the realistic rendering software Corona Renderer. Previously, I was a Marie Curie research fellow at Cornell University, and a researcher at Czech Technical University in Prague, as well as at University of Central Florida. I got my Ph.D. from INRIA Rennes and CTU Prague (joint degree) in 2005. My primary research interest is in computer graphics, with the focus on realistic rendering, light transport simulation, and Monte Carlo methods. I enjoy industry collaboration and the technologies I’ve co-developed have been employed, among other, by Weta Digital, PIXAR, Chaos Group, Allegorithmic, etc. The desire to see my reasearch used in practice led me to co-founding the company Render Legion, where I am in charge of R&D for Corona Renderer. In 2014, I was selected for New Europe 100, “a list of outstanding challengers who are leading world-class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe”.

Karol Myszkowski

Karol Myszkowski is a senior researcher at the MPI Informatik, Saarbruecken, Germany. In the period from 1993 till 2000 he served as an associate professor in the Department of Computer Software at the University of Aizu, Japan. In the period from 1986 till 1992 he worked for Integra, Inc. a Japan-based, company specialized in developing rendering and global illumination software. He received his PhD (1991) and habilitation (2001) degrees in computer science from Warsaw University of Technology (Poland). In 2011 he was awarded with a lifetime professor title by the President of Poland. His research interests include global illumination and rendering, perception issues in graphics, high dynamic range imaging, and stereo 3D. He co-authored the book High Dynamic Range Imaging, and participated in various committees and editorial boards.

Kenny Mitchell

Kenny Mitchell BSc (Hons), MSc, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist providing commercial technology solutions to the Walt Disney Company Ltd. Over the past 15 years, he has shipped games using high-end graphics technologies including voxels, volumetric light scattering, motion blur and curved surfaces. His Ph.D. introduced the use of real-time 3D for information visualization on consumer hardware, including a novel recursive perspective projection technique. In between contributing to the technically acclaimed racing game Split Second, Speilberg’s Boom Blox (BAFTA award winner), and the Harry Potter franchise games he is involved in developing new intellectual properties. His work includes collaboration with Disney Interactive Studios, Pixar Research, Disney Research Pittsburgh, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Consumer Products and Walt Disney Imagineering, and many successful funded University collaborations. He is the most senior Disney research representative in the UK.

Matthias Sala

Matthias Sala, founder and CEO of mixed-reality game studio Gbanga. With an award-winning technology and a vast set of developed games the studio is defining the future of location-based gaming in Switzerland by blending reality and fiction to create immmersive mixed-reality mobile games. He studied computer science at ETH Zurich and at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Together with a friend, he won the Sentient Future Award for Bin It!, a futuristic waste disposal system with a gamification component.He also completed research internships at the Siemens Smart Home Lab and Xerox PARC in Palo Alto. At those places, he has worked on activity-based information delivery, smart vacuum cleaners and self-refilling refrigerators. Sala is also the president and a founding member of the Swiss Game Developers Association (SGDA).

Niloy Mitra

Niloy Mitra is a Professor of Geometry Processing in the Department of Computer Science, University College London (UCL). He received his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University under the guidance of Leonidas Guibas and Marc Levoy, and was a postdoctoral scholar with Helmut Pottmann at Technical University Vienna. His research interests include shape analysis, computational design and fabrication, and geometry processing. For details, please visit the SmartGeometryProcessing page. Niloy received the 2013 ACM Siggraph Significant New Researcher Award for “his outstanding work in discovery and use of structure and function in 3D objects” (UCL press release) and the BCS Roger Needham award (BCS press release) in 2015. He received the ERC Starting Grant on SmartGeometry in 2013. His work has twice been featured as research highlights in the Communications of the ACM, twice been selected by ACM Siggraph/Siggrraph Asia (both in 2017) for press release as research highlight. Besides research, Niloy is an active DIYer and loves reading, bouldering, and cooking.

Philipp Slusallek

Philipp Slusallek is Scientific Director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), where he heads the research area on Agents and Simulated Reality. At Saarland University he has been a professor for Computer Graphics since 1999, a principle investigator at the German Excellence-Cluster on “Multimodal Computing and Interaction” since 2007, and Director for Research at the Intel Visual Computing Institute since 2009. Before coming to Saarland University, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University. He originally studied physics in Frankfurt and Tübingen (Diploma/M.Sc.) and got his PhD in Computer Science from Erlangen University. He is associate editor of Computer Graphics Forum, a fellow of Eurographics, a member of acatech (German National Academy of Science and Engineering), and a member of the European High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. His research covers a wide range of topics including artificial intelligence, simulated/digital reality, real-time realistic graphics, high-performance computing, motion modeling & synthesis, novel programming models, computational sciences, 3D-Internet technology, and others.

Thorsten Herfet

Thorsten Herfet is university professor at the Saarland Informatics Campus, Germany. Prior to his appointment (2004) he has been VP Advanced Research with Grundig AG and Manager CE Standards and Regulation EMEA with Intel Corp. Thorsten received his diploma on electrical engineering and his Ph.D. on digital image processing and transmission form Technical University Dortmund in 1988 and 1991 respectively. In his industrial and academic carrier Thorsten published more than 150 papers and articles, holds more than 15 patents and has led large scale collaborative research projects of several 10 Mio. € volume, funded by the German National Science Foundation, Ministry of Research and Education and the European Commission under FP7 and H2020. He served as the Dean for Mathematics and Computer Science 2006-2008 and as the University’s Vice President Research and Technology Transfer 2014-2017 and as the Director of Research and Operations of the Intel Visual Computing Institute 2009-2017. Thorsten’s research is focused on Cyber-Physical Networking, Latency and Resilience-Aware Streaming, Computational Videography and High Mobility in Multicarrier-Systems

Tim Weyrich

Tim Weyrich is Professor of Visual Computing in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at the Department of Computer Science, University College London, and he leads the Innovate Training Network (ITN) DISTRO. Prior to coming to UCL, Tim was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow of Princeton University, working in the Princeton Computer Graphics Group, a post he took after having received his PhD from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2006. His research interests are appearance modelling and fabrication, content creation, point-based graphics, 3D reconstruction, cultural heritage analysis and digital humanities. He currently is Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and member of the Steering Boards of the Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage, as well as member of the Executive Committee of Eurographics. Tim serves as Associate Editor for Elsevier Computer & Graphics and is member of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP), special interest group Libraries & Archives Imaging, of EPSRC College, BCS, ACM SIGGRAPH, Eurographics and of Gesellschaft für Informatik.

Management Team

Tim Weyrich

Project Coordinator

Julia Savage

Research Administrator

Elena Gatti

European Project Manager