Georg Schitter, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010

Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Georg Schitter ...


Georg Schitter, Full Professor, Chair for Industrial Automation, Automation and Control Institute (ACIN), Vienna University of Technology, Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010Georg Schitter, 36                

Full Professor, Chair for Industrial Automation, 1 year       

Automation and Control Institute (ACIN)   

Vienna University of Technology      

Vienna, Austria  

Job function: University Professor                    

Academics: Full Professor for Industrial Automation, Vienna University of Technology, Austria (since 2010); Associate Professor for Control Engineering and Mechatronics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands (from 2009–2010); Assistant Professor for Control Engineering and Mechatronics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands (from 2006–2009); (equivalent to PhD) in Control Engineering and Nanotechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland (in 2004); Dipl-NDS (equivalent to MSc) in Information Technology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland (in 2004); Dipl.-Ing. (equivalent to MSc) in Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, from the Graz University of Technology, Austria (in 2000)

Achievements: My research of the past 10 years has been internationally recognized to be at the cutting-edge of atomic force microscopy (AFM) technology worldwide. This is reflected by the numerous citations of my publications, fellowships, and awards, and has resulted in very successful industrial collaborations, in particular with the market leader in AFM industry, Veeco Metrology Inc. in Santa Barbara, CA. AFMs are the most important instruments to link the nanometer scale with the macro-world. They enable imaging, material characterization, and manipulating matter on the molecular level in various environmental conditions. The improved instrumentation and control of these instruments based on my work allows the improvement of the imaging speed and time resolution of AFMs by more than two orders of magnitudes.

Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010 logoNon-work hobbies: Home improvement, to remodel and improve our house for our two sons (two and a half years and 6four months old). Listening to classical music. Fixing my motorcycle to make it work again.            

After finishing my PhD in 2004, my wife and I lived and worked in Santa Barbara, California for two and a half years, which was a very mind-opening experience and the most amazing period of our lives.

As a student I worked for the Salzburg Festival, which allowed me to combine my interest in technology with my passion for classical music and opera.

Start in controls: At the age of 14 when helping out in the small company of my uncle, I saw for the first time the power and potential of control and automation to improve the functionality of systems, to add intelligence to them, and to make life easier for users and end customers.            

Return to main article: Control Engineering Leaders Under 40, class of 2010

- Compiled by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering.

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